Tulane could be without its leading tackler and its top touchdown producer when it plays its third road game in as many weeks Saturday against Louisiana-Monroe.
Safety Sam Scofield, who tops the Green Wave with 29 tackles, left last week's 52-17 loss to Syracuse with concussion-like symptoms and "didn't do anything" at either Monday or Tuesday's practice, Tulane coach Curtis Johnson said Tuesday afternoon.
"We're praying for a miracle," Johnson said of Scofield. "Sam's been tremendous."
Running back Orleans Darkwa, whose five touchdowns lead the team and Conference USA, injured his shoulder against the Orange and is questionable for ULM. Tulane's leading rusher, Rob Kelley, also left the Syracuse game with a shoulder injury, but Johnson is more optimistic on Kelley's status for Saturday.
Both teams come into Saturday's game at 2-2, but Johnson is thinking less about a scouting report on the Warhawks and more about getting better play from his club.
"My concern is more about this football team," Johnson said. "We've got to do some things a lot better."
One of those things is a special teams group that cost the Green Wave 24 points on Saturday with two blocked punts, a blocked field goal and a muffed punt.
"That's stuff that is correctable, that's fixable," said Johnson. "We'll get better."
One of the other areas Johnson is pointing to is a better start. Tulane has allowed 28 points in the first 17 minutes of each of its two losses. "We've got to come out like gangbusters," said Johnson, who added that he and his staff have shuffled the practice schedule this week to get more live activity in earlier periods of practice.
Tulane has been 2-2 five times in the last six years, but a win would give the Wave its first winning record after five games in a decade.
Kickoff on Saturday is at 6 p.m. from ULM's Malone Stadium. ESPN3 will provide a live webcast of the game.
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