The New Orleans VooDoo defense, for all its uneven performances this season, has excelled in collecting interceptions.
But not so much lately.
Ranked eighth in the Arena Football League with 15 interceptions, the VooDoo has failed to tally an interception in four of its past five games.
While winning Saturday night’s game at the Pittsburgh Power (8-3) is the goal of the week, getting another interception — or two, maybe four — will move the VooDoo (2-8) closer to that goal.
“Turnovers play a huge part in the game for us,” said VooDoo defensive back Cameron McGleen, who is tied for fourth in the AFL with seven interceptions.
“The more turnovers we get, the better chance we have of winning. And we’re going to try to get as many as we can.”
Former East St. John standout Ryan Perrilloux is expected to start again for the VooDoo. Last week, the former LSU quarterback threw for four touchdowns, rushed for three and threw one interception in a 62-48 loss to Tampa Bay.
In that game, Storm quarterback Randy Hippeard completed 18 of 35 passes for 212 yards and five TDs and rushed for two scores. Hippeard was sacked only once.
Pittsburgh quarterback Tommy Grady has thrown for 2,861 yards and 65 TDs with 12 interceptions. The Pride offense leads the AFL in third down (46 percent) and fourth-down efficiency (26 percent), a vital statistic in a league without punting.
This game marks the VooDoo’s second trip of the season to Pittsburgh’s CONSOL Energy Center. On April 11, the VooDoo lost 56-14. While Grady was intercepted three times and held under 200 passing yards (171), he also threw five scores.
McGleen had two of the interceptions against Grady. He has 27 in his AFL career.
McGleen, who last season earned all-AFL honors with six interceptions, said the key to his job is, “Watching film, practicing, reading my keys and being in the right position when the plays are called.”
The game will be broadcast live online at ESPN3.com and on the radio at WRNO-FM, 99.5.