Tulane missed its home-run hitter.
During the Green Wave’s 38-21 loss to Georgia Tech on Saturday, redshirt freshman running back Sherman Badie’s effect was minimized because of an illness that was exacerbated by the scalding temperatures at Yulman Stadium.
Badie, often referred to as “Babe Ruth” by Tulane coach Curtis Johnson for his potential to swing the game on a single run, took only three carries a week after setting an American Athletic Conference record by churning out 230 rushing yards in the Green Wave’s 38-31 season-opening loss at Tulsa. His runs of 90 and 73 yards caught plenty of attention and helped immediately transform the identity of Tulane’s offense, which rarely struck for big gains in 2013.
But against the Yellow Jackets, Badie was rarely seen. In three carries, he compiled 15 yards. But he was unavailable in the second half as Georgia Tech pulled away and held Tulane scoreless.
“He got hurt on the first carry (of the game),” Johnson said. “We put him back in a couple of times, but actually Sherman was nauseous all week and had a little bit of throwing up. And so once he got going, he couldn’t really sustain anything.”
Badie said he watched the second half from the training room since Tulane’s medical staff preferred to keep him out of the heat. While Badie said he wasn’t suffering from dehydration, he admitted the 95-degree temperatures played a role in his early exit.
“They told me I didn’t look right,” Badie said. “I didn’t look like myself. I didn’t look like I was full speed to my potential, so they told me to just go to in the training room and relax, get myself back going because I have a long season ahead of me.”
The rest may have reaped rewards. Badie was able to practice Tuesday as Tulane prepares to face Southeastern Louisiana at 7 p.m. Saturday in Yulman Stadium.
Asked if Badie will be ready to play at full speed by Saturday, Johnson emphatically said: “He better be.”
Monroe makes return
Tulane cornerback heard the pads pop and saw junior safety Darion Monroe’s feet fly off the turf.
In the midst of an outside run in the fourth quarter, Monroe was tagged by a Georgia Tech offensive lineman bearing downfield, which blindsided him, catapulting him clear off of the turf. The hit left Monroe woozy and sidelined him for the remainder of the game.
“He was out for a minute,” Doss said. “I mean, that was a hard hit.”
Despite some initial trepidation from Tulane’s staff, Monroe was able to practice without caution Tuesday. Johnson said he didn’t expect to see the safety on the practice field and was more concerned about his ability to bounce back from injury than Tanner Lee or Badie.
“He doesn’t like missing practice,” Doss said of Monroe. “He’s my roommate, and he said if it isn’t that bad, no matter what, he’s practicing. That’s the kind of guy he is. He is going to lay it down on the line for the team.”
Monroe’s presence could be even more important come Saturday, considering Tulane might be without the services of senior safety Brandon LeBeau, who didn’t practice due to an unspecified injury. Johnson said he doesn’t expect LeBeau to be ready by game time, meaning the Green Wave will likely turn to sophomore Leonard Davis at the back end of the defense when Southeastern uses formations featuring three or more receivers.
After redshirting as a freshman and being used sparingly in the season opener, defensive back William Townsend earned a start and finished second on the team in tackles, racking up eight (six solo) as Georgia Tech repeatedly found success running to the perimeter of the Tulane defense.
Townsend’s 6-foot, 195-pound frame and physical demeanor make him a desirable option for Tulane’s secondary, particularly against more run-heavy offenses.
“He’s physical and he’s a big body that can hit,” Doss said when asked about Townsend’s ascendance. “I wouldn’t get in his way if I was on the other team. I can say that much.
“I wasn’t surprised because I knew he was that type of player. He is making plays and jumping over the offensive line. He is a real playmaker.”