September 24, 2013
Tuesday notebook: Montana still excited after absorbing hits
Nick Montana admitted Tuesday he did not feel 100 percent after the beating he took against Syracuse, but he still feels good about the direction Tulane is headed.
A session in a cool pool on Monday soothed his aching body. The fact that few if any of Tulane's remaining opponents resemble Syracuse fuels his optimism.
"That was probably the most physical team we'll play, I'm guessing," he said. "We still did a lot of good things. I like that everyone was competing. I don't think there's any confidence loss. We just have to limit our turnovers. That's kind of been the story thus far in the season."
Tulane (2-2) matched Syracuse with 39 plays during the first half and rolled up only nine fewer yards before the break, scoring 17 points. With a little more protection, Montana felt he could have done more damage in the second half.
HIs lone interception came when he was hit just as he threw deep to an open Ryan Grant. The ball fluttered into the hands of safety Julian Whigham at the Syracuse 15.
"That was a touchdown if we could have held up just another half-second," Montana said. "Ryan just put a dirty move on the guy, too. We had a lot of things out there we still could have done better, and it's tough when we're spotting them a couple of touchdowns (due to special teams miscues)."
Protection problems remain a huge issue for Tulane, but if the line can't get better, at least the opponents are getting worse. Coach Curtis Johnson does not want to see Montana as battered and bruised as he was by the end of the Syracuse game for the rest of the year.
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