October 29, 2013

Tulane notebook: Montana back, Davenport out?

Barring a setback, look for Nick Montana to start Saturday when Tulane plays at Florida Atlantic.

Tulane coach Curtis Johnson did not make the final call at his Tuesday media luncheon, but he said Montana took the majority of the snaps at practice after missing the past two games with a separated throwing shoulder he sustained against North Texas on Oct. 5. Redshirt freshman Devin Powell went 2-0 in his absence, but Tulane did not score an offensive touchdown in regulation of its 36-33 triple-overtime victory against East Carolina and scored a season-low 14 points against Tulsa, which also were the fewest points the Golden Hurricane had allowed.

"We do expect him (Montana) to play," Johnson said. "He took 60 to 65 percent of the reps today. Devin took 40 or 35 percent. I don't know the actual numbers, but it was about that. He (Montana) looks a lot better. He looks good. He looks like he's not injured anymore, so he'll be ready-ready this game."

How Tulane will handle the two quarterbacks remains to be seen. Johnson said both would play against FAU, but all coaches' plans can change depending on the course of the game. Montana also has to duplicate his Tuesday practice effort on Wednesday before gaining Johnson's full confidence. Even before he separated his shoulder on the final series against North Texas, he was banged up, getting little velocity on his passes against the Mean Green or ULM a week earlier.

"He looked good today," Johnson said. "He made some throws that he hadn't been making in those weeks. I think his arm is a little bit stronger."

Powell, who threw two touchdown passes in overtime against East Carolina and two more against Tulsa, may play a substantial role against FAU. He certainly elevated his status in the past two games after struggling in the preseason and in two appearances as a true freshman.

I would say this. Nick's the starter," Johnson said. "Nick was hurt, Devin came in and he did something we hadn't seen him do --he won two football games. It's a little different then."

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