TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Storm (7-5, 2-2) heads to Louisiana to take on division rival New Orleans VooDoo (2-9, 1-2) Saturday, June 15 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, LA…Kickoff is set for 8:00 PM ET.
This will be the 16th meeting between Tampa Bay and the New Orleans franchise, and the seventh in New Orleans. Tampa Bay has the advantage in the series with a 10-5 record.
After a tough home defeat at the hands of the Orlando Predators last week, the Storm looks to get back on track with another road victory. Tampa Bay boasts a 5-1 record as the visiting team this season and the franchise hopes for continued success at the Superdome. A building the Storm has not seen since 1992 when it played against the New Orleans Night. The Storm has an overall record of 2-0 when playing in the Superdome.
Earlier this season, the Storm hosted the VooDoo on May 4th, defeating New Orleans, 63-32. The defense held the VooDoo to just 13 points through the first three quarters. The upcoming matchup may not see the same results.
This VooDoo team is different than the one the Storm saw in week seven. With quarterback Kurt Rocco back under center, New Orleans has fresh confidence. Last week, the VooDoo fell just shy of a victory, losing in the final minute to the Philadelphia Soul by a score of 65-56.
In his last meeting versus the Storm, Rocco completed 20-of-33 passes for 366 yards and nine touchdowns. Through eight games played this season, Rocco has thrown for 1,835 yards including 37 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
Another key player for New Orleans is wide receiver Donovan Morgan. Through week 12, Morgan has 60 catches for 952 yards and 19 touchdowns. With an average of 119.0 receiving yards per game, he is a player the Storm defense will have to keep a close eye on.
Joe Hills, the Storm’s leading receiver, will play his first game against New Orleans this season. Hills didn’t play in the teams’ first matchup because he was called to the Carolina Panthers mini-camp. In ten games this season, Hills has caught 82 passes for 1,202 yards and 29 touchdowns.
Storm quarterback Adrian McPherson completed 13-of-16 passes for 197 yards and four TD’s last time against the VooDoo. He added more damage with his legs, rushing six times for 29 yards and four touchdowns. This week, look for Tampa Bay to try and advance the ball both through the air and on the ground.
While these two teams are close in a lot of areas defensively, turnovers could be the deciding factor in this one. The Storm defense has a total of 20 interceptions on the season and the team is ranked third in the AFL with a +17 turnover margin. Meanwhile, the VooDoo sports a league worst (-21) margin and intercepted the ball only eight times this year.