Picking up right where we left off, today we’ll take a look at the Tulane game. If you live in the south, I highly recommend making the trip out to this game. Tulane will be breaking in a brand new stadium (as long as construction gets finished in time, which is a big question mark) and it’d be great to have some white and gold in attendance. The game is sure to be a sellout since it is such a historic event in the program’s history, so I’m sure our team would appreciate any extra support we can lend them in their first road game of the season.
For the full story on Tulane’s season outlook, check out this article we published in mid-June. In summary, last season was the first time in a long while that Tulane managed to have a winning season, going 7-6 but losing to UL-Lafayette in the final seconds of the New Orleans Bowl.
2013 was not a good year for Tulane’s offense. They largely struggled with the ball, averaging just over 300 yards/game, and their two top contributors (WR Ryan Grant and RB Orleans Darkwa) are both gone now. The good news is that senior QB Nick Montana is back, but Montana struggled against the only ACC opponent they faced last year (Syracuse, who Tech trounced 56-0).
I can spin and slice both team’s stats from last year any way you want it, but I’m not sure I could get the results to accurately support the statement I’m about to make: this game will be closer than we think. Don't be surprised if an emotion-fueled Tulane squad jumps out to an early lead and Justin Thomas and company look rattled - the first road game is usually rough for at least the first quarter or so. Tulane also likes to pass, which is a stark contrast with the Wofford team we will be fresh off of playing, so that might cause some adjustments to be needed with our raw 4-2-5 scheme.
All things aside, I am still fairly confident in a Tech victory, but this is a special game for this Tulane team; it's an opportunity for them to build off of a relatively successful 2013 campaign and begin a new era for Green Wave football. The stadium will be packed and the crowd will be full of green-wearing fans fresh off an afternoon in New Orleans. It’s also the first road start/game for many of our players.
My final call is 34-21 Tech, but we’d do well to win by 3+ touchdowns. We will have a new prediction for you after both teams have played their first game, though. Tulane kicks off their season at Tulsa on August 28th (the first Thursday of the season!), so check out their game at 8ET on CBS Sports Network to do some scouting of your own. Besides, it’ll be one of the first instances of live football to grace TV in seven months. You owe it to yourself to tune in.