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Friends with Bennies: Tulane Green Wave

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Bob Diaco's UConn Huskies travel to New Orleans to face 1-4 Tulane at the newly opened Yulman Stadium

Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

History

I consulted JP Goodhearn, who runs the Tulane fan-site Fear the Wave, to introduce Tulane Football:

"As recently as 1998, the team went undefeated with coaches like Tommy Bowden and Rich Rodriguez involved in the program, the team felt into disarray after failing to reach another bowl after the 2003 Hawaii Bowl for the next ten years.

After the school demolished the on-campus Tulane Stadium, the team shared space with the New Orleans Saints in the cavernous Superdome. Being a small-ish, private school in SEC country, years of losing dampened enthusiasm and killed attendance in a venue better fit for the LSU Tigers. It took the last four years of Bob Toledo's career to win a combined 11 games. The team was at rock bottom.

Things started to turn around with two major events. The first was the decision to build a new on-campus facility with Yulman Stadium scheduled to open for Tulane's season kickoff against Georgia Tech this year. Even more importantly, Tulane nabbed Curtis Johnson, an assistant coach with the Saints who had previously recruited players like Ed Reed and Marshall Faulk at the college level, to come on board as the head coach.

Last season, Tulane stayed in the Conference USA championship hunt until late in the season, qualified for its first bowl game in a decade, and took the New Orleans Bowl to the last play against a fast UL-Lafayette team.

The ethos of the athletics program as a whole right now is upgrading facilities and identifying hungry coaches to help turn things around."

This season

I spoke with Ryne Hancock, who writes for Tulane on SB Nation's Underdog Dynasty to tell us about how 2014 is shaping up for the Green Wave:

What's the quarterback situation for Tulane right now?

At the present moment there's no telling who will be behind center on Saturday. Just a minute ago there was a report in the Times Picaynue that stated Tanner Lee didn't take any snaps. There's a good chance that you could be seeing Nate Montana or Devin Powell but as I'm typing this nothing is set in stone.


Has the season met expectations thus far?

I expected Tulane to lose to Georgia Tech, Duke, and Rutgers. Those are three good teams. I don't think personally the Green Wave should have lost to Tulsa after seeing how shitty that team is in 2014.

How do the fans feel about being in the AAC compared to C-USA?

Its a sense of elation. (Editors Note: hashtag perspective) You have to understand that Tulane was once a charter member of the SEC and when they left that league, they fell behind in the arms race in college football. Conference USA is nothing more than a bootleg version of the Sun Belt. The American on the other hand is a league that has tremendous brand power, something CUSA never had.

Who are the playmakers on offense/defense?

Tulane on offense has a great stable of running backs, most notably Lazderick Thompson. On defense you got Sam Scofield, who is one of the anchors of the Green Wave secondary with Lorenzo Doss.


What are the strengths/weaknesses of this Tulane team?

One of the strengths of this team is the offensive line and how well they have played so far. That alludes to the fact that they have senior offensive tackle Sean Donnelly on the line.

The problem with the Wave however, is their ability to keep their poise. That comes with the territory of being a young team. Too often this team makes a lot of dumb mistakes and ignore detail. In fact this morning the team got punished for having a dirty locker room.

Prediction?

I have Tulane 20-10 over Huskies. This is probably the Green Waves last chance to getting a win in 2014.

***

Thanks to Ryne and JP for their input!