|7 TULN (-115) @ Draftkings|
My 10* AAC Crusher is on Tulane at 7:30 ET.
Willie Fritz arrived in New Orleans to take over at Tulane for the 2016 season. The Green Wave would go 4-8 and 5-7 in his first two seasons but they would then go 6-6 and 6-6 in 2018 and 2019's regular season, capping each one off with a bowl win. It marked the first time Tulane had posted back-to-back winning seasons in 20 years. Tulane opened by eking out a 27-24 win at South Alabama but then took a 24-0 lead over Navy at the half, only to lose 27-24. The Green Wave rebounded with a 66-24 rout of Southern Miss but then lost THREE in a row (Houston, SMU and UCF), while allowing 45.7 PPG. With season 'heading south,' Tulane has rebounded with THREE straight wins, scoring exactly 38 points in each contest.
Tulane now heads to Tulsa on Thursday night to face a 4-1 Tulsa team (4-0 in AAC), which just entered the AP poll this past Sunday at No. 25. Philip Montgomery got his first head coaching gig at Tulsa in 2015. He led the Golden Hurricane to bowls those first two seasons, including to a 1-3 season in 2016. However, THREE straight losing seasons followed (9-27 overall). Tulsa opened the current season with a competitive 16-7 loss at then-No. 11 Oklahoma St. Tulsa has ripped off FOUR straight wins since. Kudos to the Golden Hurricane who fell behind the then-No. 19 Mustangs 21-0 last Saturday, before outscoring them 28-3 the rest of the way. So what else is new? Tulsa trailed 16-2 at UCF on Oct 3 but came back to win 31-26 and on Oct 30 at home, trailed East Carolina 17-3 before winning 34-30. Nothing to it!
The Green Wave's surge has coincided with the maturation of freshman QB Michael Pratt, who has 14 TDs and just four INTs in seven starts (he also has five rushing TDs). He has brought balance to an offense that features an outstanding running game, averaging 224.1 YPG on 5.3 YPC with a whopping 26 TDs. Four RBs contribute, led by Huderson (548 yards on 6.6 YPC) and Carroll (542 yards on 5.6 YPC with 10 TDs). Tulsa's "comeback kids" are led by QB Zach Smith (61.5% with 10 TDs and 6 INTs) and a running game averaging 161.8 YPG on 4.1 YPC with eight TDs. Tulsa's defense has been VERY good, allowing just 21.8 PPG.
This is a tough spot for Tulsa, its win over SMU came after a stretch in which the Golden Hurricane had played just two games in 41 days, as Tulsa has had three weekends in which a game was postponed due to COVID-19 issues. This week, the Golden Hurricane return to action just FIVE days after the SMU win and will be playing as a ranked team for the first time since 2010. Tulane comes in on a roll and has beaten Tulsa each of the last three meetings. Take the points but expect an OUTRIGHT win by Tulane.