Tulane faces a must-win game against Maine, an FCS team that was competitive in a 24-3 loss at Boston College to open the season and is coming off a bye. The Black Bears trailed Boston College 10-3 entering the fourth quarter but gained only 91 yards on the day, picking up eight first downs. As bad as the Green Wave has looked in its losses to Duke and Georgia Tech — and that’s really, really bad — Maine is not even as good on paper as Southeastern Louisiana was last season. The Wave beat the Lions 35-20 after jumping out to a quick 21-0 lead. This is an opportunity for Tulane to start figuring out what it can do well before starting American Athletic Conference play.
Does anyone want to look back? Didn’t think so. The less written about Georgia Tech’s 65-10 rout of Tulane, the better. Nothing went right in Atlanta, but the biggest concerns were the continued special teams debacles, the lack of blocking and the defense’s disappearance in the second half. A few defenders continued to play hard, but most of them looked like they did not want to be on the field in the third and fourth quarters. Not having suspended senior leader Darion Monroe was a factor, but the utter capitulation was new.
Nickelback Jarrod Franklin and wide receiver Devon Breaux. Franklin missed a few tackles, but he flew around the field and looked noticeably faster than any of his teammates, finishing with a team-high seven tackles, a sack and two stops for loss. Without Breaux, Tulane would have zero touchdowns this year. After a 76-yard score against Duke, he played the ball better than a Georgia Tech defensive back to haul in a 44-yard heave from Tanner Lee in the second quarter. He had four catches for 87 yards, three fewer than the rest of his teammates combined.
“Our team has to work on adversity and staying in the game. I watched our team go flat after Georgia Tech grabbed the momentum.”
Keep an eye on
Offensive coordinator Eric Price. Tulane reached double figures in points for the first time in five games, which says it all about how awful the offense has been since the Wave upset Houston 31-24 last November. Price has been handicapped by a line that can’t block and receivers that can’t get open consistently, but neither should be an issue against Maine. If Tulane’s offense can’t get its act together against the Black Bears, Price will feel the heat from more than just angry fans.
Tulane has won 13 in a row against teams from the former I-AA, dating to a 21-20 loss to Wichita State in 1986 in the Shockers’ final year playing football. … The Wave is 0-2 for the third time in Curtis Johnson’s four-year tenure. … Maine lost to Pittsburgh 35-29 in 2011 and beat Mississippi State in 2004, so the Black Bears have some history of success against FBS teams.