1. WHAT WE LEARNED
Not much. Tulane shocked everyone at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium with a mammoth touchdown drive to open the game, a stop and then a quick 80-yard drive to go ahead 13-0 in the second quarter. After that, though, it was more of what we’ve seen all year. The special teams were pathetic. With former walk-on Jordy Joseph at the helm, the offense could not convert short third downs, doing next to nothing. And the defense, which played with terrific intensity for three quarters, let down once the game got out of reach.
2. TRENDING NOW
Tulane was no match for the top teams in the American Athletic Conference, getting outscored 163-44 by Temple, Houston, Navy and Memphis. Now the Wave gets to see how it matches up with Connecticut, Army, SMU and Tulsa, which have a combined record of 11-22. A lot depends on whether quarterback Tanner Lee can return quickly from a finger injury that sidelined him against Memphis. With a healthy Lee, the Wave will have a shot to start a winning streak — but it has to clean up a bunch of sloppy areas to give itself a chance.
3. FINAL THOUGHTS
Tulane is wasting the potential of a solid defense because the Wave is so weak in so many other areas. Defensive tackle Tanzel Smart was dominant in the first half against Memphis, and safety Darion Monroe was all over the field, but it’s nearly impossible to sustain that level when nothing else is working. Tulane lost to Temple despite forcing the Owls into 15 plays of negative yardage and lost to Navy despite holding the Midshipmen nearly 200 yards under their rushing average. Tough to take.