Tulane travels to 16th-ranked, defending ACC Coastal division champion Georgia Tech, which routed FCS member Alcorn State 69-6 on Thursday while rushing for 476 yards and nine touchdowns.
The Wave played the Yellow Jackets close in its Yulman Stadium debut last season, leading three times in the first half before losing 38-21.
It’s a tough assignment, but the defense should be prepared for Georgia Tech’s triple-option attack. Starting in the spring, the coaches devoted time to defending the option almost every day in practice.
One problem: Tulane has no one who can really simulate Tech quarterback Justin Thomas, who rushed for 1,086 yards last season. The Wave had trouble stopping Duke quarterback Thomas Sirk on the read option, and Sirk is no Thomas, either.
“We just have to go to Georgia Tech and play well. If we play well, I’ll be happy, and hopefully some breaks will go our way and we’ll win that one.”
— Tulane coach Curtis Johnson
Keep an eye on
Tulane’s tackling. The Wave defense played much better than the offense or special teams against Duke, but safety Darion Monroe was not happy with several missed tackles.
A repeat performance would spell trouble against Georgia Tech, turning 5-yard runs into 50-yard touchdowns and ending any chance of a close game. Tulane never tackles much in the spring or preseason drills, so the Wave may have needed to wipe the rust off against Duke. Monroe intimated it would be a good idea to work on tackling this week in practice.
Of Tulane’s multiple injuries against Georgia Tech, Johnson said only one was serious, terming the leg injury to sophomore defensive tackle Sean Wilson as “bad.” Look for senior Corey Redwine to replace him as a starter. … Georgia Tech led Alcorn, the defending SWAC champion and preseason favorite to repeat, 34-0 at the end of the first quarter. Officials began using a running clock in the second quarter. … Tulane’s last victory against a team from a current “Power Five” conference was at Rutgers in 2010. The Wave’s last win against any current ACC team was against Louisville in 1998, when both teams were in Conference USA.