Rutgers 31, Tulane 6: Three-and-out _lowres

Tulane running back Sherman Badie (3) is tackled by Rutgers defenders L.J. Liston, Jonathan Aiken and others short of the end zone during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014, in Piscataway, N.J. Rutgers defeated Tulane 31-6. (AP Photo/Rich Schultz)


If Tanner Lee is healthy, Tulane has no quarterback controversy. Even though the redshirt freshman threw nine interceptions in his first four games, Tulane’s offense reverted into the ineffective version seen in 2013 once he left — except this year, the 2013 defense and special teams aren’t playing with that offense. Devin Powell produced a quality drive at the end of the first half, but Tulane didn’t cross midfield in the second half, producing just 49 yards in its four drives with Powell. Nick Montana completed all five of his passes, but they were short and against a lineup of Rutgers backups.


Sherman Badie is still a home-run hitter. The freshman running back provided Tulane with its only points and showed his ability to run in the open field when he gashed through Rutgers’ defense and sprinted up the sideline on an 86-yard run, erasing every defensive angle along the way. Badie, a John Curtis graduate, topped the 100-yard mark for the second time this season and has become a reliable threat for Tulane’s offense.


Tulane isn’t built to play from behind. Senior safety Sam Scofield said he knows the way the Green Wave won games last year, and this wasn’t it. Trying to overcome three-possession deficits isn’t the way it’ll happen any week. Tulane busted coverages and tackled poorly from the onset, allowing Rutgers to jump on top and forcing Tulane to abandon its offensive game plan. Players insist it’s the execution and not the plan — but two weeks in a row, the Green Wave has been lit up in the first quarter.