Mercifully, Tulane (1-4) gets an open date to work on a host of problems before beginning a season-ending stretch of seven consecutive conference games. The Green Wave stepped up in class for the non-league portion of its schedule and failed the test, losing to Georgia Tech, Duke and Rutgers by a combined 76 points. Unlike last year, when coach Curtis Johnson gave the team an entire week off after its triple-overtime win against East Carolina, look for the Wave to go hard in practice this week. Next up is a winnable game against Connecticut on Oct. 11 at Yulman Stadium, probably the only time the Wave will be favored for the rest of the year.
Tulane was no match for Rutgers on the road, falling 31-6, and this time the Wave did not have the excuse of making a boatload of mistakes. It committed zero turnovers, but its best players at its best position — defensive back — got beaten in a nightmarish first three possessions. First, cornerback Lorenzo Doss undercut a route in the end zone looking for an interception and watched a pass sail over his head for an easy touchdown. Then, on consecutive plays, safety Darion Monroe was late to get over to cover Leonte Caroo on a streak route down the sideline for a 46-yard completion, and safety Sam Scofield trailed Caroo on a crossing pattern for a 25-yard score. Finally, Doss gave up a short completion over the middle that turned into a 93-yard touchdown when no one else was there to help. Ballgame. The offense had no shot after quarterback Tanner Lee left with an injured shoulder early in the second quarter.
Running back Sherman Badie. He didn’t do much on 11 of his carries, gaining 22 yards, but on the other one, he raced 86 yards for a touchdown to close Tulane’s deficit to 21-6 in the first half. His growing list of highlight-reel runs includes 90- and 73-yard jaunts against Tulsa. He is a terror in the open field. He also had five catches against Rutgers.
“We are going to look at both of them, and if Tanner isn’t back, then we will see who does the best.”
— Johnson on backup QBs Devin Powell and Nick Montana
Keep an eye on
The quarterback situation. It’s Lee’s job if he is healthy, but that’s a big if after he hurt his right shoulder on a sack against Rutgers. Powell replaced him and was ineffective, finishing 6 of 15 for 53 yards while failing to produce more than one first down on four second-half possessions. Montana mopped up and completed all five of his throws — for 18 yards on dump-offs. Still, his check-downs likely would be more effective against Connecticut than Powell’s indecisiveness.
Tulane has lost 17 in row in games played outside of Louisiana. … Doss, a junior, had his 13th career interception in the third quarter, the third most among active players. … After missing a 36-yard field goal and an extra point, Andrew DiRocco is 1 for 5 on field goals and 13 for 15 on extra points. … Tulane’s streak of forcing at least two turnovers ended at 13 games. … The Wave had 60 yards of offense in the second half.