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Schedule and Odds
Things are looking up for the Green Wave. Even though they haven't had more than four wins since 2004 and haven't been to a bowl game since 2002, new coach Curtis Johnson could make a mark in the coming seasons. Tulane returns a lot of talent from last year's squad, 15 starters in total, and will enjoy a relatively easier schedule.
The QB spot may not be determined yet, but Nick Montana will likely be the starter come the start of the season. He'll have to run an offense very similar to that of the New Orleans Saints where Curtis Johnson came from. There's a reason Tulane amassed 280 yards per game through the air last year, but only 40 on the ground. All of their top receivers will be returning including Ryan Grant who's one of the best in the conference after grabbing 76 passes last year for 1,149 yards. The entire backfield averaged just 1.7 yards per carry last year which obviously needs to improve. Senior RB Orleans Darkwa dealt with ankle injuries all last year which was a big problem, but hopefully he'll be ready to roll come fall. The line returns four starters, but the group is very questionable and needs to improve to help this offense score.
The defense was a bigger problem last year allowing close to 500 yards and 40 points per game. They bring in a graduate student from LSU in Chris Davenport which could help the line, but the linebacker spot is very shallow. Injuries hurt them last year and may once again. The secondary is actually a strength for the Green Wave with three returning sophomore starters. It's also notable that that they have one of the best kickers in the nation in Cairo Santos.
2013 Tulane Football Schedule
Aug. 29 vs. Jackson State
Sept. 7 vs. South Alabama
Sept. 12 at Louisiana Tech
Sept. 21 at Syracuse
Sept. 28 at LA-Monroe
Oct. 5 vs. North Texas
Oct. 12 vs. East Carolina
Oct. 26 vs. Tulsa
Nov. 2 at Florida Atlantic
Nov. 9 at UTSA
Nov. 23 vs. UTEP
Nov. 29 at Rice
Tulane's schedule looks much lighter than in year's past, especially right out of the gate. They'll get two straight home games against lower level opponents. To start the season 2-0, it could do wonders for their confidence. Of course, the road gets much rougher after that as they start C-USA play at Louisiana Tech followed by two away games at Syracuse and LA-Monroe.
The Green Wave's best chances at conference wins will come against North Texas and UTEP at home, and Florida Atlantic and UTSA on the road. While they do get East Carolina and Tulsa at home, neither game should be out of reach. Looking at last year, Tulane put up fights against top teams, losing 49-47 to Rice and 28-23 to East Carolina. It wouldn't be all that surprising for them to pull an upset this season.
While they may be a year out from becoming a bowl team, Tulane has some nice pieces to definitely increase their win total. Four or five wins is a good mark for these guys, but don't be surprised if they get to six.
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