Tulane vs Temple Preview and Prediction

The (3-7) Tulane Green Wave are seeking to get back in the win column this afternoon, as they host the (7-3) Temple University Owls in an American Athletic Conference contest at Yulman Stadium in uptown New Orleans that kicks off for 3:30 p.m. Central time.

Here’s a quick Preview and Prediction for today’s contest:

When: Saturday, November 19 – 3:30 p.m. ET

Where: Yulman Stadium, New Orleans, LA

TV Broadcast: ESPN3

All-time series: Temple leads 2-1

Records: Tulane (3-7 overall, 0-6 American Athletic Conference); Temple  (7-3 overall, 5-1)

Streaks: Tulane  losers of 5 straight games, Temple winners of 4 straight games are coming off a bye week

Atmosphere: Senior Day – Tulane honors 12 graduating seniors

Synopsis: 

Amazingly, struggling Green Wave QB Glen Cuilette has his best passing statistical game last week against the Houston Cougars. He passed for 241 yards, 2 TD, and 0 interceptions — a career-high passing yardage game for Cuilette.

Nov 12, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Tulane Green Wave quarterback Glen Cuiellette (14) in the pocket against the Houston Cougars in the second quarter at TDECU Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Tulane’s rushing yardage which has eclipsed game  100+ yards in every game this year  was held to only 100 yards. Tulane is ranked 18th nationally with a rushing average of 236 yards per game.

During the current 5 game losing streak, the Green Wave haven’t avoided  costly mistakes. The Green Wave have gotten behind early in games, and the offense hasn’t been good enough  to play catch up. The Green Wave also are last in the AAC third down conversion category, with a success rate of only 27%.

Coach Willie Fritz on the Green Wave  struggling offense:

“We’re having a tough time on the offensive side of the ball right now, and we can’t dig ourselves a hole at the beginning of the game. That’s something that really comes back and bites us. We have to play smart all the time.” “There’s times we do a nice job between the 20s, and then we get down in the red zone or close to the red zone and we stall out,”. “We have to be spot on, and we’re just having a tough time on the offensive side. We stayed away from penalties and didn’t turn the ball over, but we’re searching for answers over there right now, and we need to manufacture some offense somehow, some way.”

The Green Wave defense did a stellar job last week of stifling and holding its own against the Houston Cougars. Tulane’s defense has been a bright spot and the only consistent strength for the Green Wave this year.

Nov 12, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Cougars wide receiver Steven Dunbar (88) is tackled by Tulane Green Wave cornerback Taris Shenall (19) in the second quarter at TDECU Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Tulane made 13 tackles for loss against the Cougars, forced 11 punts and held them to 66 yards rushing.

The Green Wave were able to hold Cougars QB Greg Ward Jr  to 189 yards passing and -3 yards rushing. Houston was held to under 300 total yards for the first time in 37 games.

Houston coach Tom Herman — a candidate for jobs next year at USC and LSU — had this to say about the Green Wave defense:

“Hats off to their defense,”. “That is a defense that is ranked in the top 25 or 30 in a lot of defensive categories.”

The Green Wave defense is ranked 23rd in the nation and gives up 352 yards per game.

https://twitter.com/TulaneEquipment/status/799643894124314624

Temple coach Matt Rhule — a former Penn State Linebacker — has emphasized toughness in the trenches. Rhule has a record of 25-23 in his 4th season at Temple.

Oct 29, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Temple Owls head coach Matt Rhule looks on against the Cincinnati Bearcats during the third quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Temple defeated Cincinnati 34-13. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Owls  #7 ranked defense  allows 20.4 points per game, average 8 tackles for loss and 291 yards per game.

The Owls offense which averages 32.5 points per game, is led by QB Phillip Walker’s 58% completion rate, 2205 passing yards, along with 16 TD’s and 12 interceptions.

Walker has a dynamic duo in the backfield. Running backs Ryquell Armstead,  (807 yards rushing, 6.3 avg. 11 TDs.) &  Jahad Thomas,  (647 yards rushing, 4.8 avg., 9 TDs; 27 receptions, 354 yards, 5 TDs).

Temple can get the ball downfield also, as the Owls have 3 WR’s with 24 or more receptions. The Owls offense like to dominate time of possession, and do so by wearing down defenses.

The Owls defense which has held consecutive opponents (Cinncinatti & UCONN) to under 200 total yards is led by DE Haason Reddick, (48 tackles, 18 TFL. 8.5 sacks) &  NT Averee Robinson,  (23 tackles, 5 TFL, 3.0 sacks).

Oct 21, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; South Florida Bulls tight end Mitchell Wilcox (89) runs with the ball past Temple Owls defensive lineman Averee Robinson (43) and linebacker Jared Folks (44) and defensive lineman Avery Ellis (52) during the second half at Lincoln Financial Field. the Temple Owls won 46-30. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Both players are very good athletes that get after the passer and ball carriers. The Green Wave O-Line must find a way to open holes in the run game. Temple (like every smart opponent) wants the Green Wave to rely on QB Glen Cuiellette’s arm to beat them.

The Owls also have a very good Special Teams unit. The Owls have blocked five kicks this year — three punts, a field goal and an extra point.  

Coach Fritz has put the Green Wave on high alert of what does on special teams.

“I had an old coach tell me years ago that you notice how tough a team is on their extra point and field goal block team,”. “A lot of teams just kind of go through the motions out there. That’s one thing they do. They just go hard, and they repeat it play after play after play.”

FINAL ANALYSIS AND PREDICTION:

Emotions will be high for the Green Wave seniors, but yet the Temple offense will play just well enough to get the win. Tulane simply just hasn’t shown that the mistakes and miscues are a thing of the past.

The Green Wave would still have to play a complete game in all facets to pull out a win and break this losing streak, but the Owls are just too good for them. Tulane loses its 6th straight game.

The Owls fly by the Wave, 28-16.