In the final game of 1st year head coach Willie Fritz’s season as Tulane head coach, the Green Wave will face the UConn Huskies in Storrs, Connecticut. The Green Wave will be seeking to end the 2016 campaign on a positive note, as they’ve lost 6 straight games in a row.
Here’s our Preview and Prediction, of Tulane’s final contest…….
TV: ESPN News
This game fittingly for both teams, could be called the “Futility Bowl”.
The Green Wave are not only the losers of 6 straight games, but 12 straight season finales.Sep 1, 2016; Winston-Salem, NC, USA; Tulane Green Wave head coach Willie Fritz looks on during the second half against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at BB&T Field. Wake defeated Tulane 7-3. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
The Huskies are losers of 5 straight games, and have been shut out the past 2 games. UConn hasn’t scored a touchdown in 14-plus quarters and 42 consecutive drives.
UConn hasn’t scored a touchdown in 42 consecutive drives and 14-plus quarters, while the Green Wave have loss 14 straight AAC games.
This also can be called the “Battle of the Struggling Offenses”.
UConn’s averages 321 yards per game, last in the AAC. The Huskies average 15 points per game. Tulane’s averages 334 yards per game, second-to-last in the AAC.
Tulane’s conference record since joining the AAC is 3-20. The Green Wave are trying to avoid going winless in league play. 1962 was the last time that happened — when Tulane was in the SEC.
The Green Wave have struggled mighty in the passing game the entire year, but the past 2 games the Green Wave have only managed 219 rushing yards.
Tulane averages 225 yards a game rushing good 25th ranked in the country. Conversely: Tulane’s passing game averages 108 yards a game which is 126th ranked in the country.
The Huskies pass offense is averaging 209 yards a game 89th ranked in the country, the run game averages 111 yard a game, 120th ranked. The UCONN rush defense gives up 136 yards per game ranked 35th, and 273 passing yards per game ranked 115th.
Coach Fritz on the competitive the American Athletic Conference and UConn preparation week:
“This is a great conference, without question,”. “I really think the American is part of the ‘Power Six,’ and I can see it being ranked ahead of the Big 12. From top to bottom, this is a good conference. There are very competitive games with some of the teams that maybe aren’t up there at the top. We’ve played some teams really closely, and so has UConn.
“Hopefully they are in a great frame of mind to go play Connecticut this weekend,”. “We have to have a great week of practice. Our goal is to end the season on a very positive note. I tell these guys all the time that often the plays I grade them on are in the last quarter when a game is out of reach. You see what guys are made out of and how hard they fight.”
The Green Wave have been looking for a win, ever since they got off to a solid win to a 3-2 start. So the 6-game losing streak has completely demoralized this squad.Sep 17, 2016; New Orleans, LA, USA; Tulane Green Wave wide receiver Devin Glenn (7) is tackled by Navy Midshipmen safety Kyle Battle (13) at Yulman Stadium. Navy defeated Tulane 21-14. Mandatory Credit: Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports
Still in all, Coach Fritz wanted to come in and change the culture, and going into the offseason with a win is a definite departure from the norm for the Green Wave.
Coach Fritz wants the Green Wave to get better sooner, and try to establish a WINNING identity for the Green Wave. Cautiously optimistic, Coach Fritz knows it all begins and ends with recruiting:
We have to get taller. We have to get longer. We have to get bigger. We have to get faster. We have to do a great job of hitting on our recruiting classes next year and years to come in order to make that margin smaller.”
Huskies coach Bob Diaco benched 3-year starting QB Bryant Shirreffs and inserted true freshman Don Williams.
Diaco also has changed offensive coordinators earlier this season. Diaco — in his 3rd season at UConn — is 11-25 as head coach; and is a former Notre Dame defensive Coordinator.Oct 22, 2016; East Hartford, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies head coach Bob Diaco watches from the sideline as they take on the UCF Knights in the second half at Rentschler Field. UCF defeated UConn 24-16. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
The UConn offense is headlined by WR Noel Thomas. Thomas a senior has 91 receptions for 1119 receiving yards.
UConn actually does have next-level talent on its defensive unit, like tackles Foley Fatukasi and Mikal Myers, linebacker Junior Joseph and defensive backs Jhavon Williams and Obi Melifonwu. But spending too much time on the field is hurting them — as evidenced by the fact that they have the exact same record as Tulane does.
If their is any one advantage that the Huskies have, it’s on special teams — where steady veterans placekicker Bobby Puyol and punter Justin Wain, have both had solid seasons for the Huskies.
FINAL ANALYSIS AND PREDICTION:
Both offenses have problems scoring and both teams have awful conference records.
The bad offenses will be the story again this week; as maybe the first team to double digits gets the victory.
In the end, the UConn Huskies put up a fight — but these dogs won’t hunt.
The Green Wave ruins UConn Senior Day and finally (and mercifully) ends their 6-game losing streak on the road, going into the 2017 off-season on a positive note.