January 23, 2020

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Matchup Preview: Tulane vs. University of Connecticut

The Tulane Green Wave (4-1) are fresh off their biggest win of the season after a 44-33 route over Army West Point (3-2), a game in which Tulane ended the Black Knight’s 15 game home winning streak. Tulane is currently on a 3 game win streak and look to improve upon that streak this week with the University of Connecticut (1-4) coming into Yulman Stadium on Saturday, October 12th. Last week, UConn hosted the USF Bulls, losing 48-22. UConn’s only win of the season came in their season opener, where the Huskies defeated Wagner College by a field goal, 24-21. 

Tulane enters the contest as a 34 point favorite and sits at a 98.2% chance of victory per ESPN’s FPI. The Green Wave are clear favorites over the Huskies, but it is important to not overlook UConn with Tulane’s matchup against nationally ranked Memphis on October 19th. Fortunately for Tulane, playing down to their level of competition has not been an issue for Coach Willie Fritz’s squad this season. Currently, Tulane is 4-1-0 against the spread and ranks 39th nationally in average scoring margin. In comparison, UConn is 2-3-0 against the spread and their average scoring margin ranks 3rd worst in the country at 128th.

Keys to the Game:

Look for Tulane to continuously rush the ball against UConn, whose defense is allowing 190 yards per game and ranks 103rd nationally in total rush defense. The Green Wave are rushing for 283 yards per game, boasting one of the best rushing attacks in the country, sitting 6th nationally. 

If Tulane decides to test the air, expect it early in order to put up some quick scores and cause separation. By doing so, Tulane can hopefully get their starters out of the game sometimes in the second half, allowing the Wave to be well rested and healthy for Memphis, which will be their biggest in conference of the season to date.

Defensively, Tulane should cruise against the Huskies. In terms of passing offense, UConn has struggled to get much going, ranking 99th nationally. Tulane’s defense is a fringe top 25 unit in pass defense, ranking 26th nationally, so expect a big day for the Wave secondary in shutting down an already pedestrian passing game for UConn. At 120th nationally, UConn’s rush offense is struggling even more so than their passing game. The Huskies are averaging only 104 yards per game on the ground. This bodes extremely well for the Wave’s front seven, due to the fact that their defense ranks 68th nationally in defending against the run. Definitely not a horrible statistic, especially considering the Wave have already faced two top 20 teams in terms of rushing offense in Auburn (19th) and Army West Point (8th). 

Overall, expect a big day both offensively and defensively for the Wave, with Tulane controlling time of possession and getting some early separation on the scoreboard.

Prediction: Tulane 52, UConn 14