2020 Tulane Stats
|Offensive Rank (34.7 PPG)||22nd|
|Defensive Rank (28.1 PPG)||57th|
I guess you could say that it was a twist of fate that brought Oklahoma’s season opener from New Orleans to Norman. Hurricane Ida smashed the Gulf Coast leaving the Big Easy without power far too many of its residents without a home. While our hearts, and hopefully our charitable dollars, go out to the residents and relief efforts, there is a football game on Saturday and that’s what we’re here to discuss.
Tulane went 6-6 last season and tied for eighth in the American Athletic Conference with a 3-5 record. The Green Wave received a berth to the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl but lost 38-27 to Nevada. Currently on a program-best three-year bowl streak, The Green wave were picked seventh in this year’s AAC preseason media poll with 15 returning starters back in 2021.
Offensive coordinator Will Hall left Tulane in December, after two highly successful seasons, to become the head coach at Southern Miss. His replacement, Chip Long, has plenty of tools to continue the success that the Green Wave had experienced the previous two seasons under Hall. Long was a finalist for the Broyles Award when he was the offensive coordinator at Notre Dame in 2018. He inherits quarterback Michael Pratt, who led all true freshmen with 20 touchdown passes last season and will make the sophomore the centerpiece of the offensive attack.
Also returning in 2021 are the top four receivers from last fall. Duece Watts, Jha’Quan Jackson, and Phat Watts combined for 1,154 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns last season. Duece Watts and Jha’Quan Jackson each caught 31 passes. Watts averaged 16.5 yards per reception on his way to 512 yards (both were team bests) while Jackson led the crew with eight receiving touchdowns. At 6-2/245 tight end Tyrick James has the opportunity to blossom in Long’s offense. Last season he caught 18 passes for 202 yards and three scores as a sophomore.
Running back Tyjae Spears is working his way back from a knee injury that he suffered a year ago. If he’s at full speed then obviously that a strong positive for the Green Wave. Regardless, redshirt sophomore Cameron Carroll yielded 741 yards and 12 touchdowns last season.
Upfront the Green Wave have seven offensive linemen with at least two starts in 2020. The line will be led by senior Corey Dublin and sophomore Sincere Haynesworth.
Tulane is also breaking in a new defensive coordinator on Saturday after Jack Curtis was fired following seven seasons at the helm. Chris Hampton who served on the staff from 2016-2019 returns to New Orleans after one year at Duke to take over the defensive coordinator responsibilities.
Defensive ends Patrick Johnson and Cameron Sample are gone from last year’s squad. Johnson graduated from the program as Tulane’s all-time sacks leader and Sample recorded 52 tackles and six sacks in 2020. Memphis transfer Joseph Dorceus and sophomore Angelo Anderson will step into those roles.
The linebacker corps is the strength of Tulane’s defense. Dorian Williams (98 tackles, 16.5 for a loss), Nick Anderson (88 tackles, 10.5 for a loss), Marvin Moody (72 tackles) and Kevin Henry (48 tackles) will all rotate, ensuring the Green Wave have a solid second level at all times.
Transfers Derrion Rakestraw (a starter at safety for Colorado) and Lance Robinson (a reserve cornerback at Kansas State) are hoping to give cornerback Jaylon Monroe some much needed help in the secondary.
Follow us on Twitter: @SportsHeartland