Thursday, September 09, 2004

Tulane vs. Florida A&M Preview

Well, the Wave will try and hold it together this weekend against Florida A&M. There is no line this week- so I guess we can’t make an “official” pick.

I know nothing about Florida A&M- other than that from the Illinois game, they threw it like one hundred times- suggesting they aren’t shy about chucking it around. Still, any fool has got to know you have to at least try to run it against the Wave.

I don’t think our offense is capable of scoring a ton of points right now- so I doubt we’ll throw a real ugly whipping on these guys. But this cannot be a good spot for A&M- you have to figure the Illini administered a physical beat down as well as blowing them out. Plus they are on the road again. But without a Tulane team featuring lots of offensive firepower, I expect this will be a game for more than awhile.

I actually expect we’ll try and run it right at them. In the first half, I thought the Mississippi State game showed that we can block the run more than a little- and Jovon seems up to the task. Right now he inspires more confidence than any other part of the offense. I expect him to touch the football at least 25 or so times- and Forte and Tuyo another five to ten times. Establishing a dominant rushing attack, if Tulane’s rushing attack can ever be called dominant, will also serve to take some of the pressure off the guy we’re all coming to see: Ricard.

Obviously, the single most important thing we need to see Saturday is Ricard show a little life, some confidence back there- rather than the tentative, uncertain young man we saw at MSU. Don’t spoon-feed him- let him build some confidence by pitching it around a little- especially down the field. He’s never going to be a guy who generates his game by surgically completing 60% of his passes. He’s got to set up and get those wide outs down the field the ball. One positive from the MSU game is that our wide outs ostensibly can catch the football- so let’s give them every chance Saturday night.

It could help the Wave offense to see the game a “little slower” this weekend. Run the ball, then run it again and throw it downfield more than a little, build some confidence in the offense itself.

I imagine our D should keep them to a reasonable number- and we are better than this football team. Close for awhile- but we win 34-13.