Sunday, September 30, 2007

Pretty Good Tulane!

Well, that wasn’t too bad: only down10-9 at the half, a one score game thru three quarters! On both sides of the ball, Tulane played damn hard and got after folks. Most importantly: it was entertaining- the first game in a long time that might actually bring some people back to the Dome on merit.

On ESPN2, it was fun! There was juice- a sense the proceedings mattered. I was one of those that was a little “who cares?” about the restoration of the Tulane-LSU series- a decade of potentially endless beatings at the hands of LSU- but I had forgotten how much program energy can come from playing a entertaining game with a big rival. Honestly, I could see a few thousand casual student fans/alumns who checked out the game saying “that was pretty all right, maybe I’ll come back again.”

I don’t think the result fundamentally changed the power dynamic between the two institutions; you’ll get no argument about “Tulane closing the gap” here. If they were to play again next week, the line would still be north of five touchdowns.

Consequently, I would just caution folks to be guarded in their optimism. For example, Tulane played well and LSU was a little barren- and they still cruised. Young Scelfo was courageous and protected the ball- but there was little about his performance that suggested we’d move up versus, say, Houston. Scelfo plays quarterback with charisma and a certain moxie- but the elite (or even good) C-USA quarterback is a big number character, generating 20+ yard plays consistently from the pocket type of player. Scelfo is correspondingly miscast. I mean, how do you win six C-USA conference games unless your quarterback is a threat to go for 300 yards every week? Don’t blame me, it is the League that demands it.

I do wish Matt Forte- senior and leader- would hold on to the ball. If I had told you, Tulane played courageous until a brutal turnover killed them- but left the offender anonymous- I bet you’d guess anyway.

But, heck, it was encouraging (particularly the defensive front). There are eight games left- and they could get three-four based on that effort yesterday. More would be hard. Two games strike me as problematic- and the defense/quarterback just aren’t consistent to “sweep” any five, six-game slate.

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