Thursday, October 04, 2007


Saturday features a trip to Army for both our Green Wave and Frank Helps You Think It All Out!

Pretty exciting! Unfortunately, so far, I am just not feeling the Toledo experience. Sure, he is a good quote and a glad-handler of the first order. Clearly Tulane needed more of that. But, I find it exasperating to point to anything on the field- any player, any unit- that is definitively better since he got here. And Vegas seems to agree- putting Army a stout seven points over Tulane- a swing of twelve points from last year. I can only imagine the Toledo-nauts’ reaction had Scelfo “lost” twelve points to Army in a single year.

Scelfo won this game last year. Consequently, it is important game for Tulane- you can’t argue for progress if Toledo and crew are losing absolutely every game Scelfo won last year. Heck, forget a .500 season. If you have Tulane and Coach Sullivan winning, say two I-A games, this is one they probably have to have.

And yet, Tulane is a seven point underdog...

Well, stout hearts, right people?

Seven is a lot of points for a team that could barely handle Rhode Island. At home. Plus, I am a little hopeful for two reasons.

One is that the defensive front showed a sustained pulse for the first time this season. Army’s offense is no great shakes- the 37 points versus Temple were the result of three TDs via specials team and defense and general Temple idiocy- and a mere fourteen first downs versus the Owls is kind of a disgrace. I imagine, unless Tulane is careless with the football and kick coverage, Tulane can keep this team south of 30. To cover seven points, Army needs to win by two scores. And if you can’t get 28+ points- and I don’t think Army can on mere offense alone- that is a forlorn climb.

Second reason: yes, Matt Forte is the most overrated player in the 20 years I’ve followed Tulane football. But Matt normally plays real, real well against these outfits featuring a half-dozen guys playing regularly on defense who might not start at Tennessee-Martin (like Army for example!). Forte should have both a fat and prodigious day, both rushing and as a receiver, against a defensive "front seven" featuring a couple of good I-AA prospects.

150+ yards rushing, plus some chain moving receptions from Forte and wide-outs who figure to open a lot, suggests Tulane will score and move the clock. This both protects the defense and again serves to keep the Army point total down. Plus, sustained rushing success will keep both the rush off and “pressure to do everything” from young Scelfo.

Add in the requisite turnovers from a pretty bad Army team, and the fact that their kickers are worse than ours- and I sense Tulane is no lock to be out of this by the requisite two scores. Not a lay-up like last year- but I like Tulane in this spot. So I’ll take Tulane and the seven points.

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