Tulane vs. Connecticut prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins the game between the Green Wave and Huskies.
Tulane vs. Connecticut Game Preview
When: Saturday, November 26 – 4:00 p.m. ET
Where: Rentschler Field, East Hartford, CT
A very frustrating year is nearing an end for Tulane and Connecticut, who are both 3-8. The Huskies are especially disappointed. They began the season with a bunch of returning starters and lofty expectations of being this year’s Temple in the American, but have instead dropped five in a row, going 14 consecutive quarters without scoring a touchdown. The Green Wave is also reeling, dropping six straight, though its struggles under first-year coach Willie Fritz were not terribly unexpected. Fritz is going to get there in New Orleans, but he needs time to add more of his players to the roster.
What To Know About Tulane
The Green Wave is run-based on offense, averaging 225 yards a game on the ground. Dontrell Hilliard and Josh Rounds are the busiest of the backs, while quarterback Glen Cuiellette has been an ineffective conductor of the attack. The defense deserved a better fate this season. The unit, which sports all-league contenders in cornerback Parry Nickerson, linebacker Nico Marley and linemen Tanzel Smart and Ade Aruna, ranks third in the American in total defense, while flashing a penchant for getting into opposing backfields.
What to Know About Connecticut
There are similarities between the Huskies and the Green Wave. Like Tulane, UConn has enough defensive talent to compete, but not nearly enough scoring to actually win. The Huskies are averaging 15 points a game, lacking the push at the line of scrimmage to free running back Arkeel Newsome or protect true freshman quarterback Donovan Williams, who’s enduring on-the-job training. Yeah, there’s next-level talent on D, like tackles Foley Fatukasi and Mikal Myers, linebacker Junior Joseph and defensive backs Jhavon Williams and Obi Melifonwu. But spending too much time on the field is hurting the group.
Offense: Tulane. Neither team is consistent, but the Green Wave at least knows it can run the ball with determination.
Defense: Push. Both defenses are underrated, hard-working and not getting nearly enough help from the other side of the ball.
Special Teams: Connecticut. Leading the Huskies are a pair of steady veterans, placekicker Bobby Puyol and punter Justin Wain.
Coaching: Tulane. Fritz is a very talented coach. He’s just needs time to turn things around with the Green Wave.
Intangibles: Push. There’s not much to play for on either sideline, other than sending the seniors out with a win and avoiding a long losing streak that’ll be carried into 2017.
Matchup To Watch
Hilliard and Rounds vs. Connecticut linebackers Vontae Diggs, Matt Walsh and Junior Joseph
It’s no mystery that Tulane wants to run the ball, feeding Hilliard and Rounds liberally for as long as the scoreboard dictates. The Green Wave O-line will have its hands full trying to neutralize not only the active Husky linebackers but also the interior linemen, Fatukasi and Myers.
Tulane vs. Connecticut Betting Odds
Tulane vs. Connecticut Prediction
Who wants it more? That’ll be the only thing that matters Saturday evening in a matchup of teams that can’t score, but do house a fair amount of defensive talent. Connecticut has been far more competitive in East Hartford than outside the state this fall. And Bob Diaco will work overtime to make sure his kids close out the season with heart and intensity. In one of the least artistic games of Week 12, Puyol will outkick Tulane’s Andrew DiRocco to finally give the Huskies something to cheer about for the first in almost two months.
Tulane vs. Connecticut Score Prediction: Connecticut 16, Tulane 13