Houston Cougars at Tulane Green Wave
Location: Yulman Stadium (New Orleans, LA)
Date: Friday, October 16
Time: 8 p.m. CDT
Records: Houston 5-0; Tulane 2-3
Betting Line: Houston -17.5
All-Time Series: Houston leads 14-5
Last Meeting: Tulane 31, Houston 24 (Nov. 8, 2014)
After the beating you took at the hands of Temple last Saturday, you get to open Door No. 1 to see your prize.
Oh, boy. That right there is undefeated Houston and the Cougars are angry.
See, last year, the Green Wave topped Houston for the first time since 2003, breaking a streak of 10 consecutive losses suffered by Tulane against the Cougars. The Green Wave also crashed Houston's Homecoming in the process and walked out of TDECU Stadium with a 31-24 win.
What went so well last year to allow Tulane to upset the Cougars?
"We played outstanding defense ... and I also thought Tanner Lee was on," Green Wave head coach Curtis Johnson said at his Tuesday press luncheon. "It was one of those days he really felt it. When he or Devin (Powell) feels like that, we have a chance at beating anybody."
It's a good thing Johnson mentioned Powell, because that's the quarterback Tulane will have to roll with against Houston on Friday. Powell will play in the place of Lee, who suffered a concussion in the first quarter of last Saturday's loss at Temple.
"Some of his decisions, I kind of looked at him like, 'What are you doing,' but after the game we knew why," Johnson said of Lee, who was finally removed in the third quarter. "Tanner is such a competitor that he wanted to be in the game. He just wanted to play and wanted to win."
Johnson must hope Powell can jump-start and offense that gained less than 125 total yards last week and scored 10 or fewer points in all three of its losses this season.
See, the Green Wave have to score a lot to keep up with the Cougars. Houston enters Friday's game putting up 46.4 points per game, good enough for sixth in the FBS.
The Cougars will also test Tulane's ability to tackle in space, which has been spotty at best. Houston likes to spread the field from sideline to sideline and get its stars the ball in space. Through five games, the Cougars have averaged the sixth-most yards in the FBS (573.4).
This also marks the second game this season where the Green Wave play an opponent ranked in the Top 25 the week of their game (Georgia Tech was the first). Houston is No. 24 in this week's AP poll and is one of 14 undefeated teams left.
Folks, this one is going to get U-G-L-Y. Tulane was already going to lose by a lot with Tanner Lee at quarterback. Now that Lee is out nursing a concussion he suffered last week, this has the makings of a bloodbath. Houston won't let up on the throttle after what happened last year on its home turf. The Cougars are out to make a statement. Houston 63, Tulane 10.