Tulsa Golden Hurricane at Tulane Green Wave
Location: Yulman Stadium (New Orleans, Louisiana)
Date: Friday, November 27, 2015
Time: 7 p.m. CT
Betting Line: Tulsa -6.5
All-Time Series: Tulsa leads 9-2
Last Meeting: Tulsa 38, Tulane 31, 2 OT (Aug. 28, 2014)
The narrative of this game shifted in the past few days, at least for Tulane.
When it comes to Tulsa, this game is just a stepping stone for its program to reach bowl eligibility once again. The Golden Hurricane are 5-6 and a win would even its record, securing a spot in the postseason.
It's been a trying season for Tulsa as its offense and defense never clicked in the same game. It has either been the top-15 offense firing on all cylinders or the bottom-of-the-barrel defense giving up so many points that the offense can't recover. That's the main reason why losses followed wins so frequently for the Golden Hurricane.
And then there's the Green Wave, a team that is well into its second consecutive losing season and a reason why the narrative shifted in the past week.
It was reported that, win or lose, Tulane will fire Curtis Johnson following Friday's game. Johnson led the Green Wave to a bowl game in 2013, but is 6-17 since and the team has struggled in the American Athletic Conference.
Tulane's focus shifted from trying to end the reason on a winning note — as much as it can — to sending Johnson out a winner — as much as it can. It should be noted that the Green Wave has never won the last game of the season with Johnson as head coach.
For the Green Wave to beat Tulsa at Yulman Stadium, the onus will fall squarely on the shoulders of the defense. It must do what few defenses have done this season and slow down the Golden Hurricane.
There is zero chance of Tulane's offense keeping up with Tulsa's; so what's it going to take for the defense to slow down the Golden Hurricane — other than a miracle?
"Our front four has to come out and play like they are supposed to," Johnson said at his weekly press luncheon. "Our coverage has been pretty decent. We just have to continue to play both man and zone, and just keep mixing the coverages in."
Sounds relatively easy, but for the Green Wave, nothing has come easy recently.
Tulsa wants a win to become bowl eligible. Tulane is in no position to stop the Golden Hurricane from doing so. Tulsa rolls while the Green Wave limp into the offseason without a head coach. Tulsa 45, Tulane 10.