Maine Black Bears at Tulane Green Wave
Location: Yulman Stadium (New Orleans, Louisiana)
Time: 7 p.m. CST
TV: ESPN 3
Records: Maine 0-1; Tulane 0-2
All-Time Series: First meeting
Noteworthy: Tulane head coach Curtis Johnson asked the fans to wear white in order to "White Out" Yulman Stadium in support of the team (Those fans — and Johnson, for that matter — probably wish they could white out the first two games). ... This is Maine's second game against an FBS opponent. The Black Bears lost 24-3 at Boston College two weeks ago.
Wins breed confidence and vice versa. Right now Tulane has zero of each and head coach Curtis Johnson, who used the word "confidence" six times during his weekly press luncheon, wants his team to find the second quicker than the first.
"These are a very important next two weeks," Johnson said. "The number one things is getting confidence. These young men need to get some confidence and have something good happen to them. They're willing to do whatever they need to do, but they just don't have the confidence they need. We have to play our best ball right now and continue to move in an upward fashion."
It's easy to see why the Green Wave lack swagger. Duke and Georgia Tech treated Tulane like its personal punching bag the past two weeks, outscoring Johnson's team by a combined score of 102-17.
"I don’t know if we could have beat any of those two teams, but we could have played a lot better," said Johnson, whose Green Wave has lost five consecutive games dating back to last year. "We want to be very positive with them. These kids need some encouragement and something to hold on to. They’re all looking around for answers."
Enter hope. Hello, Maine.
Desperately needing a win, Tulane welcomes the Black Bears to Yulman Stadium on Saturday night. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
This is the eighth time in the past 10 years that the Green Wave has played an opponent from the Football Championship Subdivision. To Tulane's credit, it has never lost one of those games.
For this to be a successful game for the Green Wave, it must find the end zone early. The past two weeks Tulane fell behind 23-0 and 21-0 before notching its first points. That can't happen against a team that only scored three points in its season opener on the road at Boston College.
The Green Wave must also churn up some yards on the ground. Johnson said he expects to call Lazedrick Thompson's number often. Thompson had a strong game against Georgia Tech, rushing for 74 yards on 13 carries.
A win would send Tulane into the bye week feeling better about itself and its chances in the conference opener against lowly Central Florida. A loss would ... umm ... yeah.
Usually these are the games where a team takes its frustration out on an opponent. Tulane isn't one of those teams. With its offense struggling, it would be a miracle for the Green Wave to cover whatever spread the dark recesses of the Internet put on this game. Tulane wins, but it won't be for style points. Tulane 24, Maine 10.