Start Time: Saturday November 4th, 3:00pm
Radio: Sports 1280 AM New Orleans
Live Coverage: tulanegreenwave.com
Location: Yulman Stadium, New Orleans, Louisiana
Series History: This is the 16th meeting, Tulane leads the series (11-4)
Betting Line: Tulane -5.0
Tulane Outlook: It's homecoming for the Green Wave, and they really need some home cookin'. The Wave have dropped their last three ballgames, falling into a deep hole early before attempting a comeback. If there has been a silver lining to the terrible starts the last couple of weeks is the emergence of the Tulane passing game. Tulane QB Jonathan Banks has passed for 424 yards and five touchdowns with only one interception in the last two games. Such passing efficiency is no small feat for an option team. If Tulane can get Dontrell Hillard and the running game going versus the Bearcats, who possess the #112th ranked rush defense (allowing 210 yards per game), coupled with the improved passing game, the Wave offense will be extremely tough to stop.
The Green Wave defense will be challenged once again by a Bearcat offense which has the talent to gash what had been a stingy Tulane defense. Tulane has been gouged for huge chunks of yardage the last two weeks, including 8 scoring plays of at least 28 yards, while surrendering over 500 yards to both USF and Memphis. Defensive Coordinator Jack Curtis' defenders will have to get it turned around in a hurry if Tulane wants to keep their slim bowl hopes alive.
Cincinnati Outlook: The Bearcats have lost their last 5 contests, including a soul crushing overtime defeat at the hands of SMU two weeks ago. But coming off of a bye week and facing the possibility of elimination from post-season contention, Luke Fickell's players will no doubt arrive in New Orleans ready to taste victory for the first time since a September victory over Miami (OH).
Keys to the game:
1) Tulane center Junior Diaz, who missed the game last week versus Memphis, should play on Saturday. His return should help the Tulane offensive line open up some holes in the run game.
2) Cincinnati's Quarterback Hayden Moore played well versus SMU and apart from the interception in overtime, he had the Bearcats poised for the upset. Meanwhile, Tulane's secondary has shown a vulnerability to any team that can pass the ball. If Moore plays like he did in his last outing, Cincinnati will have an excellent chance to win the game.
3) Tulane's defensive line has been rather quiet most of the season. They will need to have a big game stopping the run and rushing the passer as the Tulane offense is not built for a shootout.
Prediction: These two teams have quite a few similarities. Tulane has won only one more game than Cincinnati at this point in the season, and both teams are on losing streaks. While Cincinnati is rested coming off of a bye, Tulane is playing at home. In the end, Tulane's ability to run the football, Jonathan Banks' improved play and Louisiana home cooking will help the Green Wave end their losing streak at 3.
Tulane 31 - Cincinnati 20