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Houston Cougars vs. Tulane Green Wave Game Preview

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Houston is searching for answers, while Tulane looks to take control of the AAC West

Tulane v Houston Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

Tulane’s off the a hot start, and making a run for the AAC West title. Houston’s struggling to find its identity, but making improvements. The last time the Cougars came to New Orleans, Tulane pulled off a stunner. Now, Houston enters the game as five point underdogs, a role they’re becoming familiar with. The winner takes a step forward in the divisional race, one that will be tight the entire year.

How to watch: ESPN
Date: September 19th, 2019
Start time: 7:00pm CT
Line: Tulane -5
Location: Yulman Stadium (New Orleans, LA)

Houston Cougars players to watch

QB D’Eriq King
CB Damarion Williams
RB Kyle Porter
OT Josh Jones
WR Marquez Stevenson

Tulane Green Wave players to watch

QB Justin McMillan
DE/OLB Patrick Johnson
RB Darius Bradwell
S PJ Hall
WR Darnell Mooney

Houston Cougars keys to the game

  • Keep up the intensity
  • Limit big plays
  • Stick with what works offensively

Tulane Green Wave keys to the game

  • Contain King
  • Limit turnovers
  • Play like the favorite

Why Houston wins

Houston’s struggles surfaced early and often this season, but the season isn’t over. This team has already shown signs of improvement. Beating Tulane on the road needs to be a simple approach. Offensively, it starts with sticking with what’s working. Dana Holgorsen’s staff continues to search for the best ways to make this offense explosive, and they’re starting to figure it out. Letting D’Eriq King run the ball is the biggest key, but there’s still room for improvement in the passing game. If the staff can find a way to get King where he needs to be throwing the football, Tulane’s in trouble. On defense, the Coogs must keep everything in front of them again. They also must increase the pressure on the quarterback. Houston’s secondary can cover, but they’ve been asked to cover receivers for too long. More blitzes and pressure on the quarterback will go a long way to help the back end.

Why Tulane wins

This is weird to say, but right now Tulane’s the better team. They’re playing well together, and have playmakers scattered on both sides of the ball. Justin McMillan will play a huge role Thursday night. His ability to keep the ball in Tulane’s possession will go a long way in determining the outcome. That shouldn’t be hard with the plethora of playmakers at his disposal. On defense, it becomes all about containing D’Eriq King. King will make any defense frustrated with his abilities, but the Green Wave can help themselves by forcing him to beat them through the air. The last thing they need to do is play like they’re the favorite. It might be unfamiliar for this group, but they’re the favorite in this game. With all of the talent on this roster, this is a team capable of winning the division. Houston’s got nothing to lose, so the Green Wave must jump on the Cougars early.

Prediction

Believe it or not, Houston is improving. Will it be enough to win this game? It’s tough to say at this point, but they’re capable of doing it. Tulane’s a dangerous team capable of torching the Cougars defense and containing Houston’s weapons offensively. If they slip up, Houston’s in business. I think Houston has a chance, but being realistic points me towards a Tulane win....TULANE 35 HOUSTON 31