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Houston Cougars vs. Tulane Green Wave Game Preview

Last year we saw fireworks during and after the game, but there should be less drama this year.

NCAA Football: Houston at Tulane Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Date: Thursday, October 8th
Time: 6:30pm CT
TV: ESPN
Line: Houston -7
Over/Under: 60
Location: TDECU Stadium (Houston, TX)


Tulane Outlook

The Wave will be looking to ride the arm of newly anointed starting quarterback Michael Pratt who will be making his first career start against against Houston. Pratt, a true freshman, looked impressive in his first college outing against Southern Miss on September 26th throwing for 142 yards and connecting on two 30 plus yard throws for touchdowns. Pratt also displayed his ability to move the ball on the ground, rushing for 40 yards and 1 touchdown.

Tulane will be without star freshman running back Tyjae Spears who unfortunately tore his ACL against Southern Miss and will be out for the season. While the loss of any player with Spears’ type of ability is significant, running back is by far their deepest position on offense. Against Southern Miss both Cameron Carroll and Stephon Huderson rushed for over 100 yards. Excluding Spears’ output, the Wave put up a combined 377 yards and 5 touchdowns on the ground against Southern Miss.

Tulane’s defense is led by potential future NFL players, defensive end Patrick Johnson and defensive end Cameron Sample. Johnson and Sample lead a unit that has been outstanding in getting pressure on the quarterback through the Wave’s first three games, with the exception of the second half against Navy. The Tulane defense has accounted for 11 sacks so far on the year. Look for Jack Curtis’ bunch to dial up the pressure on Clayton Tune and force the junior signal caller to make errant and rushed throws in his first game of the year.

NCAA Football: Tulane at Southern Mississippi
Tulane’s freshman quarterback Michael Pratt will be making his first collegiate start against Houston after looking impressive in his first appearance against Southern Miss
Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Houston Outlook

Well, let’s try this again. Houston’s hoping the 6:30pm on Thursday comes with them playing a game. With four season openers getting canceled, this team’s anxious to begin their season, and ready to hit someone in a different colored jersey. After five weeks of waiting, it will be interesting to see how rusty this team will be against a team that’s played multiple games.

Clayton Tune and the offense are hoping 2020 means good things. If he has time to throw, the offense should thrive. Marquez Stevenson and Keith Corbin both played against Tulane last year, and remember the pain of the 38-31 loss to the Green Wave. They combined for 143 yards and two touchdowns, but it wasn’t enough. If they replicate that production or even improve, it’s going to be tough for Tulane to keep up.

Make no mistake, the Green Wave have already proven they can score points, but I think it will be a different Houston defense that shows up this year. The transfers that Dana Holgorsen brought in on defense figure to contribute at positions of need. Marcus Jones should elevate the play at corner opposite of Damarion Williams, and there are a few other transfers that might rotate in as well.

Prediction

Adam: Tulane has finally found a reliable option under center in Michael Pratt who will allow Will Hall to at last run the full gamut of his playbook. If the Greenies defense can continue to play at the level they have shown over the first three games and can take advantage of Houston coming off a prolonged offseason, the Wave should be able to pick up their first conference victory. TULANE 31 HOUSTON 20

Joe: Houston has a lot of built up frustration that they’re waiting to take out on someone, and Tulane is the recipient of that. The Coogs remember what happened last year, and it’s been on their minds since the day after that game. Houston’s hoping this year’s better than the last, and they’re going to get off to a good start. HOUSTON 35 TULANE 21