Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles (1-2, Sun Belt) vs Tulane Green Wave (3-0, American)
Time and Date: 5:00 PM ET, September 24
Broadcast Network: ESPN+
Location: Yulman Stadium - New Orleans, LA
ESPN FPI: 82.9% Tulane
Line: Tulane -13*
Point Total: 48*
All-Time Series: Southern Mississippi leads the all-time series against Tulane, 23-9
Last Meeting: Tulane 66, Southern Mississippi 24 - September 26, 2020
Current Streak: Tulane, 2
*Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.
Tulane vastly outperformed expectations when they went into the Bill Snyder Stadium to take on Kansas State. Tulane tied the game 10-10 on their first drive of the second half, but then the game stalled for a small eternity as Tulane and Kansas State traded punts and turnovers for 9 consecutive drives. Then, when it mattered most, QB Michael Pratt put the Green Wave on his back.
Tulane got their ball on their own 48 and Pratt only needed five plays. Pratt was relatively pedestrian throwing the ball all day, but he made up for it with his legs. On the game-winning drive, Pratt scrambled twice for 33 yards and set up the Green Wave in the red zone before throwing a TD pass to his tight end. In the end, the QB ended up as the leading rusher for either side with 87 yards.
While the offense may get all the headlines, the Green Wave are 3-0 because of their defense. The Green Wave’s D was impressive against two lackluster opponents but they proved they were the real deal in Manhattan. They stopped the Wildcats on four fourth down attempts and forced four 3-and-outs. They also held All-American running back Deuce Vaughn to under 100 yards, which is the first time that has happened in nine games. Through three games, the defense has smothered opponents by giving up only 20 points on the year.
Meanwhile, Southern Miss notched a much needed victory over FCS Northwestern State. In their two games prior, Southern Miss lost a 4OT heartbreaker against Liberty and they were nearly shutout by Miami. For better or for worse, this game should be a good barometer for how the rest of the Golden Eagles season will go.
Head Coach Will Hall is still currently deciding on a starting quarterback as Zach Wilcke and Ty Keyes are battling it out. While Hall indicated Wilcke would be the starter in his weekly press conference, he also stated he would rotate Keyes in. The Golden Eagles do have a running back though. Frank Gore Jr. leads the team in total offense and rushed for a TD per game.
This game is a bit of a homecoming for Hall. Hall was the Green Wave’s offensive coordinator the past two times these teams met, notably both Tulane victories. He won’t have time to reminisce or enjoy the French Quarter, his squad desperately need build momentum prior to conference play.
Time to party like it is 1998 Tulane fans! The Green Wave are going to go 4-0 for the first time since their undefeated squad in 98’ and should retain the Battle for the Bell Trophy.
Final Score - 34-14 Green Wave.