College Football Week #3: Tulane Green Wave at Louisiana Tech Bulldogs

Tulane Green Wave at Louisiana Tech Bulldogs
Joe Aillet Stadium – Ruston, Louisiana
Thursday, September 12, 2013, 7:30 pm Eastern, TV: Fox Sports One
Opening Line: Louisiana Tech -7 1/2
Current Line: Louisiana Tech -7 1/2
Opening Total: 59
Current Total: 57
Opening Money Line: Louisiana Tech -290 / Tulane +245
Current Money Line: Louisiana Tech -310 / Tulane +255

Louisiana Tech is a 7.5 point favorite over in-state foe Tulane in the Conference USA opener Thursday night for both teams.
Louisiana Tech is a 7.5 point favorite over in-state foe Tulane in the Conference USA opener Thursday night for both teams.

Despite being in the same state and just over 300 miles from each other the Tulane Green Wave and Louisiana Tech Bulldogs have only played 7 times in history. Tulane leads the series 7-0 including a 53-30 win in the last meeting in 1998. Now the two schools are both in Conference USA after Louisiana Tech moved from the now defunct WAC. They open Conference USA play in Ruston Thursday night.

Tulane, coached by C.J. Johnson, is 1-1 this season with a 34-7 home win over Jackson St and a 41-39 loss at home to South Alabama. The Green Wave are 1-1 ATS and the total is also 1-1 this season. Tulane was a 4.5 point favorite against South Alabama and the total was 48.5. The Jaguars jumped out to a 28-7 lead early in the second. Tulane would pull within 31-19 at halftime. The Green wave would score two touchdowns in the third to take a 33-31 lead. However, South Alabama would block a punt and score a touchdown with just over a minute to go in the third to take a 38-33 lead. The Jaguars would add a field goal in the fourth to go up 41-33. Tulane scored with just over a minute to go, but missed the two point conversion. Tulane didn’t recover the onside kick and South Alabama ran out the clock to secure the 2 point win. The game featured 5 turnovers and 17 combined penalties.

Tulane is averaging 36.5 points per game and allowing 24. The Green Wave average 340 yards per game on offense, including 238.5 passing yards. Tulane is giving up 410.5 yards per game, including 270.5 passing yards. The Green Wave is +7 in turnovers so far as they have forced 9 turnovers in two games. Tulane is 12/29 on third and fourth down conversions. The Green Wave are 9/9 scoring in the red zone with 7 touchdowns. Tulane has allowed 6 sacks this season.

Quarterback Nick Montana has completed 57.4% of his passes for 471 yards with 5 touchdowns and an interception. He is probable Thursday with a neck injury. Running back Orleans Darkwa has 4 rushing touchdowns, along with 2 catches. Rob Kelley and Josh Rounds will also get some carries. Receiver Ryan Grant has 17 catches, 269 yards and 2 scores. Justyn Shackleford has only 2 catches, but both have gone for touchdowns.

Louisiana Tech, coached by Skip Holtz, is also 1-1. The Bulldogs lost at North Carolina State 40-14 to open the season, and beat Lamar at home 27-14 last week. The Bulldogs are 0-2 ATS and the total is 0-2 this season. Louisiana Tech was a 28-5 point underdog and the total was 62.5. The Bulldogs would take a 14-7 lead into halftime. Louisiana Tech added a field goal in the third quarter to make it 17-7. The Cardinals scored early in the fourth to make it 17-14. LTU added a field goal to go up 20-14, and then scored a late touchdown to ice it.

Louisiana Tech is being outscored 27-20.5 this season. The Bulldogs average 380 total yards including 208 rushing yards per game. The Bulldogs are giving up 452 yards per game including 288.5 passing yards. The Bulldogs are -1 in turnovers with 3 takeaways. LTU is 8/27 on third and fourth down conversions, and has allowed 7 sacks this season. The Bulldogs are 5/6 scoring in the red zone with 5 touchdowns.

Quarterback Scotty Young has completed 62.7% of his passes for 344 yards with 2 touchdown passes. Running backs Tevin King and Kenneth Dixon split the carries. King has 27 carries, 201 yards and a touchdown, and 3 catches. Dixon has 26 carries, 159 yards and a touchdown, along with 3 catches. Hunter Lee, Sterling Griffin, Andrew Guillot, and D.J. Banks all have at least 4 catches so far.

Tulane is 5-1 ATS after allowing 280 passing yards, 6-2 after rushing for less than 100 yards, 7-3 overall, 19-43-1 in Conference USA games, 9-21 after allowing 450 total yards or more, and 0-4 in September.

Louisiana Tech is 7-1 ATS after passing for less than 170 yards, 5-1 in conference games, and after allowing less than 100 rushing yards. 4-1 after allowing 20 points or less, 5-2 in September, 0-7 overall, 0-5 after failing to cover, and on fieldturf, 0-4 after a straight up win and after rushing for 200 yards or more.

I am not sure either one of these teams are very good. Louisiana Tech looked shaky in a 13 point win at home over a mid-tier FCS school. Tulane was upset by South Alabama, who recently moved up to FBS after being in FCS. Still, Tulane could struggle to stop the powerful running attack of Louisiana Tech. I like the Bulldogs to cover at home, but Tulane keeps it close for awhile.

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