The Tulane Green Wave (2-7, 1-5) will head to upstate New York as they travel to take on the Army Black Knights (2-7) in non-conference action Saturday afternoon. Army has taken four of the last five meetings, including a 45-6 pounding as a 7 point favorite at home on October 1, 2011 in the most recent matchup between the schools.
Tulane dropped their fifth straight game as they were beaten 7-3 at home by Connecticut in a low scoring affair. Army lost their second in a row as they were upended 20-3 on the road by fellow service academy Air Force. Kickoff from Michie Stadium in West Point, New York is scheduled for 12:00 pm ET and will be televised on the CBS Sports Network. Army is currently favored by 2.5 points in this contest.
In a game where neither team did much in the way of offensive production, it was a miscue that turned the tide in the game and produced the game’s lone touchdown. Tanner Lee’s lone interception thrown on the day was returned 67 yards by Connecticut’s Jamar Summers; the Green Wave could only muster a field goal. Tulane was outgained 227-140 in a game that saw both teams finish with nine first downs and one turnover; the Green Wave lost the time of possession battle 32:58 to 27:02.
The Green Wave has trouble on both sides of the ball: they are ranked 103rd in the nation in passing offense (188 yards per game) and 122nd in rushing offense (98.6 yards per contest) this season. Tulane averages 16.3 points per game, which is tied for 125th in the nation in scoring offense, and they are 102nd in scoring defense as they are giving up 34.4 points per game. Tanner Lee has hit 53.3 percent of his throws for 1,284 yards with eight touchdowns and six picks while averaging 5.71 yards per pass attempt. He missed the last two games for Tulane with a concussion but returned against Connecticut. If he can’t go, the quarterback duties would fall to Devin Powell (16 of 36, 157 yards, TD) or Jordy Joseph (19 of 39, 251 yards, TD, INT) in this contest. The run game has scuffled as they average 3 yards per carry and has found the end zone nine times. Dontrell Hilliard leads the team with 80 carries for 424 yards and six scores while Lazedrick Thompson (35 carries, 129 yards, TD), Rob Kelley (51 carries, 186 yards) and Sherman Badie (50 carries, 213 yards, 2 TD) are in the mix as well. Teddy Veal leads Tulane with 35 receptions for 431 yards and three scores; Devon Breaux is the team’s big play threat with 23 grabs for 406 yards and three scores. Badie (21 catches) and Hilliard (17 grabs) are good safety valves out of the backfield. Andrew DiRocco has hit 18 of 19 extra points and five of five field goal attempts on the year with a long of 37 yards.
In a battle of service academies, Army couldn’t find the end zone and was stunned to see Air Force score twice via the air in the game. The Black Knights were outgained 352-169 in the contest while giving up 14 first downs to their own nine. Neither team committed a turnover and Army was nipped in time of possession by a 30:08 to 29:52 margin. Army’s lone points in the game came on a 47 yard field goal by Daniel Grochowski to cut the deficit to 10-3; the Black Knights would draw no closer in the contest.
The Black Knights run the triple option and as such, are a run oriented offense: they are 126th in the nation in passing with 70.4 yards per contest and 9th in the nation in rushing with 257.4 yards per contest. Army is scoring 21.8 points per game while ranking 75th in the nation in scoring defense as they allow 27.6 points per game, leaving them with a -5.8 point scoring differential. A.J. Schurr has hit 11 of 29 passes for 300 yards with three touchdowns and four picks while running for 384 yards and seven scores. He’s split time with Ahmad Bradshaw, who is 17 of 38 for 308 yards with three touchdowns and two picks while ranking second on the team in rushing with 396 yards and four scores. Six other Black Knights have at least 169 yards on the ground; Aaron Kemper leads Army’s backs with 70 carries for 431 yards plus two scores while Matt Giachinta (54 carries, 258 yards, TD), John Trainor (25 carries, 236 yards, 2 TD), Joe Walker (23 carries, 190 yards, TD) and Drue Harris (38 carries, 169 yards, 2 TD) all have done a decent job when given the ball. Edgar Poe leads the Black Knights with seven catches for 202 yards and three scores while DeAndre Bell chips in five catches for 121 yards and a score; no one else has more than four grabs. Daniel Grochowski has hit all 22 extra points and 4 of 5 field goal attempts with a long of 47 yards.
Army is 3-1-1 ATS in their last five games following an ATS loss. Tulane is 2-5 ATS in their last seven road games against teams with a losing home record and 1-4 ATS in their last five non-conference games.
Tulane showed no offensive punch whatsoever against Connecticut last week and they may have a tough time dealing with the triple option that Army has, especially with the Black Knights’ depth at running back. Army has had times when they couldn’t score much but they have the weapons to make life tough for Tulane, give the points and take the Black Knights here.