A Look Back at Tulane – From the Bird’s Nest
OK, let me get this out of the way before we begin.
Tulane is a bad football team.
Now, let's take a look at Saturday's game, understanding the above sentence.
Offensively, when you run the football the way the Cajuns did on Saturday, that's a good thing. And, it was a really good thing Saturday, since the Cajuns' passing game got off to a slow start.
Kudos to the offensive line for getting that done. But, at the same time, they allowed three sacks, which is triple what had been allowed (1) the entire season. All in all, though, that was a good performance up front. And, a very good performance by Alonzo Harris and Effrem Reed.
Terrance Broadway had a tough first half. And, that was due to two reasons. First, Tulane was playing a defense they hadn't shown all year and it took a while for the Cajuns to adjust to that. And, I said it many times, starting a game is different from coming on in relief. Broadway looked a little over-anxious at the beginning. Once he settled down he was much better.
We had a Javone Lawson sighting on Saturday. The catch he made for his second touchdown was as good as you're going to see in college football. ESPN thought so, making it #1 in its Top 10 Plays on Saturday.
Defensively, the Cajuns wouldn't let Tulane run the football. They had one double digit run in the game and they're yards per carry were tiny. And, the Cajuns allowed just over 50 yards while only getting one sack. Tulane had averaged giving up about four sacks per game and although the Cajuns didn't get that, they hit quarterback D. J. Ponder. A lot.
Yes, Tulane got some yards in the passing game, but Ponder missed on many throws because of pressure and completed under 40 percent of his passes. Yes, the defense gave up the one big play. If not for that, Tulane would have been held to about 150 yards in offense. And, the Cajuns got a pick six, their first of the year, from Justin Anderson and almost had two more.
Qyen Griffin can play. Make no mistake about it.
Cajuns were solid on kick and punt coverage. Again. And, Brett Baer punted well. Again. Baer missed a field goal and had one blocked but hit on two and was Sun Belt special teams player of the week. Again.
It was disturbing to watch the way Tulane played. I thought Troy did a lot of things that weren't on the up and up, but Tulane was worse. My broadcast partner, Gerald Broussard, had some pretty pointed comments to make about the Tulane team and coaches in that regard. Mark Hudspeth had to be restrained a couple of times because of the cheap shots his team was having to endure. Boo on the officials for allowing that stuff to get out of hand by both teams. Throw a damn flag or two earlier, and some of that garbage wouldn't have happened.
Overall, I'll give the Cajuns a B in their performance. The big pass play, one turnover and the slow start in the passing game keeps it from being an A.
But it was good enough for another blowout win. Cajuns are outscoring the opposition by an average of 43-11 in three home games. That's pretty good.