Duke Blue Devils vs Tulane Green Wave Preview


The Duke Blue Devils are off to a 3-0 start this year and look to keep the momentum growing by defeating the Tulane Green Wave at home this Saturday. This continues a series of games that have not provided too much of a challenge to the Blue Devils, and it looks like the real test of this team will be the conference schedule and the always wild Coastal Division.

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Date: September 20

Time: 12:30 PM

TV: ESPN3 (Online) and ESPN Gameplan (PPV)

Venue: Wallace Wade Stadium

Last Time: 2011, Blue Devils 48 Green Wave 27

The last time Duke played the Green Wave, the game was marked by Sean Renfree touchdowns…on the ground. The Duke quarterback ran for two scores and threw for another to Conner Vernon. Vernon had 96 yards receiving on the day. Juwan Thompson also ran it in twice for Duke to give them a victory. Tulane managed only field goals before Duke called off the Devils in the fourth quarter.

Sep 6, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; Tulane Green Wave head coach Curtis Johnson during the first half of a game against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Yulman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Opponent: Tulane Green Wave (1-2)

No easy task is in store for second year coach Curtis Johnson. The Green Wave are in their first year with the American Athletic Conference and their best weapons on offense all graduated last year. This is why a team who beat ECU last year was projected by me to finish next to last in their League. Then they lost to Tulsa, which was the game I thought they would win.

Tulane may be 1-2 on the young season, but that includes a gutty performance against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, where they managed to hang around until the second half. How they will respond to a balanced offense with weapons in many places remains to be seen.

Redshirt freshman Tanner Lee is the man behind the helm for the Green Wave, and he has thrown for 8 touchdowns with 6 interceptions so far on the season. He has a 50% completion percentage. The 6’4” 220 lbs Lee looks the part, but he hasn’t pulled it all together yet.

Aug 28, 2014; Tulsa, OK, USA; Tulane Green Wave running back Sherman Badie (3) runs in for a touchdown against Tulsa Hurricanes during the second quarter of a game at Skelly Field at H.A. Chapman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

Freshman Sherman Badie has been the most productive rusher up to this point, but he is listed as questionable for the Duke game. His best performance was against Tulsa at the start of the season with 215 yards. He has not replicated that since, perhaps for the same reason he is questionable to start.

The strength of the Tulane defense is its secondary. That has meant giving up a lot of points, particularly to a ground pounding team like Georgia Tech. For Duke, this means that the running backs will be required to set the tone. It isn’t that Duke can’t challenge Safety Lorenzo Doss and Company, it is just that they should not have to.

Prediction: 42-10 Blue Devils
ONJ Season Record: 12-1

I simply do not believe that Tulane has it figured out at this point. Duke is simply too good not to take care of business in this game. Duke would have to fall apart with turnovers to motivate the Green Wave and I have yet to see Duke fall apart with turnovers to anyone. Look for good games from Snead and maybe a second big game from Wilson. Just don’t expect him to set records.