Why Tulane Will Win
– The Green Wave offense is balanced enough to adapt to the game flow. If things are really humming, the ground game takes over with a whole lot big plays while controlling the clock and the tempo. Running well doesn’t always equal a win – they’ve lost two games when cranking out over 200 yards – but they can throw, too.
– Nevada’s defense is fine. It’s nothing special, and it’ll give up rushing yards to teams that try. The real problem is a pass defense that’s been getting hit hard for too many big plays.
There isn’t a pass rush to worry about, and the group doesn’t take the ball away enough to matter. Tulane QB Michael Pratt has thrown two touchdown passes or more in six straight games. He’s not going to bomb away for 300 yards, but he doesn’t need to.
– Nevada doesn’t run the ball, and here comes the Tulane pass rush. It comes from all sides and from a variety of spots, generating 36 sacks on the season and an AAC-leading 94 tackles for loss. The Nevada pass protection is technically fine because of the style, but the backfield will be under pressure all game long.
Yeah, the Tulane pass rush is great, but …
Why Nevada Will Win
– The Tulane pass defense has issues. It has allowed 250 yards or more in seven of the last nine games and 299 yards or more seven times. The nine picks have come in bunches with two in three games and three spread out the rest of the way – the secondary doesn’t generate enough big plays. having one of the nation’s worst pass defenses is a problem because …
– Nevada QB Carson Strong is among the best bombers in the Mountain West. The sophomore started well with 420 yards in a win over Wyoming, and he kept on rolling from there averaging 7.9 yards per pass with 22 touchdowns and just four interceptions, throwing two against Fresno State. Give him time, and he’s good for 300 yards.
– For all of the good things Tulane does, and with all the strong parts of the offense, it doesn’t move the chains all that well, and Michael Pratt is inconsistent throwing the ball. He’s been on lately, but get pressure on him – and if the conditions go weird – and he has the potential to be in the 40% completion range.