Student newspaper serving Tulane University, Uptown New Orleans

The Tulane Hullabaloo

Green Wave to take on the Houston Cougars this Saturday

Redshirt+sophomore+wide+receiver+Terren+Encalade+clutches+the+ball+in+a+game+against+Southern+Methodist+University.%C2%A0
Redshirt sophomore wide receiver Terren Encalade clutches the ball in a game against Southern Methodist University. 

Redshirt sophomore wide receiver Terren Encalade clutches the ball in a game against Southern Methodist University. 

Redshirt sophomore wide receiver Terren Encalade clutches the ball in a game against Southern Methodist University. 

Aaron Wolf, Staff Reporter

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After four straight losses, head coach Willie Fritz and the Green Wave (3-6, 0-5) will look to regain some pride facing off against a strong American Athletic Conference rival in the University of Houston Cougars (7-2, 4-2).  

The Cougars started off the season hot, led by star quarterback and early-season Heisman contender, Greg Ward Jr.  It was able to hold on to the No. 6 ranking in the AP Top 25 until week seven, eventually dropping out of the rankings by week nine. The team’s downward spiral began with a loss to Navy which could largely be attributed to defensive shortcomings against a unique Midshipmen offense. The Cougars allowed 46 points to a Navy offense, which employs a triple-option approach similar to the one used by Tulane.  As a result, look for Houston coach, Tom Herman, to have made adjustments and prepared his players against a look they have seen before.

That being said, Houston’s strong offense will look to take advantage of a Tulane defense which has allowed 35 points or more in its last three games. Ward Jr., a dual-threat nightmare for defensive coordinators, has amassed 2851 total yards of offense and 22 touchdowns in just eight games so far this season. Coming off a bye week and a confidence-building comeback victory against the Central Florida Knights, Ward Jr. and the Cougars certainly has momentum on its side. A Houston Cougar offense at full strength is frightening to any defense.

“Our guys are as healthy and fresh as we’ve been in a long, long time, which is very much needed,” coach Herman said. “We were running on fumes the last few ballgames of that stretch in October.” 

The Green Wave will likely rely heavily once again on a running game which has been a bright spot this season, averaging 251.6 yards per game. Overall, the offense undoubtedly had its worst game last week since putting up just three points in the season opener against Wake Forest. Sophomore quarterback Glen Cuiellette threw for three interceptions and just 68 yards, completing only five of his 21 passes. With some calling for a switch to freshman quarterback, Johnathan Brantley, Coach Fritz is sticking with the sophomore.

“We feel like Glen gives us the best chance to win, and that’s why he’s out there,” Fritz said. “The quarterback position is a little bit like the head coach. We get too much credit and too much blame when things don’t go well. He’ll bounce back. He’ll play well this week.” 

Tulane heads to Houston looking to avenge its 42-7 defeat last season to the Cougars in one of its toughest matchups this year.  Viewers can catch the action at Saturday at 2:30 PM CT on CBSSN.

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Student newspaper serving Tulane University, Uptown New Orleans
Green Wave to take on the Houston Cougars this Saturday