Tulane to take on No. 24 Houston

Chandler Daddario, Associate Sports Editor

The Green Wave (2-3, 1-1 American Athletic Conference) looks to get back on track this Friday when it hosts its first ranked opponent, the No. 24 Houston Cougars (5-0, 2-0 AAC), at 8 p.m. Friday in Yulman Stadium. Following the 49-10 loss the Wave suffered to the undefeated Temple (5-0, 2-0 AAC) last week, the Wave needs to find composure as it faces another tremendous challenge in the undefeated Cougars.

Tulane opened this week as a 14-point underdog in the match up with Houston. Last year, Tulane opened as a 17-point underdog but pulled the upset and spoiled Houston’s homecoming game 31-24.

For the Wave to pull off the upset two years in a row, a lot of things have to go right. Through the Wave’s five games this season, it has been able to maintain a consistent red zone offensive performance with the help of redshirt sophomore quarterback Tanner Lee. Tulane built on its red zone success against Temple and establish a 12-of-12 record in the red zone this year. This keeps the Green Wave tied with five other teams in the nation. The Wave needs to gain traction offensively to put itself in position to strike in the red zone.

Head coach Curtis Johnson announced Tuesday that Lee sustained a concussion in the first half of the Temple game. Redshirt junior quarterback Devin Powell has been given the green light by Coach Johnson to start in place of Lee.

Though this is a blow to the Wave’s offense, Powell offers a different dynamic to the offense with his physicality and the ability to run the ball. Powell notched minutes in four games so far this season and started in three games his freshman year before suffering a season-ending ankle injury.

“I’m about as comfortable as I could feel,” Johnson said. “You look at a couple of years ago what [Powell] did in a two to three game stretch. I thought he played outstanding for the number of reps he had. It’s just a simpler plan. He gives us the ability to run it a little bit more. He can tuck it under and run. He’s big, he’s physical and has a strong arm. I’m excited to see him play.”

Tulane Football takes on Houston at 8 p.m. Friday in Yulman Stadium. The game will be broadcasted on ESPNU.