History shows Homecoming weekend is Green Wave’s foe

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Junior safety Darion Monroe intercepts a pass in the 38-14 loss to Cincinnati Oct. 31. Monroe finished with 6 total tackles and 1 interception.

William Potts, Associate Sports Editor

Tulane football team (3-6, 2-3 AAC) will face Memphis (6-3, 4-1 AAC) in its annual Homecoming game Saturday afternoon. For Tulane, the game is a must-win to stay bowl-eligible. Meanwhile, Memphis is rolling on a three-game win streak and sits atop the American Athletic Conference standings.

In previous years, Tulane’s Homecoming games meant just another trip downtown to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. It was an inevitably depressing affair, as 20,000 optimistic fans would try to give the illusion of filling up a 70,000-seat NFL venue. Equally depressing were the results.

Since 2003, the Wave is 3-7 during Homecoming week. Tulane had not won a Homecoming game since 2006 until snapping up a six-year losing streak with its 24-21 win against North Texas Oct. 5, 2013.

The back-and-forth ballgame came down to a last second, 27-yard game-winning field goal by Cairo Santos. Tulane leaped ahead to 2-0 in Conference USA play and was on its way to landing its first bowl game berth since 2002.

Of its last 10 Homecoming weekend games, five were decided by four points or fewer. The other five games, all of which Tulane lost, featured an average deficit of 20 points.

This weekend, however, will serve as the first true Homecoming game for the Wave. All the matchups in the last decade were held either at the Superdome or off-campus. During the 2005 season, the season impacted by Hurricane Katrina, Tulane did not host homecoming activities. 

Tulane has yet to see how the electric on-campus energy, fueled by a week of Homecoming festivities, will impact its on-field performance.