Duke takes on Tulane in Wallace Wade Saturday, and while Duke is favored, Tulane is not a trivial opponent.
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Tulane lost to Tulsa 38-31 in double overtime and Georgia Tech 38-21.
In the Tech game though, Tulane was down just three at halftime.
Duke coach David Cutcliffe told the Duke Chronicle that Tulane is a talented and well-coached team:
"The more I looked at them, the more I was impressed with the job not only they are doing coaching, but with the job they are doing recruiting there. This is a team blessed with a lot of athletes. They are playing some seniors, they are playing some true freshmen. But the theme you can tell with Tulane is that they can run."
So far, Tulane is 1-2, with the win coming against Southeastern Louisiana, 35-20.
So far, then, Tulane has given up 96 points, or 32 ppg.
So far Duke is averaging 42.3 ppg, not that you can draw a direct correlation.
For one thing, Tulane has probably played a tougher schedule to date: where the Green Wave has played Tulsa, Tech and Southeastern Louisiana, a lesser school than LSU but one which takes football very, very seriously, Duke has played Elon, Troy and Kansas.
Tulane is therefore sort of a transitional game between Duke's softer earlier opponents and what comes after - Miami and Georgia Tech on the road.
Given Tulane's speed and that Duke has yet to make a turnover this season, you'd have to think that a lot is riding on Anthony Boone's day. If he can handle the quick defenders and keep Duke's high-powered offense rolling, Duke should continue to score.
On the other hand, Tulane has made at least one interception in each game and has five for the season.
Small note, somewhat literally: Nico Marley, one of Tech's speedsters, is a 5-9, 200 lb. linebacker. He's been a pain for everyone this year.
He's also Bob Marley's grandson. That's a long way from Trenchtown.
As we saw last year, Duke has become a second-half team: the Blue Devils have outscored opponents 55-10 in the second half. And after Shaun Wilson's sensational game against Kansas, Duke fans are waiting to see if he can bust out again.
Like Duke, Tulane likes to air it out. It should be a pretty intense and exciting afternoon of football.
- ACC: Duke focused on Tulane
- The Cheat Sheet: What you need to know about Duke-- Tulane
- Tulane heads to Duke, hoping to build on last week's first win
- Cutcliffe says Devils are focused on Green Wave
- Duke freshmen making contributions
- Duke insists it is not overlooking Green Wave to for next week's Miami game
- Five freshman already making a difference for Duke