Thursday Night College Football: Tulane @ Tulsa
Tulane @ Tulsa -6.5 O/U 54
Tulane (24 Implied Team Total)
Despite throwing for under 220 passing yards in 4 straight games, QB Michael Pratt has thrown for 10 TDs in that time span. He’s also racked up 101 yards and 1 TD running over those 4 games. The matchup with Tulsa is difficult. The Golden Hurricane are holding opposing QBs to 237.2 passing yards including 6.15 yards per pass attempt (slate best). They’ve only allowed 6 pass TDs through 5 games. Due to his dual threat ability, Pratt is a solid option on a 2-game slate. The Tulane offense favors the run (61.7/38.3 run-pass split) and averages 68.8 plays per game.
The Green Wave operate a 3-man RBBC backfield. Stephen Huderson is the starting RB and has out-carried backfield mates Cameron Carroll and Amare Jones, 22-13-7 respectively over the last 2 games. Huderson leads Tulane with 548 rushing yards on 83 carries (6/82/0 receiving). He’s found paydirt 3 times. Carroll is the big back of the bunch and he leads Tulane with 10 rushing TDs in 9 games. He’s run for 542 yards on 97 carries (1/32/1 receiving). Jones is intriguing because of his versatile role. He’s a solid pass catcher, receives a handful of carries each game, and plays slot WR occasionally. Jones has 314 rushing yards and 2 TDs on 53 carries. He’s caught 11 balls for 87 yards which is down from his 34/367/2 receiving stat line in 2019. Tulsa has been stout against the run this season. They’ve limiting opposing ball carriers to 3.58 yards per carry (actually ranks 3rd out of 4 games on Thursday night). However, they’ve only allowed 4 rushing TDs in 5 games (.8 rush TDs per game is best on the slate).
Notable target counts through 9 games: Deuce Watts (46), Jhaquan Jackson (32), Mykel Jones (27), Phat Watts (26), Amare Jones (20 – 8 games), Tyrick James (18), Stephen Huderson (9), and Cameron Carroll (3).
Deuce Watts has 5+ receptions in 3 straight games while also clearing 55 receiving yards in all 3 games. The junior has registered all 5 of his TDs over the last 4 games. Jackson enters this week with 12 receptions, 94 receiving yards, and 1 TD over the last 2 games. His 5 receiving TDs is tied with Deuce Watts for team high. Phat Watts, Jones, and James are all TD dependent plays. Phat Watts has 2 receptions for 19 yards over the last 3 games. Jones, the former Oklahoma Sooner, has 10 receptions, 146 receiving yards, and 1 TD this season. James is the starting TE and he has 11 receptions, 122 receiving yards, and 2 TDs this season. The junior has scored both of TDs over the last 2 games. Tulsa has allowed solid receiving games to the slot WR over the last 2 games (Jones starts in the slot). ECU’s Tyler Snead posted 16/108/1 while SMU’s Danny Gray went for 8/93/0.
Michael Glover is the Green Wave’s kicker. He’s connected on 8 out of 11 field goal attempts and 40 out of 41 extra point attempts. He’s recorded 8+ points in 4 out of the last 5 games. He’s in play on DK.
In 2020 (9 games), Tulane is 103rd in passing yards allowed with 275 yards/game. They are 42nd in rushing yards allowed with 143 yards/game. The defense has given up 13 TDs on the ground (1.44 TD/game) and 18 TDs through the air (2 TD/game) this season.
Tulsa (30.5 Implied Team Total)
Zach Smith is averaging 271 passing yards, and 2.25 TD passes over the last 4 games. He’s in a great spot as Tulsa hosts Tulane on Thursday night. Tulane has been throttled by opposing signal callers this season. They’re allowing 275 passing yards per game including 8.84 yards per pass attempt (both slate highs). That includes matchup with option offenses such as Navy and Army. Smith is clearly QB1 on Thursday night and will be chalk at the position. The Tulsa offense is favoring the run (55.4/44.6 run-pass split) and averages 70.4 plays per game.
TK Wilkerson has received 61 carries over the last 3 games. He’s cleared 85 rushing yards and scored 1+ TD over the last 3 games that he’s played in. Backfield mate, Deneric Prince, has received 10+ carries in 3 straight games. The sophomore has run for 203 yards in that time span. Corey Taylor returned to the lineup in last week’s win over SMU. However, he failed to receive a carry. I’m guessing he’ll see a handful of carries this week as he works his way back into shape after missing 1 game. Tulane has been solid against the run this season. They’re allowing 143 rushing yards per game including 3.28 yards per carry. They’re allowing 1.44 TDs per game which ranks 3rd out of 4 teams on Thursday night. Both Wilkerson and Prince are playable this week.
Notable target counts through 5 games: Josh Johnson (36), Keylon Stokes (36), Sam Crawford Jr. (29), Juan Carlos Santana (24), Josh Stewart (8), Deneric Prince (2), TK Wilkerson (2 – 4 games), and Corey Taylor (1 – 4 games).
Johnson leads the Golden Hurricane with 4 TD receptions. He’s caught 14 out of 24 targets for 158 yards and 2 TDs over the last 2 games. The reliable Stokes enters this week with 7+ targets over the last 4 games. He’s cleared 55 yards receiving in all 5 games (90+ receiving yards in 3 out of the last 4 games). The senior has 4+ receptions in all 5 games this season. Crawford Jr. has 31 receiving yards over the last 2 games. The good news is that he drew 7 targets in last week’s win over SMU (15/210/1 this season). He was the 2nd top returning pass catcher from 2019. Santana is the last relevant pass catcher. He has 9 receptions, 145 yards receiving, and 1 TD over the last 2 games. Tulane has allowed the following stat lines to slot WRs (Santana’s spot): HOU’s Stevenson 5/118/1, SMU’s Gray 5/133/1, and ECU’s Snead 5/46/1. Tulane was flamed for 13/182/2 to ECU perimeter WR Blake Proehl. Stokes and Crawford Jr. start on the perimeter but rotate with Johnson and Stewart.
Zack Long is the Golden Hurricane’s kicker. He’s made 4 out of 5 field goal attempts and 16 out of 17 extra point attempts.
In 2020 (5 games), Tulane is 64th in passing yards allowed with 237.2 yards/game. They are 36th in rushing yards allowed with 133 yards/game. The defense has given up 4 TDs on the ground (.8 TD/game) and 6 TDs through the air (1.2 TD/game) this season.