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Cincinnati Bearcats Opponent Preview: Tulane

Tulane v Temple Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Tulane Green Wave head coach Willie Fritz is one of the best in the business. His unconventional version of the option has turned the Tulane Green Wave into one of the country’s top ground attacks, year-in and year-out. Moreover, it has made perennial doormat Tulane over into a solid football program and nearly a contender in the AAC.

Treat this 2021 campaign as an aberration. Things have certainly not gone according to plan for the Green Wave.

Entering this season, Tulane had earned three consecutive bowl bids, a streak that is likely to end as the club currently sits at 1-6.

Some of this is due to schedule. Tulane played heavyweights Oklahoma (whom they hung with until the final moments) and Ole Miss (who thoroughly outlcassed them) in their non-conference slate.

Things have not gone much better in the league. The Green Wave have been blown out in 3 of their 4 league games and seem unable to stop any component offense.

They have been consistently overmatched on the ground and in the air by their opponents.

This is a club that returned 16 starters on offense in 2021 and appeared battle-tested but most of that experience was on offense (where the club remains solid), where 10 of 11 starters returned.

Your Cincinnati Bearcats should have no trouble moving the ball as they please in this game. The question comes on whether or not they can slow down Tulane’s offense enough to secure a win.

Second-year starting QB Michael Pratt is one of the best passers in the American. He boasts a career completion percentage near 60 percent and has tossed 36 touchdown passes against 13 picks in his career. Unfortunately for the Green Wave, Pratt remains in concussion protocols from an injury sustained last week against SMU. He may not suit up against Cincinnati on Saturday. That would leave quarterbacking duties to freshman Justin Ibieta, whose only substantial game experience came in a blowout win earlier this season against Morgan State.

Tulane employs a diverse group of targets in its passing offense. Nine different receviers have caught 10 or more passes already this season. Expect Tulane to spread it around regardless of whom is taking the snaps on Saturday.