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Cincinnati Bearcats Opponent Preview: Tulane

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 07 Tulane at East Carolina

When the Cincinnati Bearcats head to New Orleans for their October 30th matchup with Tulane, they will be facing a veteran and battle-tested club.

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.

Fritz has the Green Wave riding a streak of three consecutive bowl bids and that is unlikely to end in 2021.

The Green Wave return 16 starters in 2021, including 10 of 11 on offense. Their offensive line is particularly stout, led by All-AAC contender Corey Dublin, a senior guard who has started at three different positions on the O-Line.

Quarterback Michael Pratt dazzled as a freshman, giving run-oriented Tulane a legitimate aerial attack in 2020. He tossed 20 touchdown passes to just 8 interceptions. His cadre of receivers is led by a long and lean junior wideout named Deuce Watts, who is a big play waiting to happen on every snap. Sophomore wideout Jha’quan Jackson is a smaller though similarly explosive weapon in the slot.

Tulane’s running game is, as always, a multi-headed monster. Between the tackles, Tulane will be led by the robust, 230 pound Cameron Carroll, who posted nearly 800 yards last season. Tyjae Spears, a redshirt freshman, is Tulane’s Mr. Outside and a genuine homerun threat on every play.

On defense, Tulane has 6 returning starters. They show particular strength in their defensive front. Junior nose tackle Jeffrey Johnson is a Gilbert Brown in the making. Marvin Moody, Dorian Williams, and Kevin Henry are stout tacklers at the linebacker position.

The real question marks on the Tulane defense come in the secondary, where the club has to replace several key components. The Green Wave will rely heavily on a pair of transfers in their secondary: corner Lance Robinson, formerly of Kansas State, and safety Derrion Rakestraw, formerly of Colorado.