The Syracuse University football program will try and head into its bye week on a good note Saturday as the Orange travel to New Orleans to face Tulane University at the Louisiana Superdome (8 p.m. on SNY). Syracuse (3-2) is trying to rebound for a heartbreaking double overtime loss, 19-16, to Big East Conference rival Rutgers University last Saturday at the Carrier Dome. A victory over Tulane would be a good momentum boost heading into SU's first of two scheduled bye weeks, and hopefully bring some good mojo to the Syracuse area before West Virginia University comes into town, Friday, Oct. 21.
Not many Orange fans know a lot about Tulane (2-3), a Conference USA program that began the year 2-1, but has been routed in its last two games -- 48-27 at Duke University and 45-6 at Army, respectively -- so, here's a brief scouting report on the Green Wave.
Fifth-year coach Bob Toledo is on hot seat after his squad is headed toward another losing season. Before that, Toledo was the head coach of the UCLA Bruins (1996-'02). Earlier in the week, SB Nation's Syracuse blog, Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician, compared Toledo to former SU head coach Greg Robinson -- that's a good sign.
In Syracuse-Big East terms, the highlight of the Green Wave's 4-8 season was a 17-14 victory over Rutgers.
Junior quarterback Ryan Griffin, who is in the midst of his third year as starter, leads the Green Wave. Currently, Griffin is completing just 56.9 percent of his passes and averaging 196-passing yards a game. Last week, Griffin threw for just 74 yards in a blowout loss to Army. Giffin's best game of the season came in Week 3 against UAB when he tossed for 281 yards and three TDs. The performance helped him earn Co-Conference USA Player of the Week honors.
At running back, Tulane is led by sophomore Orleans Darkwa, who is averaging 4.2-rushing yards per carry. Darkwa is one of three running backs that see action in the Green Wave backfield. Other running backs who might see carries Saturday could be: senior Albert Williams and freshman Dante Butler.
Senior Joe Kemp (6-foot-4, 204-pounds) is the Green Wave's leading wide receiver with 20 catches and a TD, while the offensive line has struggled a bit allowing 2.2 sacks per game.
The duo of defense ends, junior Austen Jones (6-3, 247) and senior Dezman Moses (6-3, 248), has been pretty productive this season for Tulane. So far, Jones and Moses have combined for 4.5 sacks, 9.5 tackles for a loss and two forced fumbles.
At linebacker, junior Trent Mackey has been a tackling machine. Currently, Mackey is tied for 11th in the country in tackles per game (11.0). Mackey has compiled double-digit tackle totals in three of his first five games.
Last week, freshman safety Sam Scofield made an immediate impact in his first collegiate start making 10 tackles against Army. Scofield has played in all five games this season and has made a total of 16 tackles.
Overall, the Green Wave defense is allowing 33.4 points and 168.4-rusing yards per game. Tulane is also giving up a dreadful 44.4 percent on third down conversions.
The Green Wave should be a nice easy win for Syracuse. However, the Orange can't take anybody lightly after its terrible Week 5 performance against Rutgers. SU will need to use senior tailback Antwon Bailey to march the ball down the field and then capitalize with TDs when its gets into the red zone.