By Zach Walker
SMU Mustangs: 1-9 (0-6 in AAC)
Tulane Green Wave: 3-7 (1-5 in AAC)
Who’s got the advantage?
When SMU has the ball: In no game ever played in college football, can a team as incomplete as the Mustangs, go three drives into a game without a first down gained. That’s losing football. There’s a desperate need to get something going. Matt Davis has to get the team going in the correct direction early in the game, or else the game could slip away. The rushing from the Mustangs wasn’t the problem, and it shouldn’t be against the Green Wave, who are giving up 178 yards per game on the ground. Senior safety Darion Monroe is the Green Wave’s man most likely to disrupt the way the Mustangs are going to want to go about things. The man in the middle, mopping up tackles is under-sized junior linebacker Nico Marley, and he’ll have his hands potentially taped on to the jersey of Xavier Jones.
The offense, if calibrated correctly, can really put the Green Wave on their heels.
When Tulane has the ball, Tulane quarterback Tanner Lee has been completely inconsistent. He’s been supremely inaccurate, with a completion percentage at 52.8, and that’s pretty poor. The Tulane rushing isn’t very good either; however, the SMU defense did just give up 400 yards on the ground to the Naval Academy. The Green Wave don’t have giant passing threats to break a game, but the SMU defense is one of the best in the nation at making opposing teams look strong. There are a ton of defenders that will play their last game in front of their home crowd. Jonathan Yenga, Shakiel Randolph, Robert Seals, Zach Wood, and Andrew McCleneghen are all on their farewells, and it would be a great sendoff if they could ratchet up the intensity and shut down the shutdown-able Green Wave.
If the seniors can lead their squad to a victory.
What will it take for the Mustangs to win?
It’s senior day, get the win. They have to do something spark the team, whether that be one of the gadget plays that the Mustangs have pulled off this season. The unlikely thing, would be to get a turnover, which has felt like it hasn’t happened in an eternity. The Mustangs need to pull this one out.
Prediction: Tulane 24 – SMU 31.