2009 CFN Tulane Preview

Tulane WR Jeremy Williams

CollegeFootballNews.com 2009 Preview - Tulane Green Wave

Tulane Green Wave

Preview 2009


By Richard Cirminiello

- 2009 CFN Tulane Preview | 2009 CFN Tulane Offense
- 2009 CFN Tulane Defense | 2009 Tulane Depth Chart
- 2008 Tulane Preview | 2007 Tulane Preview | 2006 Tulane Preview 

Head coach: Bob Toledo
4th year: 6-18
16th year overall: 84-80
Returning Lettermen:
Off. 28, Def. 23, ST 2
Lettermen Lost: 20
Ten Best Tulane Players
1.
RB Andre Anderson, Sr.
2. WR Jeremy Williams, Sr.
3. DL Reggie Scott, Sr.
4. P.PK Ross Thevenot, Sr.
5. DE Logan Kelley, Sr.
6. C Andrew Nierman, Jr.
7. LB Travis Burks, Sr.
8. DE Adam Kwentua, Sr.
9. CB Charles Harris, Sr.
10. LB David Kirksey, Sr.

2009 Schedule
CFN Prediction: 2-10
2009 Record:
0-0

9/4 Tulsa
9/12 BYU
9/19 OPEN DATE
9/26 McNeese State
10/3 at Army
10/10 Marshall
10/17 Houston
10/24 at Southern Miss
10/31 at LSU
11/7 UTEP
11/14 at Rice
11/21 at UCF
11/28  at SMU

2008 Schedule
CFN Prediction: 5-7
2008 Record: 2
-10

Aug. 30 OPEN DATE
Sept. 6 at Alabama L 20-6
Sept. 13 East Carolina L 28-24
Sept. 20 UL Monroe W 24-10
Sept. 27 SMU W 34-27
Oct. 4 Army L 44-13
Oct. 11 at UTEP L 24-21
Oct. 18 OPEN DATE
Oct. 25 Rice L 42-17
Nov. 1 at LSU L 35-10
Nov. 8 at Houston L 42-14
Nov. 15 UAB L 41-24
Nov. 22 at Tulsa L 56-7
Nov. 29 at Memphis L 45-6

After two years and little tangible progress, Bob Toledo needs something positive to happen in 2009.

Sure, the head coach has had some success on the recruiting trail, but not nearly enough for fans to forget a 6-18 overall record and a nasty eight-game losing that’s being carried into 2009. Heck, the Green Wave didn’t enjoy a lead, let alone win again, in the second half of last fall.

The simplest explanation for Tulane’s recent six-year run of losing seasons has been an old-fashioned dearth of talent on both sides of the ball. The offense has been sporadic, rarely achieving the balance it craves, and the defense has perennially been among the most generous in the country. Although this year’s offense has a pair of budding stars in RB Andre Anderson and WR Jeremy Williams, it’s also pinning its hopes on Joe Kemp, an unproven first-year starting quarterback. The defense shows no signs of emerging from a funk that’s made them as easy to navigate through the air as on the ground. If the Green Wave can’t out gun opponents, a la Tulsa or Rice, it’ll labor to surpass last year’s pair of victories.

While no one disputes that Toledo inherited a very difficult situation when he arrived, three years is enough time to at least get the ship pointed in the right direction. If Tulane remains stuck in neutral this fall, a distinct possibility, the grumblings about the staff’s future are sure to get louder by November. 

What to watch for on offense: Is Kemp another average Joe at quarterback? The program needs the sophomore to be ready-made to contribute after he was named the starter following spring. Whenever Bob Toledo has been successful, he’s had the support of a quality triggerman, something he’s been trying to develop since arriving on the Bayou. Kemp has the most exciting blend of talent at the position, combining good arm strength with outstanding quickness outside the pocket. If he’s not intimidated by the pressure of being a first-time starter, he has the physical tools to be program’s best all-around quarterback since J.P Losman graduated a few years ago.

What to watch for on defense
: The play of the defensive line. If Tulane has any hopes of improving on this side of the ball, it’s going to need the front four to dictate the tempo of the game. The Green Wave has enough talent up front to throw a consistent life line to a back seven that’ll need all the help it can get. If Reggie Scott continues to line up at defensive tackle, he’ll combine with ends Logan Kelley and Adam Kwentua to get the program’s three best linemen on the field at the same time. All of them are capable of creating penetration, which will make life a lot easier for the linebackers and defensive backs.

The team will be far better if … it starts showing up for road games. Since stunning Mississippi State in Starkville in early 2006, the Green Wave has gone 2-14 away from New Orleans. Sure, there’ve some brutal SEC trips in the mix, but Tulane has also been ineffective within conference play. An upset or two outside of Louisiana would send a message that the program is maturing and is no longer an ideal choice for homecoming. 

The Schedule: The non-conference schedule has a layup against McNeese State, but BYU and road trips to Army and LSU are hardly going to be easy for a team looking to fatten up its record. Four of the last five games are on the road including East dates at UCF and Southern Miss. Houston and Tulsa come to New Orleans, and anything less than a split could all but guarantee a losing season.

Best Offensive Player: Senior RB Andre Anderson. The only thing that proved capable of stopping Anderson a year ago was a dislocated shoulder that cut short a smashing debut as a starter. Through seven games, he’d rushed for 864 yards and seven touchdowns, placing him among the nation’s leading ground-gainers. A no-nonsense, north-south runner, he hits the hole with authority and is always pushing forward. If he stays healthy for all 12 games this fall, he’s capable of turning the heads of NFL scouts.  

Best Defensive Player: Senior DL Reggie Scott. Scott and the program got a big break when the versatile lineman was granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA. The Green Wave’s best pass rusher, two years running, he’s proven he can play on the outside or as an interior run-stuffer, where he’s expected to line up this fall.

Key player to a successful season: Sophomore QB Joe Kemp. Face it, the Green Wave isn’t going to win many games with the play of the defense. It’ll have to out gun most opponents in order to come out on top, which puts the onus on Kemp to inject stability and productivity into the passing game. Tulane is going to run the ball with Andre Anderson, but, like most programs, true success doesn’t come until balance is achieved.   

The season will be a success if ... the Green Wave can double last year’s win total. Yeah, Tulane went just 2-10 in 2008, but where on the schedule is this program going to milk a fifth or sixth win? The McNeese State visit aside, nothing will come easy this year for a Green Wave team breaking in a new quarterback and trying to plug a slew of holes on defense and special teams. Heck, Tulane better not take the Cowboys when they come to town on Sept. 26.

Key game: Oct. 10 vs. Marshall. Okay, so the long losing streak should end a few weeks earlier when McNeese State visits the Superdome, but if progress is being made, this is the type of game Tulane needs to win. The Herd has struggles of its own, on and off the field, and could languish at the bottom of Conference USA. If the Green Wave can’t hold serve at home, it could be facing another second half of futility, as the schedule tilts more toward road games.

2008 Fun Stats:
- Rushing yards pre game: Opponents 218.4 - Tulane 118.4
- Fourth down conversions: Opponents 7-of-11 - Tulane 10-of-26
-
Punt return average: Opponents 12.3 - Tulane 7.3

- 2009 CFN Tulane Preview | 2009 CFN Tulane Offense
- 2009 CFN Tulane Defense | 2009 Tulane Depth Chart
- 2008 Tulane Preview | 2007 Tulane Preview | 2006 Tulane Preview 

   

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