Time to iron out the kinks

Believe it or not, there was a time when LSU-Tulane meant something. However, you have to go back many years to reach that period. The series is as lopsided as you'll find, but there was a brief moment in time when the Green Wave had the upper hand in what used to be considered a rivalry.

In 1948, Tulane spanked the Tigers 46-0, but for the next 24 years the Green Wave was winless against LSU with their only claim to fame being two ties.


Then in 1973, Tulane blanked the Tigers again 14-0, only to lose the next five in a row.


In all of that midst of losing, Tulane fans had hoped the day would finally come when they could say that they had control of the series.


Well, they got their wish in 1979 as the 18th-ranked Green Wave defeated the Tigers 24-13 and then went on to win two of the next three, which included a 31-28 victory over a seventh-ranked LSU squad in 1982.


That, however, marked the last time the Greenies came away with a victory in this series as LSU has won 16 straight and holds a 67-22-7 overall record in meetings between the two schools.


Last year, Tulane gave LSU a test in the first half and only trailed 10-9 at the break. The second half was much like the series has been though as LSU cruised to a 34-9 victory behind an offense that rolled up 267 yards in the second half, while the defense held Tulane to only 101 yards.


This Saturday should be nothing but a tune-up for an LSU team that has failed to put together a complete game this season.


Tulane (2-5) is decimated with injuries and has not looked anything like the team that played Alabama in the Greenies’ season opener. Tulane outgained the Crimson Tide 318-172 in total offense and held them to their lowest rushing output of the year at 99 yards.


Had it not been for two special teams’ touchdowns and two missed field goals (23 and 41 yards) by Tulane then Alabama would not be undefeated at this time.


Which Tulane will show up? Will it be the one that played Bama and East Carolina so tight or the one that got throttled by Army and Rice at home?



A Look at Tulane’s Offense


The Greenies were in the middle of the pack in Conference USA with Andre Anderson in the backfield. He was eighth in the country, averaging 123 yards a game, but his season came to an abrupt end when he fractured his shoulder last week against Rice.


Without Anderson, Tulane has very little offense and must turn to Nathan Austin (29-129). Austin is nowhere near the threat that Anderson was and the LSU defense should make life miserable for the freshman running back.


Tulane comes into the game averaging only eight fewer yards of total offense than LSU, but matching their average of 404 yards will be very tough, especially if Bob Toledo starts redshirt freshman quarterback Joe Kemp.


Kemp relieved a struggling Kevin Moore under center last week and completed 14-of-20 passes for 201 yards with a pair of touchdowns. More than likely though, the Tigers will see Moore as well, who has been good on 128-of-217 passes for 1,476 yards with seven touchdowns against eight interceptions.


Whichever quarterback takes snaps he will be without the services of his two leading receivers leaving Brian King (23-286) as the go-to guy.



A Look at Tulane’s Defense


The defense has been a bright spot under Gilbert O’Neill’s direction with the Green Wave boasting one of the top units in Conference USA.


The pass defense is 21st in the nation (173.43) compared to LSU at No. 61 (205.85), and the run defense is second in the conference (135.86).


Tulane gives up 27.86 points a game, which is exactly two more than LSU, and has forced three more turnovers than the Tigers with 10 as opposed to 7.


Logan Kelley leads the Greenies up front with four sacks but only has 10 tackles, while Adam Kwentua (24 tackles, .5 sacks, 1.5 TFLs) and Reggie Scott (18 tackles, 2 sacks, 4.5 TFLs, 1 INT) are more consistent coming off the edge.


Devin Holland (30 tackles, 2 TFLs, 1 sack) is the top linebacker but he is questionable with a concussion. If he can’t go then Darryl Kirksey (23 tackles) would have to step up his game because the Greenies should get a heavy does of Charles Scott and company.


There are some playmakers in the secondary led by strong safety Corey Sonnier (50 tackles, 4 PBUs) and cornerback Charles Harris (30 tackles, 1 INT, 7 PBUs), but they should not pose much of a problem for LSU’s bigger and faster receivers.



A Look at Tulane’s Special Teams


Ross Thevenot handles the kicking and punting chores and he has hit 7-of-13 field goals on the season, and averages 45.6 yards a punt. Other than that, there isn’t anything about the special teams to write home about.





The Tulane medical staff should be up for MVP honors when Toledo hands out his awards at the end of the season with all of the injuries it has had to deal with.


Losing Anderson was bad but what makes it so much worse is LSU lost to Georgia last Saturday. The Tigers have had more than their share of problems on both sides of the ball, but expect them to go out and play with a vengeance. If they don’t then that does not bode well for next week.



Our Call


LSU’s defense couldn’t ask for anything better. The Tigers get a beaten and bruised Tulane squad that is missing its two top playmakers on offense in Anderson and wide receiver Jeremy Williams.


The Tigers have one more chance to get on track as they head down the back end of the schedule and the troops on the defensive side of the ball need to put it together this weekend with Alabama looming.


Jarrett Lee needs to get his confidence back because LSU will need a strong performance from him next week. Nick Saban will throw every blitz at the redshirt freshman that he can imagine and if his confidence takes another hit then it could be disastrous a week from now.


LSU should be able to run the ball at will and everyone from the top all the way to the bottom should be looking at this as a way to redeem themselves.


And we feel like they will.


LSU 45, Tulane 13

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