In this series we will look at the Mids football opponents for the 2016 season. Today the school we are looking at is Tulane.
Date/time/location/TV: September 17, 7:00pm EST, Yulman Stadium, New Orleans, LA., ESPN 3.
2015 Record: 3-9 (1-7 The American). No Bowl Game.
Head Coach: Willie Fritz. First year at Fordham.
Series History: Tulane leads 11-8-1.
Last Meeting: The Mids took on Tulane last year for the first time in a decade. Navy won the October contest 31-14 in Annapolis.
Top Returners: RBs Josh Rounds (Sr.), Lazedrick Thompson (Sr.), Sherman Badie (Jr.), & Dontrell Hilliard (Jr.), combined for 11 rushing TDs in 2015. CB Parry Nickerson (Jr.), 43.5 tackles and 8 pass break-ups in 2015. DT Tanzel Smart (Sr.), 52 tackles and 13 TFLs in 2015.
Key Losses: QB Tanner Lee (Transfer to Nebraska) 1659 yards and 11 TD passes in 2015. WRs Teddy Veal and Devon Breaux, combined for 1075 yards in 2015. Lt Arturo Uzdavinis, C Nathan Shienle, & LG Colton Hanson, combined for 93 career starts. DE Royce LaFrance, 13.5 TFLs and 6.5 sacks in 2015.
What You Need To Know: Tulane canned head coach Curtis Johnson after the Green Wave went just 6-12 following an out of nowhere 7-6 season in 2013. Willie Fritz is the man who was been called to replace Johnson, and is he is able to work the magic in Louisiana that he has at his last five coaching gigs then Tulane has made an outstanding hire.
Fritz has been climbing the head coaching ladder for 25 seasons, but success at Tulane may take a little while. He is an offensive minded head coach who arrived on campus just in time to see his incumbent starting quarterback transfer to Nebraska. What this means is that Fritz, who is a heavy running game guy anyway, will vastly increase the roles of the top four tailbacks from 2015 who all return this season. The one to watch in this group is Dontrell Hilliard, who seems capable of doing big things.
The running backs, and the quarterbacks for that matter, may well be running for their lives though this fall. Tulane lost a ton to graduation on the offensive line, and Fritz had to move two defensive linemen to the offensive side of the ball just to add depth. Over the spring practices were even ended early as Tulane ran out of linemen.
The defense must be built around Tanzel Smart to be successful. Smart is a 300-pound wrecking ball who had 13 non-sack tackles for a loss in 2015. For a man of that size basically playing the nose tackle position and getting double teamed on every down this is a huge number. Tulane also has decent linebackers, but the lack of a pass rush could hurt the Green Wave this fall.
2015 Stats That Matter (FCS): Offensive points per game, 113th; Defensive points per game, 110th.
Fun Fact: The coldest game in Super Bowl history (39 degrees) took place at Tulane Stadium in 1972.
Famous Alumni: Newt Gingrich (Politician), John Kennedy Toole (Writer), Jerry Springer (TV Star)..