First Look: Rice vs. Tulane

Regardless of record, Tulane always seems to play Rice tough when the two line up to play football. Though the Green Wave is 2-4 this year - they are a better team than their record might suggest. That means the Owls face a tough battle in New Orleans this Saturday...

Playing in the city known for Mardi Gras has been anything but a party for the Rice Owls of late. Winning in New Orleans has been difficult at best.

The Owls are expecting more of the same as they prepare for this weekend's contest with Tulane. Though the Green Wave's record is 2-4, they've really played some good football in spots this year. This is a game the Owls really need to win for a variety of reasons - one is simply to shake the string of losses they've had in the Big Easy.

Tulane is led by Coach Bob Toledo, hired to build the program after others before him tried, but failed, to establish a consistent level of success there. Toledo is known for his Offensive accumen, and Tulane has a great Running Back in Andre Anderson this year. But they are hardly one dimensional, they also have a stout Defense that held Alabama to 172 yards of Offense, though the Crimson Tide prevailed in that game 20-6.

Here's a look at their starting units on both sides of the ball, with a couple of comments on each...

Pos ## Offense

SC 83 Brian King, 6-1 191

FL 15 Michael Batiste, 6-3 192

LT 77 Troy Kropog, 6-6 315

LG 78 Nick Landry, 6-7 295

C 65 Michael Parenton, 6-2 287

RG 68 Andrew Nierman, 6-1 294

RT 58 Pete Hendrickson, 6-7 297

TE 80 Justin Kessler, 6-4 249

QB 2 Kevin Moore, 6-5 234

SE 3 Chris Dunn, 6-2 220

TB 32 Andre Anderson, 6-0 211

The Tulane Offense is a ball control unit that loves to run the football and control the time of possession in a game. And why not when Andre Anderson is as effective as he is running behind the big Green Wave Offensive Line. Anderson rushed for 255 yards against UTEP, including a 72 yard sprint for a score. Just like last week when they were asked to stop USM Running Back Damion Fletcher, the Owls will again have to limit a talented rusher in the form of Anderson if they are to come out of New Orleans with a win. The junior from Stone Mountain,GA averages 142 yards rushing per game. Tackling will be stressed heavily this week in practice after the Owls missed way too ball carries on the first attempt in Saturday's win over Southern Miss.

Pos ## Defense

LE 92 Reggie Scott, 6-4 260

LT 97 Julian Shives-Sams, 6-3 282

RT 96 Tony Bryant, 6-3 263

RE 90 Adam Kwentua, 6-3 250

WLB 31 Devin Holland, 6-0 205

MLB 34 Evan Lee, 6-1 236

NB 23 Dominique Dade, 5-9 183

LCB 12 Josh Lumar, 5-10 178

RCB 21 Charles Harris, 6-3 176

SS 38 Corey Sonnier, 5-10 189

FS 24 Chinonso Echebelem, 6-1 200

The aggressive Tulane Defense is currently ranked 23rd in the country behind the efforts of Defensive Coordinator O'Neill Gilbert. The Green Wave Defensive Line is very active, DE Adam Kwentua in particular makes a lot of tackles. Logan Kelley is Tulane's best pass rusher though he rotates in at DE - he's got 4 sacks this season. Overall the unit has an impressive 16 sacks for the year. The stat that really matters though is that Tulane is limiting opposing Offenses to just 174 yards passing per contest! Something will obviously have to give when Rice's Spread Attack takes the field Saturday in the Superdome, they are averaging 328 yards a game through the air, and rely heavily on their aerial attack.

We'll have more details in our Game Preview tomorrow...

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