Tulane Green Wave (7-5) @ Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns (8-4) 12/21- 9:00PM EST
Line: TUL -2.5
R+L CARRIERS NEW ORLEANS BOWL- New Orleans, LA
The Ragin’ Cajuns of Louisiana-Lafayette will be in search of their third win in the New Orleans Bowl on Saturday, but will have to do it this time against an opponent that calls New Orleans home, their in-state foe– the Tulane Green Wave.
While the Ragin’ Cajuns have enjoyed success in the postseason in three consecutive years, the Green Wave will be making their first trip to a bowl game since 2002, but both team will be battling injuries at the quarterback position.
The Ragin’ Cajuns (8-4) rattled off eight straight regular-season victories in between a pair of two-game losing streaks to start and end the season and their last loss, a 30-8 defeat to South Alabama on December 7 cost them their first outright Sun Belt title and had to settle for sharing the title with Arkansas State.
“I am not going to let this ruin the entire season,” coach Mark Hudspeth said. “We are the Sun Belt Conference champions. Even though we finished tied, we beat the team head-to-head that we finished tied with and we won eight games in a row. We won a conference title in just our third year together and negative people can get off the train and the positive ones can join me in New Orleans because we’re going back to a bowl.”
But, to get it done on Saturday, the Ragin’ Cajuns may be without junior quarterback Terrance Broadway who missed the final game of the season when he suffered a broken right arm back on November 30th. Broadway is listed as questionable for Saturday’s contest.
Tulane is also dealing with quarterback issues with starter Nick Montana, who has been slowed by a shoulder injury, but coach Curtis Johnson is anticipating his quarterback playing as well as Broadway for the Ragin’ Cajuns.
“We want to be basic as we can, but we are going to prepare for Broadway,” Johnson said. “Broadway makes the whole thing go. We think Nick will be ready, but if he isn’t, then we’ll move on to Devin (Powell).”
Montana is out of California and is the son of NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana and separated his shoulder back in October and re-aggravated it in the last game of the season back on November 30th.
The Green Waves go into Saturday’s bowl game having lost three of its last four and is struggling offensively to put points on the board.
“Out team was not healthy offensively,” Johnson said. “We took a beating the last couple of weeks. Our quarterback wasn’t very healthy since early on in the season.”
Tulane went 5-5 this season with the junior Montana calling the signals, completing 53.1 percent of his passes for 1,654 with 14 touchdowns and nine interceptions.
The Ragin’ Cajuns were averaging 41.7 points in the three games before Broadway got injured and last year with Broadway calling the signals, beat Tulane 41-13.
“I think if you look at what happened last year against them, they really took us to the woodshed,” Johnson said. “They played sensational.”
But despite last years loss, the oddsmakers are making the Green Waves a slim (minus -2.5) point favorite at their home Dome stadium, but get the latest odds up until kickoff right here at Wonder Punter.
But coach Hudspeth knows his team must get a handle on their turnovers where they have turned the ball over seven times in the last two games with no takeaways, whereas the Green Wave had a plus-12 turnover in their last two games with only one giveaway.
I predict the Ragin’ Cajuns taking care of the ball on Saturday and if Broadway is able to go, see them capturing the New Orleans Bowl championship.
By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter