Tulane and Nevada will clash on the blue turf in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl on Tuesday afternoon as the bowl schedule moves along in the early stages of the postseason. The Green Wave have won four of their last five, including a 35-21 win over Memphis on Dec. 5 in which they averaged 5.3 yards per play. That late push salvaged a six-win season that seemed lost in late October when Willie Fritz’ team was 2-4 and out of contention in the AAC West.
Nevada lost two out of its final three games to close out the season, including a 30-20 loss to San Jose State on Dec. 11. But the Wolf Pack got out to a great start with five straight wins to open the season, and quarterback Carson Strong developed into a big-time weapon. The sophomore threw for 2,587 yards, 22 touchdowns and just four interceptions in eight games.
Let’s break down the matchup and make some picks.
Tulane: The Green Wave have become a force on the ground under Fritz. They finished second in the AAC in rushing with 218.91 yards per game 5.04 yards per play. The duo of running backs Stephen Huderson and Cameron Carroll have combined for 15 rushing touchdowns and 1,342 yards, while doing a great job grinding out the clock. They’re third in the AAC in scoring defense at 27.2 points per game and second in turnover margin at +0.73. Tulane isn’t the sexiest team in the country, but it is solid, well-coached and physical on both sides of the ball.
Nevada: The aerial attack under Strong has been aided by the duo of wide receiver Romeo Doubs and tight end Cole Turner. Has 960 yards and nine touchdowns in just eight games, and Turner added 545 yards and seven scores for a Wolf Pack team that leans heavily on the passing attack. Its defense is solid in third-down situations (36.07%) but has given up 107 plays of 10 or more yards — tied for ninth in the Mountain West
Game: Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
Date: Tuesday, Dec. 22 | Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
Location: Albertsons Stadium — Boise, Idaho
TV: ESPN | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
Potato Bowl prediction, picks
Tulane Green Wave
Offense drives the bus, so I’ll take Nevada in a slight upset. Strong and his crew of receivers have been nearly impossible to stop this season, and Tulane has given up 245.5 yards per game through the air since the start of November. The Wolf Pack will force Tulane out of its comfort zone, turn this one into a shootout and earn a big win on the blue turf. Pick: Nevada (+3) | Nevada 35, Tulane 30
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