Vegas Line- Georgia Tech favored (-10) over Tulsa
Paul Johnson will be taking his Yellow Jackets (1-0) to New Orleans to face the Tulane Green Wave (0-1) on Saturday September 6th at 4:00 p.m. EST.
This matchup between the Jackets and Green Wave will be the first ever game played in Tulane’s new Yulman Stadium.
Oddly, though these teams are in pretty close proximity geographically, this is the first meeting between these two teams in 32 years.
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Both Tech and Tulane were founding members of the Southeastern Conference (SEC) in 1932, and played against each other in that conference until 1964.
Georgia Tech leads the all-time series 35-13 and have played well in “The Big Easy” when facing Tulane with a 15-9 record.
Overall, when Tech plays in the City of New Orleans, they are 20-9.
This is going to be a true test for the Georgia Tech defense. Ted Roof installed a new 4-2-5 defensive scheme this year that is supposed to be able to combat against some of the spread offenses that they will see in ACC play.
Playing against Tulane’s offense means there is a pretty good chance that Tech will see some some spread offense.
Tulane’s is led by second-year head coach Curtis Johnson. Johnson led Tulane to their first Bowl appearance since 2002 last season when they lost to Louisiana-Lafayette 24-21.
Nov 2, 2013; Boca Raton, FL, USA; Tulane Green Wave head coach Curtis Johnson reacts during a game against the Florida Atlantic Owls FAU Football Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
The Green Wave were 7-6 last season. This year they have a lot of youth at their skill positions.
Freshman QB Tanner Lee started his first ever collegiate game last weekend and did not play too badly. He threw 22 of 44 for 262 yards and three touchdowns in a 38-31 loss to the Tulsa Golden Hurricanes.
His favorite target is senior, Justyn Shackleford, who caught eight passes last week for 118 yards.
This combination might be able to able to put a little pressure on the Tech secondary. Chris Milton and Jamal Golden are going to have to be on point whenever they draw the assignment of defending Shackleford.
Also, this is going to be the game where Tech Fans will get to see if Tyler Stargel or Quayshawn Nealy will be able to provide some kind of pass rush.
Isaiah Johnson has a hamstring issue and will be out for Saturday’s game. This is going to add additional pressure on the Tech secondary as well as make the importance of the Yellow Jackets coming up with some kind of pass rush that much more imperative.
Tulane also has a pretty decent running game with freshman Sherman Badie. Badie carried the ball 15 times for 215 yards and a touchdown last week against Tulsa.
The Jackets defense should be a lot more stingy against the run than Tulsa, but Badie is someone to keep an eye on.
The Jackets, offensively, should be able to run the ball well against Tulane and their young defense that returns only five starters.
Everyone had to like how Justin Thomas was able to go to the air with efficiency hitting 11 of 15 for 282 yards and 2 touchdowns. Look for Thomas to be able to hit big plays again in the passing game versus Tulane.
Tulane gave up 438 yards through the air last week. Thomas will not throw for that many, but the pass is going to be there for the taking.
Tulane also gave up 158 yards rushing last week to Tulsa. The Jackets should be able to run the ball well and could possibly have their first individual 100 yard rusher of the season.
Zach Laskey, Synjyn Days and Tony Zenon are going to have a few opportunities to break off a big run in this game.
Photo: Daniel Shirey, USA TODAY Sports)
Tulsa does have experience in their secondary with juniors Lorenzo Doss and Darion Monroe, and senior Sam Scofield playing in the defensive backfield. However, clearly that experience did not mean much last week for Tulane, and this week DeAndre Smelter and Michael Summers will pose a big test for those DBs.
This is the kind of game where Tech fans are going to find out a whole lot more about their team.
Last week, Tech overcame a slow start in order to pull off a 38-19 victory over Wofford.
In this game, Tech simply needs to not start off sluggishly offensively and show how well this 4-2-5 is going to work on defense.