Date/Time: September 12, 2013 7:30 pm EST
College Football Betting Favorite: Louisiana Tech -7.5
Conference USA gets a rare chance to shine on the national stage as Tulane takes on Louisiana Tech Thursday night on FoxSports1. Both of these teams come into this one with a 1-1 record. Louisiana Tech was top notch last year, but they lost a ton of talent. Tulane is trying to turn the corner, but they are coming off a disappointing loss at home to South Alabama.
Tulane went 2-10 last year, but the team has a lot more talent this season. Head Coach Curtis Johnson is doing his best to change the culture at Tulane, but it is taking some time. The Green Wave return 16 starters from last year, so the 2013 season is definitely expected to be better than last year. Nick Montana is unproven at quarterback, but he definitely is an upgrade for Tulane based on talent alone. Orleans Darkwa is one of the more talented backs in the conference. Tulane’s offense has scored 34 and 39 points in their first two games of the year.
Tulane was favored by 6.5 points in last week’s game against South Alabama, but the Green Wave defense just couldn’t get off the field. South Alabama piled up 297 yards through the air and 465 total yards of offense. Curtis Johnson expected the secondary to be the strength of the team in the offseason, but they’ll need to step up in the weeks ahead. Louisiana Tech is going to throw it around plenty this week, so they’ll be tested once again here.
Louisiana Tech went 9-3 last year under Sonny Dykes, but Dykes is now the head coach at Cal. Skip Holtz is the new coach for the Bulldogs. Holtz still has some pieces to work with, but there is little doubt that Louisiana Tech lost about as much talent as anyone in college football during the offseason. The team lost 31 lettermen from last year, and they return only 7 starters total. Louisiana Tech was beaten soundly by NC State in week one, and they struggled to take down Lamar 27-14 last weekend. This isn’t the same team they had a year ago, and it will take a while for this team to reach its full potential.
Scotty Young is the new quarterback for the Bulldogs in 2013. Young is a transfer from Texas Tech. He has been solid, but not spectacular in his first couple games under center. The Bulldogs no longer run Dykes’ fast-paced spread offense, so they won’t be breaking any offensive records soon. Holtz is choosing to work hard on improving the defense. Tulane’s offense is much improved, so this is going to be a test for the Bulldogs defense. Look for Louisiana Tech to try to stop the run first and make Montana beat them through the air.
Free Pick: Over 57
Both of these teams have good offenses and defenses that have a lot of room for growth. I like the over.
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