New Orleans-- Tulane made a statement on Friday, defeating Memphis by 24 points in their American Athletic Conference opener. Head Coach Willie Fritz said the team played well in all three facets of the game to get the win, which was a big confidence boost to the Green Wave, who were coming-off back-to-back losses.
"Oh yeah, it's definitely boosted," said Tulane defensive end Cam Sample. " I feel a different vibe around the team now. We always believed we could do it but to go out and actually perform against a good team like Memphis, it kind of confirms what everyone's believing so we're going to take that approach for every week from here on out."
But as much as it was a boost for team morale, Fritz was quick to not let them get too high when they got back to work this week.
"We've just got to lock-in and move-on to the next one just like this one," Fritz said. "We came in on Monday and I think they thought we were going to have a big party and we just had the same meeting we always have. We've got to move-on. We've got to prepare the same way every single week. I think if you sit around and pat yourself on the back too much, you forget about the task at hand. So we're on to Cincinnati."
The Bearcats team that's ahead of the Green Wave (2-3, 1-0 AAC) is undefeated at (5-0, 1-0 AAC), and they are going to be one of the bigger and more physical teams Tulane has faced this season.
"Offensively, they're big-time with ball control," Fritz said. "They run the ball between the tackles, physical, huge team. Really big. Probably 6'4", 6'5", 300-320 on the offensive line and they're real big on the defensive line as well."
"They're a physical team offensively-- all around but especially on the offense-- especially with the receivers blocking down the field," said Tulane safety Roderic Teamer, Jr. "Big running backs. They run vertical, hit the holes. Big O-line, physical. The quarterback likes to run it as well so definitely stopping the run is something that's going to be important going against these guys."
Tulane and Cincinnati kick-off at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday at Nippert Stadium.