Bowl Wave: Tulane departs for first bowl game since 2013

NEW ORLEANS, LA - (Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

New Orleans — Tulane’s football team headed to Orlando Wednesday morning, ahead of Saturday’s AutoNation Cure Bowl. It’s their first bowl game since 2013 and first bowl trip outside of the state of Louisiana since the Hawaii Bowl in 2002. This will be the 12th bowl appearance in program history for the Green Wave, which has a 4-7 record in those previous 11 appearances.

The team will have practice Thursday and Friday in Orlando, before their 12:30 p.m. (CT) kick-off with Louisiana at Camping World Stadium. This will be the 29th meeting between the two Louisiana programs, with the Green Wave holding the 22-6 advantage in the series. Tulane won the last meeting in 2016 in a 4OT 3-point victory. The last meeting before that, was actually in Tulane’s last bowl appearance in 2013, when these two teams faced each other in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl. The Ragin’ Cajuns won that game 24-21.

Both the Green Wave and Ragin’ Cajuns are coming into Saturday’s game playing some of their best football of the season. While Tulane has won  4 of their last 5, Louisiana has won 3 of their last 4. Tulane’s turning point came when Head Coach Willie Fritz decided to change-up their starting quarterback after their loss to SMU. At that point they were 2-5 on the season, when Fritz decided to bench Jonathan Banks in favor of LSU transfer Justin McMillan. McMillan has started the last 5 games and helped spark their turnaround, which earned them 6 wins on the season and bowl eligibility. If the Green Wave win on Saturday, it will mark their first winning season since 2013, when they finished 7-6, and just their second winning season in the past 17 seasons.