New Orleans -- Tulane is set to host Houston on Thursday for their American Athletic Conference opener, and will get to do so on in front of a national audience. They are the feature game on ESPN that night under the lights at Yulman Stadium.
"It's a big deal for Tulane," said Tulane Head Football Coach Willie Fritz. "First time we've had a Thursday night ESPN game here at Yulman Stadium. It's a big opportunity for us. Our guys understand that. They love it. When you're a little kid and you're growing up you're thinking about playing on TV and we're going to be one of the highlighted games Thursday evening so yeah, it's a big deal. We want to be on this stage."
"I look forward to every game," said Tulane defensive end Cam Sample. "I take every game each week as the biggest game of the year to me. I feel like the team adapts to that mentality too but it's nice knowing you're playing on the prime time ESPN, no other game is on, all eyes on you and that's what we want as a team."
"Like Coach Fritz said earlier," said Tulane quarterback Justin McMillan, "This game is on ESPN. This is the first game on ESPN in Yulman. It's big. We're aware of that. It's not oblivious to us in the locker room. We've been talking about playing harder and turning it up a notch in practice. Like I said, it's on TV. This should help Tulane recruiting-wise. This win can be big for us so we have to go out there and do what we have to do and get the results that we are looking for."
The Green Wave (2-1) will be looking for their 5th-straight win at home, dating back to last season, and their best start since 2003. That was the last time they began the year with a 3-1 record.