Preview: Tulane vs. ECU

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Central Florida running back Greg McCrae, left, is tackled by Tulane cornerback Willie Langham (8) after a gain during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

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TULANE LOOKS TO GET BACK TO .500 AT ECU

  • The Green Wave hit the road for the second time in three weeks, as they travel to Greenville, North Carolina, to take on ECU. Kickoff is set for 11 a.m. (CT) on Saturday. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN+.
  • Tulane’s matchup with ECU marks the first time the Green Wave have faced the Pirates since 2018. 
  • The Green Wave will face ECU for the 17th time in program history. ECU holds a 11-5 all-time series lead. Tulane has won three of the last four games against ECU.
  • Tulane has never defeated ECU in consecutive road games. 

FIRST AND 10
1. Tulane will be in search of its third road win on the year. The Green Wave have not won three road games in a season since 1998. 
2. True freshman Michael Pratt will once again get the start at quarterback. He is just the seventh true freshman to start at quarterback since 1975. Pratt became the first true freshman to earn a win as a starter since 1985 (Terrence Jones was the last).
3. Tulane enters its matchup with ECU after scoring 30-or-more points in five straight games, including a 66-point outburst back on Sept. 26 against Southern Miss. During its last five games, Tulane has averaged 40.6 points per game.
4. Tulane’s offensive unit has made a habit of scoring upon entering the red zone. The Green Wave lead the AAC in red zone offense.
5. Tulane’s defensive unit enters its matchup with ECU after it posted its best defensive performance of the year, holding Temple to a season-low 222 yards of total offense. The Green Wave also held the Owls without a touchdown. Tulane has never held an AAC opponent without a touchdown in the Willie Fritz era (since 2016).
6. Redshirt sophomore running back Cam Carroll has rushed for a touchdown in four of the Green Wave’s seven games this season. Against Southern Miss, Carroll scored four touchdowns. Carroll ranks ninth in the nation in total touchdowns and second in The American.  
7. Tulane’s special teams’ unit ranks as one of the best in The American. The Green Wave rank third in the league in kick return average (24.1) and rank second in punt return average (14.1). In addition, Ryan Wright leads The American in punting, averaging 47.1 yards per punt. 
8. Tulane has rushed for over 100 yards in 59 of its last 60 games. Tulane had its 56-game streak of rushing for at least 100 yards snapped at Houston back on Oct. 8.  
9. The Green Wave have also surpassed 200 yards rushing in 13 of their last 20 games dating back to the start of the 2019 season.
10. Defensive linemen Patrick Johnson ranks 12th in the nation and first in The American in sacks per game. He has also logged a sack in three of the last five games. The Chattanooga, Tennessee, native is tied for seventh nationally in career sacks (20.5). In addition, Johnson was recognized in the preseason as a Top 250 prospect by the Reese’s Senior Bowl.

SCOUTING ECU

  • The Pirates enter their matchup with Tulane in the hopes of snapping a two-game losing streak. Each of ECU’s last two losses have been decided by four points or less.
  • ECU came up short last week at Tulsa, as it fell 34-30. Quarterback Holton Ahlers completed 38 of 50 passes for a season-high 330 yards and three touchdowns. 
  • Ahlers’ 1,003 yards passing and nine touchdowns both rank fifth in the American Athletic Conference. 
  • Freshman running back Rahjai Harris has made an immediate impact for the Pirates this season, rushing for a team-best 448 yards (5.7 yards per carry) and three touchdowns.
  • Defensively, ECU has gained a reputation as an opportunistic defense, as it has forced at least one turnover in 15 of the last 16 games, including 10 turnovers in the last four games. 
  • Junior linebacker Xavier Smith leads the team in tackles with 48 stops on the year. 
  • Mike Houston is in his second year as ECU’s head coach. In his first season at ECU, Houston led the Pirates to an 4-8 record. 
  • Prior to his arrival at ECU in 2019, Houston guided James Madison to three straight trips to the NCAA FCS postseason. In 2016, he directed the Dukes to a national championship.
  • ECU was picked in the preseason to finish 10th in The American. 

{Courtesy: Press Release from Tulane Athletics}

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