Riding the Green Wave

Riding the Green Wave

The University of Tulane may have only won four games last season, but this season has a different outlook. Head Coach Bob Toledo is entering his fourth season at Tulane and is looking to guide the Green Wave to their first bowl game since they won the Hawaii Bowl back in 2002. Despite posting a disappointing 4-8 record last year, Tulane can take a few positives away from their season. The Green Wave ranked first in Conference USA  in pass defense, fourth in turnover margin, and fifth in both total defense and sacks. Tulane will be out to prove the old adage; defense wins championships in their 2011 campaign. Tulane’s offense should be improved as they were a young team last year. Star quarterback, Ryan Griffin, is returning for his third season of action, and the team’s leading rusher; a true freshman last year, Orleans Darkwa is also returning to the squad.  With this offensive firepower returning and a stingy defense, Tulane has some high hopes for 2011.

For starters take a look at Tulane’s defense. Coach Bob Toledo has done an outstanding job at defending the passing attack during his reign at Tulane, as the Green Wave were tops in their conference for the third straight year last season. You can expect that they will pick up right where they left off last year.  With a defense that is as tough to pass on as this stingy group, Tulane can focus on stopping the rushing attack. They may even be able to use an extra defender in the box to help their cause.  If Tulane’s offense can get off to a fast start and put up some points on the scoreboard early, teams will have a difficult time making a comeback against this unit. Scoring early will surely be an emphasis as Tulane enters fall camp. Not only will it be an emphasis, but looking at their offense it seems very possible as well.

Offensively Tulane returns two standout players, quarterback Ryan Griffin, and running back Orleans Darkwa. Both are looking to build on a solid year last season, and Tulane will relay on the tandem heavily.  Tulane looks to have a very balanced attack this year between the two. Darkwa rushed for an average of 84 yards per game last year, while Griffin threw for over 2,000 yards to lead the Green Wave’s aerial assault.

Another key to Tulane’s success is winning the turnover battle. This team finished fourth in the conference in turnover margin, will need to maintain that in order for this team to put more marks in the win column.

If Tulane can continue their recent trends of dominating in pass defense, continue to improve in the turnover department, as well as get off to fast starts offensively,  this team can be very dangerous. This team may be overlooked by most, but be careful, because if you don’t take Tulane seriously they will hit you like a title wave on their way to victory. Look for Tulane as a dark horse in Conference USA, and don’t count them out of reaching a bowl game this year. 


Read the in-depth football preview for this team