Despite blowout at Ole Miss, Tulane exactly where it should be
It was disappointing but it is not reason to get depressed.
Tulane was totally outclassed, overmatched at Oxford against Ole Miss in a 40-point loss.
Oklahoma did Ole Miss a favor.
The Sooners took Tulane lightly and nearly paid a steep price as the Green Wave played inspired, tough football at Norman.
No doubt that got the attention of the Rebels and Coach Lane Kiffin, who used that result to motivate his team in a classic “sandwich” or potential letdown game with an off week to follow before a showdown at Alabama.
Kiffin called Tulane an SEC-caliber team.
Kiffin showed his team the Green Wave video against Oklahoma.
Kiffin stressed that if his team did not show up properly, it could lose.
Kiffin got his team’s attention and it showed.
Based on the eye test and if you asked Tulane coaches and players, they would tell you that Oklahoma is overrated and that Ole Miss is underrated in national rankings.
In fact, Ole Miss looks to be a better team than Oklahoma.
A year ago, the Rebels were an elite offensive team and an offensive defensive team.
This year, Ole Miss remains a terrific offensive team but the Rebels are a vastly improved defensive team.
Those measurables make Ole Miss a serious contender for SEC honors.
Of course, Alabama remains the team to beat, the gold standard, in both the SEC West and the league, as a whole.
Still, the Crimson Tide had to survive at Florida, showing some cracks in the armor.
Outside of a fumble which set up a first half score for Tulane, there were no cracks in the Ole Miss arsenal Saturday.
Matt Corral, not Spencer Rattler, should be the one being hyped for the Heisman Trophy.
Corral is the ultimate dual-threat quarterback and seems far removed from his six turnovers in a loss at LSU a year ago.
Corral accounted for 403 yards and seven touchdowns against Tulane.
Ole Miss pillaged the Green Wave defense for 707 yards. It did not help that linebacker Dorian Robinson was ejected in the first half.
If you were a Tulane fan, it was hard to watch.
While the Green Wave defense had no chance, the most disappointing aspect of the game was the performance of the Tulane offense, which had been so good in its first two games.
Tulane was shutout in the second half and one of its first half scores was a direct result of a turnover by Ole Miss. The Green Wave offense had just 305 yards.
Michael Pratt did throw for two scores but was limited to 166 yards passing.
Devin Brumfield was encouraging with nine carries for 47 yards.
Tyrick James continued to be productive, catching another touchdown pass.
Of course, Tulane had just 56 offensive snaps in the game to 94 for Ole Miss.
The final margin of victory could have been larger for the Rebels.
Fortunately, Tulane is finally departing its temporary home in Birmingham to return home, ironically to host Birmingham’s home team, UAB, next Saturday.
The long stay away likely had an impact.
Tulane had to play its absolute best to even stay in the game with Ole Miss and fell far short of that mark.
The result was obvious.
There is much to improve on.
Before jumping off the ledge with another Tulane team that had promise, there is cause for pause.
Tulane is 1-2 after three games, exactly where it is supposed to be.
Few, if any, believed that the Green Wave could pull a monumental upset against Oklahoma or Ole Miss.
The Oklahoma performance by Tulane was extremely encouraging.
The Ole Miss performance by Tulane was very discouraging.
Call it even and time to start anew to find out just what the 2021 Green Wave can be.
That starts with beating UAB on Saturday, a very realistic goal as Willie Fritz strives to get his team’s attention.
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Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Sports Media Association, National Football…