Tulane faces decisive moment Thursday against Houston
It didn’t seem like a huge victory at the time but it was.
It was 22 years ago, to end a 7 win season, when Tulane routed the University of Houston, 44-10, on the road. The win served as a springboard.
The following season, the Green Wave were victorious in all 12 games it played.
Undefeated isn’t on the horizon for this year’s Tulane football team. Yet, the next rung on the ladder in a football ascension in the American Athletic Conference is to win the West Division. To do that, Tulane must beat Houston at home.
A lopsided series it has been. The Cougars have won 13 of the last 15 games in the series. In that stretch, Houston has scored 40 points or more on eight different occasions.
In 2011, the Cougars scored 73 points in a route of the Green Wave at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Last season, in a critical late season game, Houston routed Tulane from the start on the way to a 48-17 victory.
Houston has been the consistent winner that Tulane wishes it was. Since 2003, that program has had just two losing seasons, and those were still five-win campaigns.
The Houston job has been a springboard for success. Kevin Sumlin took success there and parlayed it into the head coaching job at Texas A&M. Tom Herman used success at UH to take over the University of Texas.
Since 2003, Tulane has had four football coaches. The last three: Curtis Johnson, Bob Toledo, and Chris Scelfo have all been fired.
At the end of last season, current Wave head coach Willie Fritz made a change in offensive coordinators. The hiring of Will Hall is likely to be a milestone, one way or the other. These are the games that can prove Fritz’s decision, correct.
Fritz is big on treating each game not only like a separate week but a separate year. After a disappointing loss at Auburn, Fritz told reporters that loss seemed “like years ago.”
Still every coach and player in the building know that this Thursday night’s game is quite different.
Just like Alabama stands in LSU’s way in the SEC West and Ohio State always seems to block Michigan, Houston has had Tulane’s number.
There’s only one way to change that. For the Green Wave, opportunity knocks again.
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WGNO Sports Director/106.1 FM
Ed is a New Orleans native, born at Baptist Hospital. He graduated Rummel High School, class of 1975, and subsequently graduated from Loyola University. Ed started in TV in 1977 as first sports intern at WVUE Channel 8. He became Sports Director at KPLC TV Channel 7 in Lake Charles in 1980. In 1982 he was hired as sports reporter…