Tulane Football Gameweek Preview: Navy

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Tulane-Navy 2019
(Photo: Parker Waters)

• The Green Wave open their 2020 home slate on Saturday as they welcome Navy to Yulman Stadium. The game will be aired live on ABC and kickoff at 11 a.m.
• The Green Wave are currently receiving votes in the Coaches Poll.
• Tulane’s matchup with Navy will mark the first time in Yulman Stadium history that a game has been aired on ABC. It also marks the Green Wave’s first home game on ABC in 40 years (1980 season opener against Southern Miss was the last).
• Fans can watch WGNO’s 30-minute kickoff show previewing the game, beginning at 10:30 a.m. CT.
• The Green Wave will faceoff against Navy for the 25th time. The series dates back to 1949. Tulane owns a 12-11-1 all-time series lead against Navy.
• The Green Wave enter 2020 in the hopes of a winning season for the third consecutive season. Tulane has not posted three straight winning seasons since the 1979, 1980 and 1981 campaigns.

1. Tulane and Navy have a recent tradition of playing each other close down to the wire. Each of the last four meetings have been decided by one score or less. The last three matchups have been decided by three points or less.
2. In home openers, Tulane has posted an all-time mark of 71-50-4.
3. Tulane has not opened a season 2-0 since the 2002 season.
4. The Green Wave are 6-4 in their last 10 home openers.
5. In home openers, Tulane has posted an all-time mark of 72-50-4.
6. Senior defensive lineman Cameron Sample earned American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Week honors after he tallied a pair of sacks, posted a career-high 3.5 tackles for loss and forced his first career fumble. The Snellville, Georgia, native also played a key role in limiting South Alabama to just 13 yards rushing in the second half.
7. Freshman running back Tyjae Spears rushed for a career-high 105 yards last week against South Alabama. He became just the sixth freshman to rush for over 100 yards in a game since 2001. Following his performance against South Alabama, Spears was named to the weekly honor roll.
8. Tulane has rushed for at least 100 yards in 54 consecutive games dating back to the end of the 2015 season.
9. The Green Wave enter their matchup with Navy having rushed for over 250 yards in seven of their last 16 games (337 vs. UL-Lafayette -2018, 350 vs. FIU – 2019, 298 vs. Missouri State – 2019, 325 vs. Houston – 2019, 324 vs. Army – 2019, 311 vs. UConn – 2019 and 290 vs. Tulsa – 2019). The Green Wave have also surpassed 200 yards rushing in 10 of their last 14 games dating back to the start of the 2019 season.
10. According to Pro Football Focus, Tulane’s defensive line earned an 84.2 pass rush grade (No. 1 in FBS) and a 47.2 pass rush pressure percentage (No. 1 in FBS) following its performance against South Alabama.

• Navy enters its matchup with Tulane in the hopes of overcoming a 55-3 season-opening loss to BYU back on Sept. 7.
• Ken Niumatalolo enters his 13th season as the head coach of the Midshipmen. He has been on the Navy sideline as either an assistant (1995-98, 2002-07) or head coach (2008-current) for 23 of the last 26 years.
• Over those 23 years, Navy has compiled a 167-111 record (.601), won 11 Commander-In-Chief’s Trophies, gone to 16 bowl games, won nine bowl games and either shared or won outright the American Athletic Conference West Division in three of its five years in the league.
• With 98-career wins, Niumatalolo is the winningest coach in school history.
• Navy will look to avoid an 0-2 start for the first time since 2012. In that season, Navy opened the year with losses to Notre Dame and Penn State.
• The Midshipmen were picked fifth in the American Athletic Conference Preseason Poll and earned one first place vote.
• In 2019, Navy set school records in total rushing yards (4,687), rushing yards per attempt (6.1), rushing yards per game (360.5) and total offense yards per game (455.8), while tying the record for total offensive yards per attempt (6.8).
• Defensively, Navy is led by junior linebacker Diego Fagot. Prior to 2020, Fagot was named as a 2020 Preseason Third-Team All-American.

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