Week 8 – Tulane at UTEP

Posted Oct 19, 2012

Week 8 Fearless Prediction & Game Analysis – Tulane at UTEP

Tulane (1-5) at UTEP (1-6) Oct. 20, 8:00

Here's The Deal: It wasn't supposed to be like this in El Paso this season. Head coach Mike Price felt as if he finally had a veteran team that could compete in the West Division of Conference USA. Instead, his Miners have dropped four straight, becoming increasingly feeble along the way. Banged up and demoralized, the team has been left to wonder if this is the end of the line for its ninth-year coach. Tulane, on the other hand, has a rare bounce in its step after shocking SMU to hand rookie head coach Curtis Johnson the first win on his career. With a couple more efforts like last week in the second half, the Green Wave will have something positive to point to during the long offseason.

Why Tulane Might Win: The Green Wave was obviously inspired by the return from injury of QB Ryan Griffin, who threw for 302 yards and three touchdowns in the win. He did a solid job of spreading the ball around, including getting the ball in the hands of physical RB Rob Kelley. The defense also forced field goals for a change, getting an inspired effort from veteran DE Austen Jacks and rookie FS Darion Monroe.

Why UTEP Might Win: The infirmed Miners backfield could have QB Nick Lamaison and RB Nathan Jeffery resting as Carson Meger and Josh Bell take their place, respectively. Meger showed promise off the bench last week, throwing for 257 yards in a part-time role. In WR Jordan Leslie, he has access to a productive pass-catcher capable of knifing through an average Tulane secondary.

What To Watch Out For: Griffin was sacked just once last week, a credit to the play of his O-line versus an aggressive SMU front. The Green Wave's task this week will be to contain UTEP's Horace Miller, an end in an outside linebacker's body. If No. 33, who has five sacks, can be stalled, Griffin should get the time he needs to find an open man.

What Will Happen: UTEP will take advantage of its best chance in over a month to finally win a game. Tulane will come in confident after last week's victory, but won't have the defensive success on the road that it did in the Superdome. Meger to Leslie will be a connection that haunts the Green Wave, trumping whatever Griffin will be able to produce in his second game back from injury.

CFN Prediction: UTEP 33 … Tulane 23
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) UTEP -15 O/U: 50
Must Watch Rating (5 – Seven Psychopaths, 1 – Here Comes the Boom): 1