Week 9 - UAB at Tulane

Posted Oct 25, 2012

Week 9 Fearless Prediction & Game Preview – UAB at Tulane

UAB (1-6) at Tulane (1-6) Oct. 27, 3:30

Here's The Deal: Neither UAB nor Tulane will be bowling in December. For the loser in New Orleans on Saturday afternoon, it becomes official.

The Green Wave has started playing a little better for first-year head coach Curtis Johnson, stunning SMU two weeks ago, and just falling short in El Paso against UTEP on Saturday. For Johnson, the rebuilding plan is assured of being a long one, something the coach knew when he left the NFL to take the job.

The Blazers are a carbon copy of the Green Wave. The young coach is a rookie, the team has a dearth of talent and the final five games will have as much to do with 2013 than 2012. UAB actually held a second-half lead on East Carolina in Greenville, but faltered down the stretch of a 42-35 loss.

Why UAB Might Win: The Blazers' 13th-ranked passing attack will cause problems for a suspect Tulane defense. UAB gave the ball to Austin Brown in mid-September, and the redshirt freshman has shown flashes ever since. Twice he's thrown three touchdown passes in a game, including last week against Eat Carolina. He'll continue to be flanked by big-play receivers, such as Jackie Williams, Jamarcus Nelson and Nick Adams.

Why Tulane Might Win: The Green Wave has been a different team since QB Ryan Griffin returned from an injury two weeks ago. Since then, the senior has thrown for 665 yards, five touchdowns and no interceptions. Not only will he put receivers Ryan Grant and Justyn Shackelford in a position to make plays against a shaky UAB secondary, but his big arm will also help open up the field for backs Orleans Darkwa and Rob Kelley.

What To Watch Out For: Neither team is protecting the pocket these days, but can anyone on either sideline get after the passer? Don't bank on it. Tulane does have DE Austen Jacks, who has the athleticism to get around the edge from time to time. UAB, on the other hand, might have to rely on the blitz if it hopes to make Griffin uncomfortable as he sets to throw. In those cases, playmaking LB Marvin Burdette is likely to get his number called.

What Will Happen: Tulane is playing with a little extra confidence these days, the byproduct of upsetting SMU and nearly doing the same to UTEP a week ago. The Green Wave will feed off of that energy and off of the passing of Griffin to avoid a spot in the Conference USA cellar. The once-feisty UAB defense is no longer making stops, hampering their hopes for a second win in 2012.

CFN Prediction: Tulane 30 … UAB 21
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) UAB -4 O/U: 54
Must Watch Rating (5 – The Girl, 1 – Don't Trust The B In Apt. 23): 1