When and where: November 10, 2018, Yulman Stadium, New Orleans, LA, 4:00 PM ET
The East Carolina Pirates will face the herculean task of going on the road to New Orleans to take on a Tulane Green Wave team coming off its biggest win of the season. Few believed the Green Wave could actually beat the previously ranked South Florida Bulls. Not only did they beat the Bulls, but they blew them out on their home field. East Carolina, on the other hand, is coming off four consecutive losses with the most recent coming at the hands of Memphis.
Ahlers a one-man band for the Pirates
East Carolina finished their game last Saturday against the Memphis Tigers with 559 total yards of offense. True freshman quarterback Holton Ahlers was responsible for 506 yards. It was a one-man offensive clinic for a player that has only recently been named the starter for the Pirates.
Ahlers finished the game going 34-of-62 passing for 449 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. He was also the team’s leading rusher with 17 carries for 57 yards. The ability for such a young quarterback to take on so much of the offense is astonishing. Ahlers has dropped back to pass 115 times in the Pirates’ last two games. His big-play ability bodes well for the future, and he’ll continue to improve as he gains more experience as a starter.
However, East Carolina will also have to find some reliable offensive pieces to put around him and help share some of the responsibility. The fact that he is passing and running so much speaks to the lack of depth for the Pirates. They don’t have many offensive playmakers outside of their young quarterback.
Senior wideout Trevon Brown has been the only steady playmaker for Ahlers late in the season. He finished with 10 receptions for 193 yards and two touchdowns against Memphis.
Running backs lead the way for Tulane
Unlike East Carolina, Tulane’s offense goes primarily through its two running backs, Corey Dauphine and Darius Bradwell. Quarterback Justin McMillan plays the typical game-managing role, which mostly consists of delivering short, check-down throws and preventing turnovers.
He played that role perfectly last Saturday against South Florida, finishing the game with only four completions for 61 yards. His most important statistic, however, was his zero interceptions—although, he did manage to lose a fumble in the game.
Outside of the fumble, Tulane played a relatively clean game that was featured around their relentless rushing attack. Bradwell finished the game with a team-high 135 rushing yards and one touchdown on 15 carries, while Dauphine had 17 carries for 121 yards and two touchdowns. The Green Wave’s offensive front bullied the Bulls in the trenches throughout the entire game, opening up holes the size of Louisiana for the running backs to run through.
— American Football (@American_FB) November 4, 2018
One soul-crushing run was Bradwell taking a simple handoff 73 yards for a touchdown late in the third quarter.
- Green Wave are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games played at home
- Green Wave are 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 games played in the month of November
- Green Wave are 15-6 ATS in their last 21 games played at home against teams with a losing record on the road
- Green Wave are 11-4-1 ATS in their last 16 games after a win of more than 20 points
- Pirates are 3-13-1 ATS in their last 17 games played in the month of November
- Pirates are 6-18 ATS in their last 24 games played on the road
- Pirates are 9-23 ATS in their last 32 games after allowing more than 450 total yards in the previous game
- Pirates are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games played on fieldturf
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
There’s no secret formula when it comes to slowing down Tulane’s offense. It’ll take a defensive unit that’s strong and sound up front against the run.
Stopping the run would force McMillan into trying to win the game with his arm, which probably wouldn’t end well for the Green Wave. They are sure to face that problem against better college football teams, but East Carolina isn’t one of them.
The Pirates defense is allowing an average of 162.8 yards on the ground per game. That spells doom against Tulane’s one-two punch at running back. Bradwell is thunder and Dauphine is lightning, and the two are about to combine for a fearsome storm on East Carolina’s struggling defense.
Tulane isn’t great on the defensive side of the ball, either, but there also isn’t much help right now for East Carolina’s young quarterback Ahlers. There’s a reason why the team has continued to lose week after week, despite his ability to consistently put up prolific stats. This week will be no different against a vastly superior football team in Tulane.
Prediction: Tulane Green Wave (-13.5)
Full-Game Total Pick
The under is 4-1 in the last five head-to-head meetings between these two teams. Both teams are averaging under 30 points per game, and I don’t expect that to change in this game, even with all of the question marks on defense. The under betting line is also helped by the fact that Tulane should eat up the clock with their run-heavy offense.
Prediction: Under (56)