Oct 10, 2020; Annapolis, Maryland, USA;  Temple Owls quarterback Anthony Russo (15) waves to the crowd after throwing a second half touchdown against the Navy Midshipmen at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

News Articles

Tulane defense needs to step up against Temple

Tulane has allowed an excessive amount of yards during its three-game losing streak.

The total in that stretch is 1,746 yards.

The Green Wave (2-4, 0-4 American Athletic Conference) hope to reduce that rate of opponent production when they host Temple (1-2, 1-2) in an AAC battle on Saturday.

Tulane allowed 689 total yards in a 51-34 loss at UCF last week.

“We get in the film room and learn from our previous game every week,” Green Wave defensive end Cameron Sample said. “We are getting better as a team. That’s the one thing we’re focused on right now — going into the film room and fixing our mistakes.”

The Green Wave have hurt themselves with both mental and physical breakdowns while allowing a series of big plays during the losing streak.

“Offenses are hard to just shut down like you did 20 years ago,” Tulane coach Willie Fritz said. “It’s totally different. It’s hard to shut anybody out nowadays, and when you’re not assignment-sound, it makes it very difficult.”

The Green Wave have an experienced defense that was expected to be one of the team’s strengths this season as Tulane seeks an unprecedented third straight bowl trip.

“We’re a senior-led team,” Sample said. “I feel like we’ve got the right guys as seniors and leaders on this team, and it starts with Coach Fritz’s mindset. We’ll get ready going forward for these (remaining) games.”

The Green Wave do have a lot of seniors, but their quarterback is a freshman, Michael Pratt, who will make his fourth start on Saturday. Pratt threw three touchdown passes against UCF.

“When we protect,” Fritz said, “he’s a pretty darn good, accurate quarterback.”

Temple’s Anthony Russo has been a pretty good quarterback, too.

The graduate senior is completing 68 percent of his passes and is coming off a four-touchdown performance in which he passed for 387 of his team’s 500 total yards in a 41-29 loss at Memphis.

However, Russo also had three interceptions and for the season his nine touchdown passes are offset by six interceptions.

“I’m pleased with the way he has bounced back from the turnovers, but I’m not pleased with the turnovers,” Owls coach Rod Carey said. “He’s getting over the bad plays. Now the next step is to eliminate the bad plays. We’ll have a little more emphasis on getting that corrected this week.”

Russo could be limited in practice this week after playing through a shoulder injury that he kept quiet as he threw 63 passes against Memphis.

“He wasn’t going to tell me that he banged up the shoulder during the game,” Carey said. “He’s tough.”

Russo was scheduled to undergo an MRI on the shoulder, but the Owls are hopeful he’ll be ready to start Saturday.

Despite the yards that Tulane has been allowing to some of the most prolific offenses in the country, including Houston and SMU in addition to UCF, Carey said the Green Wave have “probably the best defense all around that we have played to date.”

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
Sport Writer & Editor
FLM has a North American focus while tying into regional and hyper-local resources – providing the ability to distribute compelling content through the writing of professional journalists. As the U.S. sports content provider to dozens of digital and print media publishers through strategic partnerships with the likes of Reuters and Nielsen Sports, FLM covers the nuts and bolts with a breaking news desk and game event coverage.

Sportsbooks

Rated 5/5

Rated 5/5

Rated 5/5

Rated 5/5

Upcoming Games

Oct 20th, 7:30 PM

Coastal Carolina (15) -2.5 -107

Appalachian State +2.5 -107

@

Oct 21st, 7:30 PM

Louisiana-Lafayette -15 -110

Arkansas State +15 -110

@

Oct 21st, 7:30 PM

Tulane +14.5 -110

SMU (23) -14.5 -110

@

Oct 21st, 7:30 PM

Florida Atlantic -5 -107

Charlotte +5 -107

@

Oct 21st, 11:00 PM

San Jose State -3 -107

UNLV +3 -107

@

Oct 22nd, 6:00 PM

Middle Tennessee -14.5 -107

UCONN +14.5 -107

@

Oct 22nd, 7:00 PM

Memphis +3 -107

UCF -3 -107

@

Oct 22nd, 9:30 PM

Colorado State -2.5 -107

Utah State +2.5 -107

@

Oct 22nd, 10:30 PM

Washington -16.5 -107

Arizona +16.5 -107

@

Oct 23rd, 12:00 PM

Massachusetts +35.5 -107

Florida State -35.5 -107

@

Oct 23rd, 12:00 PM

Arkansas-Pine Bluff +51.5 -110

Arkansas (17) -51.5 -110

@

Oct 23rd, 12:00 PM

Eastern Michigan -3 -110

Bowling Green +3 -110

@

Oct 23rd, 12:00 PM

NIU +4 -107

Central Michigan -4 -107

@

Oct 23rd, 12:00 PM

Kansas State -2.5 -107

Texas Tech +2.5 -107

@

Oct 23rd, 12:00 PM

Oklahoma (4) -37 -110

Kansas +37 -110

@

Oct 23rd, 12:00 PM

Cincinnati (3) -26.5 -107

Navy +26.5 -107

@

Oct 23rd, 12:00 PM

Northwestern +21.5 -107

Michigan (8) -21.5 -107

@

Oct 23rd, 12:00 PM

Illinois +23.5 -107

Penn State (7) -23.5 -107

@

Oct 23rd, 12:00 PM

Wake Forest (16) -4 -110

Army +4 -110

@

Oct 23rd, 12:30 PM

Syracuse +4 -110

Virginia Tech -4 -110

@

Oct 23rd, 1:00 PM

Kent State -6 -107

Ohio +6 -107

@

Oct 23rd, 2:00 PM

Texas State +10.5 -107

Georgia State -10.5 -107

@

Oct 23rd, 3:00 PM

Wisconsin -2.5 -110

Purdue +2.5 -110

@

Oct 23rd, 3:30 PM

Oklahoma State (12) +6 -107

Iowa State -6 -107

@

Oct 23rd, 3:30 PM

LSU +10.5 -110

Ole Miss (13) -10.5 -110

@

Oct 23rd, 3:30 PM

BYU (19) -1 -110

Washington State +1 -110

@

Oct 23rd, 3:30 PM

Colorado +9.5 -110

California -9.5 -110

@

Oct 23rd, 3:30 PM

Buffalo -12.5 -107

Akron +12.5 -107

@

Oct 23rd, 3:30 PM

Miami-OH +7.5 -107

Ball State -7.5 -107

@

Oct 23rd, 3:30 PM

Western Michigan -3 -107

Toledo +3 -107

@

Oct 23rd, 3:30 PM

Oregon (9) -3 -107

UCLA +3 -107

@

Oct 23rd, 3:30 PM

Rice +23.5 -107

UAB -23.5 -107

@

Oct 23rd, 3:30 PM

Clemson -1 -110

Pittsburgh +1 -110

@

Oct 23rd, 3:30 PM

Maryland +6 -107

Minnesota -6 -107

@

Oct 23rd, 3:30 PM

New Mexico +20.5 -107

Wyoming -20.5 -107

@

Oct 23rd, 4:00 PM

Mississippi State -23 -110

Vanderbilt +23 -110

@

Oct 23rd, 4:00 PM

Boston College +6.5 -107

Louisville -6.5 -107

@

Oct 23rd, 4:00 PM

Liberty -21.5 -107

North Texas +21.5 -107

@

Oct 23rd, 4:00 PM

East Carolina +12 -110

Houston -12 -110

@

Oct 23rd, 7:00 PM

WKU -17.5 -107

Florida International (FIU) +17.5 -107

@

Oct 23rd, 7:00 PM

Tennessee +23.5 -107

Alabama (5) -23.5 -107

@

Oct 23rd, 7:00 PM

UTSA -7 -117

LA Tech +7 -117

@

Oct 23rd, 7:00 PM

South Alabama -13.5 -107

Louisiana-Monroe +13.5 -107

@

Oct 23rd, 7:00 PM

Temple +4 -110

USF -4 -110

@

Oct 23rd, 7:00 PM

Nevada +1 -107

Fresno State -1 -107

@

Oct 23rd, 7:00 PM

San Diego State (24) +5.5 -107

Air Force -5.5 -107

@

Oct 23rd, 7:30 PM

South Carolina +17.5 -110

Texas A&M (21) -17.5 -110

@

Oct 23rd, 7:30 PM

Utah -3 -110

Oregon State +3 -110

@

Oct 23rd, 7:30 PM

NC State (22) -2.5 -107

Miami-FL +2.5 -107

@

Oct 23rd, 7:30 PM

West Virginia +5.5 -107

TCU -5.5 -107

@

Oct 23rd, 7:30 PM

USC +6.5 -107

Notre Dame (14) -6.5 -107

@

Oct 23rd, 7:30 PM

Georgia Tech +6 -107

Virginia -6 -107

@

Oct 23rd, 7:30 PM

Ohio State (6) -19 -107

Indiana +19 -107

@

Oct 24th, 12:00 AM

New Mexico State +17.5 -110

Hawaii -17.5 -110

@