Returning Starters – Offense: 8 Defense: 7
Preview: After a surprise 7 win campaign in 2013 Tulane took a step back last season picking up just 3 wins on their way to a 3-9 record. The Green Wave have had only one successful season in the three years under head coach Curtis Johnson who’s compiled a 12-25 record in his time as the head man. Tulane brings back 15 starters to a squad that has some talent to build around and the offense has to improve after a brutal 2014 campaign.
Tulane was tough to watch on the offensive side of the ball last season as this unit failed to score 15 or more points in all but 1 of their final 9 games. The starting QB job will go to Tanner Lee who has arm talent, but needs to improve on many parts of his game after struggling through his redshirt freshman campaign. Tanner was part of the offensive struggles, but he also didn’t have much help around him. There’s reason for hope along the O-line with 4 returning starters to a group that should be better in 2015. The backfield should be a bright spot with Badie, Thompson, and Hilliard leading the way. The receiving corps should be much netter this season as this still young group now has some experience under their belt.
The defensive production dipped last season, but part of this had to do with the offensive struggles putting this unit against the wall. With 7 starters coming back along with some key pieces this unit is expected to get back more towards their 2013 numbers. The D-line returns 3 starters and this unit is strong in the middle with Smart and Wilson leading the group. The LB corps should continue to be strong as the unit builds around the talented Nico Marley. The secondary lost some key pieces, but this group still has talent and will build around Monroe and Nickerson.
Prediction: There is enough talent coming back for this squad to improve in 2015, but many of the key offensive pieces are still underclassmen. The Green Wave have had a tough time with their transition into the AAC and tricky nonconference games against Duke and Georgia Tech will test this squad early on. Tulane will be underdogs in most of their contests this season and that’ll make it tough for this squad to get back to bowl eligibility. If the defense can get back to their 2013 form an uptick in wins should be expected.
Projected Record: 4-8 (2-6)