Armed Forces Bowl: Southern Miss vs. Tulane in a Regional Showdown
You may not be aware of this, but the Southern Miss Golden Eagles and Tulane Green Wave have had a heated rivalry through the years, having met 30 times. It’s just that they haven’t tangled since 2010, because of their conference commitments. Well, they’ll get together once again on Saturday morning. That’s when they clash in the Armed Forces Bowl, beginning at 11:30 AM in Fort Worth.
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A little background
Tulane comes into this game limping in a sense. That’s because they have lost five of their last six games. All five of those losses have come against teams who have, at one time or another, been in the top 25. But they have lost them nonetheless.
The Green Wave is always going to bring a bit of a challenge from a strategic standpoint. That’s because they run the option. Coach Willie Fritz brought that over from Georgia Southern. And he’s been bringing this program back to respectability. Last year they were in the Cure Bowl, beating Louisiana-Lafayette 41-24. This year they are 6-6 SU and 8-4 ATS.
Southern Miss (7-5 SU, 6-6 ATS) has lost five games, all of them by double-digit margins. Three of those came in conference play, which looks like something of a red flag. But with fourth-year coach Jay Hopson, they come into this year’s festivities with a bit of a chip on their shoulder, as they were they were left out of bowl activity last season despite a 6-5 record.
Here are the numbers…..
In the college football betting odds posted on this game, Tulane is the solid favorite:
|Tulane||-7½ (-110)||57 (-110)||-300|
|Southern Miss||+7½ (-110)||57 (-110)||+250|
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Betting Tulane Green Wave
They were 11th in the nation in rushing this season, averaging 250 yards per game and 5.3 yards per carry.
Quarterback Justin McMillan, who had 704 yards on the ground, is a pretty good ball handler. And that’s what you need to be in this option attack. The LSU transfer is not a huge passing threat, however. His 14-10 ratio of touchdowns to interceptions and 57% accuracy has him in the bottom half of the NCAA Division I quarterbacks as far as efficiency rating is concerned. And frankly, with the possible exception of wide receiver Jalan McCleskey, there’s no one in the receiving corps considered a game-breaker.
The defense finished 54th overall and forced just 14 turnovers. Tulane has had problems getting to the quarterback. Only 14 teams in the country have a worse sack rate than they have, in fact.
Betting Southern Miss Golden Eagles
They actually have a pretty good quarterback in Jack Abraham who can get the ball down the field. He also completed 67.5% of his passes. But he also threw 15 interceptions. Quez Watkins is a genuine threat on the outside, with 18.6 yards per catch. There isn’t much of a running game to speak of.
The important thing to remember about this defense is that it does a tremendous job dealing with opposition ground attacks. The Golden Eagles have allowed only 3.4 yards per carry. And that generally puts opponents in a tough spot on third down. That is reflected in the numbers, as USM has surrendered only 31.8% success in those situations. That 16th the best in the nation.
With about a month to get ready, Southern Miss might be up to the challenge of dealing with the option. And in the course of play against some rather proficient teams, only Mississippi State exceeded 200 yards rushing against them. So this will be a tough nut for Tulane to crack. And they have been known to beat themselves a little bit with penalties (eight per game). Abraham should be able to operate if the Tulane pass rush is as bad as it’s been. We think there’s a lot of room for Southern Miss to come in under this imposts.
There’s only a little college football left, but we still have the championship game between Clemson and LSU. At BetAnySports you’ll see a lot of great props, along with alternate lines and reduced juice, see you can get a better deal than -110 when you place your wager…… If you’re the kind of player who likes a little something extra, you can use Sports Betting Ultra or Live Betting Extra to place real-time wagers throughout the game…… They give you plenty of options open up an account. You can use a debit or credit card, person-to-person transfer or the virtual currency of Bitcoin. If you go that route, you will NEVER pay a transaction fee!