New Orleans Bowl: Preview, Predictions, TV info

By Tony Moss | Senior Editor

What: R + L Carriers New Orleans Bowl

Who: Tulane (7-5, 5-3 Conference USA) vs. Louisiana-Lafayette (8-4, 5-2 Sun Belt)

When: Saturday, Dec. 21, 9 pm ET (ESPN)

Where: Mercedes-Benz Superdome (73,208), New Orleans

Opening line: Pick'em

What matters: This will be a home game for Tulane, which will be playing in the Superdome for the final time before moving into an on-campus facility next season. The Green Wave, who will be appearing in a bowl for the first time since 2002 (a win over Hawaii in the Hawaii Bowl) was 5-1 in the dome this season. ULL, meanwhile, is attempting to win a third straight New Orleans Bowl, after downing East Carolina and San Diego State in the event the past two years. The New Orleans Bowl is the only bowl the Ragin' Cajuns have appeared in, and they've never lost.

Who matters: If you're given to forgetfulness, don't worry because you'll be reminded that Tulane QB Nick Montana is the son of Hall of Famer Joe Montana roughly every 12 seconds. Montana passed for 1,659 yards with 14 TD and 9 INT this season, but the Green Wave was led more by a defense that forced 33 turnovers (second in FBS), including seven picks for CB Lorenzo Doss. ULL's star quarterback Terrence Broadway broke his wrist in the second-to-last week of the season, and his replacement Brooks Haack struggled in a blowout loss to South Alabama to end the season.

Matchup question: Tulane ranks 115th in FBS total offense -- will they move the ball enough, and score enough, to stick with a ULL team that with Broadway was 1st in the Sun Belt in scoring (37 points per game)?

Prediction: Tulane faded near the end, losing three of its last four after a 6-2 start. ULL has owned this event, and will have more fans in tow (in Tulane's home building, of all places), but the loss of Broadway has changed things measurably for the Ragin' Cajuns. Tulane 20, Louisiana-Lafayette 19.

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