Game 2 (September 6th, 2008)
Bryant-Denny Stadium (92,138)
2007 Record: 4-8
Head Coach: Bob Toledo, 2nd year, 4-8
Career Record: 53-40
Offensive Coordinator: Dan Dodd, 2nd year
Defensive Coordinator: O'Neill Gilbert, 1st year
Key Starters Returning:
Michael Parenton, LOG/C (6-3, 304, SR)
Reggie Scott, LDE (6-3, 270, SR)
Adam Kwentua, RDE (6-3, 249, SO)
Most Alabama fans will remember Tulane coach Bob Toledo from the 2000 season opener when he coached the UCLA Bruins to a 35-24 win over the preseason ranked, #3 Crimson Tide in the Rose Bowl, thus beginning the downward spiral for Alabama and head football coach, Mike Dubose.
Coach Bob Toledo/photo courtesy of WWL TV
When Coach Toledo and the Crimson Tide meet again on September 6th, Toledo will not have a workhorse of a tail back like Deshaun Foster to depend on. As a matter of fact, the Green Wave will be looking hard and long to figure out how to replace the departed Matt Forte, who set a school record of 2,127 yards rushing and 23 touchdowns in 2007.
Gone also is Anthony Scelfo, last year's starting quarterback who left the team after the 2007 campaign to focus on his baseball career and was drafted earlier this year in the 8th round by Tampa. The question marks surrounding the quarterback position will likely not be answered until the commencement of Fall camp where either sophomore Kevin Moore or red shirt freshman Joe Kemp will likely emerge as the Green Wave signal caller. Moore is the most likely of the two to get the starting nod as he is the only quarter back on the staff that has seen action on the college level throwing for 432 yards and completing 30 of 54 passes.
Kevin Moore/photo courtesy of tulanegreenwave.cstv.com
In other words, when Tulane has the ball against Alabama, don't expect to see much trickery or West Coast style offense out of the Green Wave. Coach Toledo will likely keep the game plan very simple so he can build confidence in his young offensive team. There should be a lot of running attempts between the tackles, short outlet passes with the occasional long ball thrown down the field to give the illusion of a somewhat balanced attack.
Defensively, the Green Wave will look to new defensive coordinator O'Neill Gilbert to keep opposing offenses in check. Gilbert replaces Thom Kaumeyer who left the Green Wave for the "bluer" grass of Kentucky earlier this year. Gilbert inherits a solid defensive end in Reggie Scott, who tended to spend a lot of time in opposing backfields last fall. The Green wave improved from the 9th best rush defense in C-USA in 2006 to the best rush defense in 2007.
Reggie Scott/photo courtesy of tulanegreenwave.cstv.com
Final Analysis: With new players filling key position for the Green Wave this season and with Alabama being the first game on the schedule for the Green Wave, this may be about as a "sure thing" for Alabama to count a game in the win column as any. Of course, we all know how sure things go with last year's game with Louisiana-Monroe. That being said, Alabama over matches the Green Wave in almost every position on the field and should pull away with a decisive win going into game 3 versus Western Kentucky University.
Final Score Prediction: BAMA 49 Tulane 7