Tulane Green Wave
When Tulane crushed UAB 49-10 on the road to improve its record to 2-1 last year, I thought Bob Toledo's system was finally yielding results. Little did I know that Toledo wouldn't finish the season and it would take the Green Wave 393 days to win another game. Tulane's 15-game losing streak came to an end against SMU on Saturday.
The Green Wave's win over SMU can be summarized in two words: Ryan Griffin. For the first time since their opener, the Green Wave had the services of their starting quarterback. With the entire playbook at his disposal, Tulane's senior quarterback displayed the talent and leadership Green Wave fans thought they'd see all year.
After shutting out UTEP last week, SMU head coach June Jones had to be expecting a better effort from his defense against Tulane. But what SMU saw on film from the last three games was hardly representative of what the Green Wave were capable of under Griffin.
One thing that I've grown to fear as a Tulane fan is the Green Wave's lack of depth. In recent years, Tulane has lost numerous games late as its thin roster wore down. That almost happened again today as SMU outscored the Green Wave 17-0 to start the fourth quarter to take a late 26-20 lead.
But Ryan Griffin led an improbable 68-yard TD drive in just 27 seconds to give the Green Wave a 27-26 win over SMU. On the day, Griffin was 17-32 for 302 yards and three TD passes. This was a far cry from what we saw from Devin Powell (a true freshman) and D.J. Ponder (a professional baseball player) under center.
Unlike the debacle of 2011, Tulane has clearly not quit on its head coach this year. The Green Wave's defense is improving and now that Ryan Griffin is back, look for Curtis Johnson to implement even more of the Saints offense. The Green Wave have a long road back to relevance, but Curtis Johnson is the right man for the job.
The 27-26 win over SMU will not be Tulane's only win of Curtis Johnson's first season as head coach.
Patrick Michael is a lifelong, diehard Tulane Green Wave fan. In 1994, he achieved his dream of graduating from Tulane University with a Bachelor's Degree in Mathematics. Patrick's greatest Green Wave memory is the 1998 season when Tulane went undefeated. Follow Patrick Michael on Twitter at patmichael84.
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