Tulane comes out of the Western division of C-USA, and last year they finished 2-10, ending the year on an eight game losing streak.
There is not much to like for Tulane. They lost two of their top three receivers, backup running back, and the quarterback situation isn't any good.
The listed starter on the post spring depth chart is Joe Kemp, but he was not the starter last year; that position went to Kevin Moore who struggled to pass for eight scores and 13 picks.
The top returning starters at each position are below, the biggest bright spot is Andre Anderson, who did quite well. Now, if Tulane can stay in games, then he will become more valuable to the team's success.
Passing Com% Yards TD INT Joe Kemp 56.5 344 2 1 Rushing Carries Yards Yards Per Carry TD Andre Anderson 174 864 5.0 7 J.T. McDonald 37 124 3.4 3 Receiving Catches Yards Yards Per Catch TD Jeremy Williams 27 437 16.2 5 Casey Robottom 16 203 12.7 1 Alan Mitchell 20 224 11.2 1
Offensively, the Green Wave were inept to be nice, as they came in at 113th in the country in scoring
, which translates into a less-than-solid 16.7 per game.
The rushing attack hopes to be better, but Tulane lost their top two lineman in Troy Kropog and Michael Parenton. Kropog was drafted in the fourth round by the Tennessee Titans, and Parenton started 47 career games.
For a team looking to improve, losing two of the school's all-time best on the line is huge, and this will adversely affect the rushing game. However, Andre Anderson had 864 yards in seven games (really six because of a season ending injury he suffered).
Anderson had four games over 100 yards, and two of those were over two hundred yards. With a new line, Anderson may have to be creative to get to the same level of production from 2008.
Another injury that hindered the Green Wave from success was wide out Jeremy Williams', who played in only five games and averaged nearly 100 yards a game. If the quarterback situation is settled, then look for Williams to take advantage of secondaries.
The quarterback battle is between projected starter
Joe Kemp and 2008 starter Kevin Moore
, and in my opinion, it could change quickly if Kemp starts to struggle. Their first two games are at home against Tulsa and BYU, but both are really good teams that will cause trouble for either quarterback.
Moore lost the job for 2009 because of his second half struggles. In his first five games he averaged nearly 250 per game, but in the second half the wheels fell off and he only passed over 200 yards once.
On to the equally disappointing
defense, which also ranked in the 100's, giving up 34.5 per game. The defense does return six players, but like I say quite often: Does a team that returns multiple starters really improve if that unit was bad the previous year?
My big sign that teams are bad is turnover margin. That does seem obvious, but this stat goes both ways. Last season they were minus five, and again, near the bottom of the FBS.
The first two games again will test this defense.
Tulsa and BYU put up a lot of points and yards; most of those will come from the air attack.
The part of the defense that will be the best is the line, they bring back experience with four players who played significant time. Also they lost just one starter.
Tulane hopes to improve on their two win season, and have only one gimme in FCS punching bag McNeese State. Other than that there are maybe four winnable games: at Army, UTEP, SMU, and at UFC.
However, with three of those games on the road, it looks like less of a chance for Tulane to surpass the two win mark of 2008.