Tulane is going bowling again, after a decade long drought
That all changed two days ago, on December 3rd, as the Green Wave accepted an invitation to the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl to play the University of Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns on the opening day of the bowl season, December 21st.
Both the location and opponent are no surprises to Tulane. The game is essentially a home game for the Green Wave because it is taking place at the Superdome, the location of all of their home games. This also might well be the last game they play in the Superdome as their new stadium, Yulman Stadium, is expected to be ready for the start of the 2014 season.
Tulane's opponent in the game, Louisiana-Lafayette, defeated them last year 41-14 and are no stranger to this game as the Ragin' Cajuns have been the winner of the last two New Orleans Bowls. But this year is different for the Green Wave as it is the first time that they have not had a losing record in ten years after finishing the season at 7-5.
They hope to improve on their 21-5 all-time record against Louisiana Lafayette and win its first bowl since winning the inaugural Hawaii Bowl in 2002. Tulane is led by reigning Lou Groza award winning kicker Cairo Santos, star cornerback Lorenzo Doss who led the nation in interception yards(185) and was second in interceptions(7), and wide receiver Ryan Grant, who had 9 touchdowns.
Second year Head Coach Curtis Johnson deserves a ton of credit from turning this ship-wrecked program into something actually worth watching. Being a student at Tulane, going to football games during my first two years were depressing. The Superdome was way too big of a stadium for a school with around 8,000 kids and the bottom section would not even be half filled.
That's the atmosphere without even mentioning what was going on on the field. The team won a combined 3 games during that two year span. Now everything is changing, especially with the new stadium on the way. Yulman Stadium with its 30,000 seats, much more appropriate than the Superdome's 70,000+, will be poppin' next year come Saturday and team on the field will merit the applause.The team is not only watchable again, but competitive and exciting.
This program is only going to improve in the upcoming years as Coach Johnson's vastly improved recruiting classes start to mature. Johnson is known for his recruiting as he was the man who brought Ed Reed to Miami. New Orleans is on the rise once again.