Tulane (7-6) opened the 2018-2019 bowl season in college football by recording the first bowl victory for the school since 2002. Tulane defeated Louisiana (7-7) in the AutoNation Cure Bowl in Orlando on Saturday afternoon, 41-24.
Tulane had a 24-10 lead at halftime but started to feel pressure from Louisiana as the Ragin Cajuns battled back in the second half, cutting the Tulane lead to 27-24 early in the fourth quarter. But just when it seemed as though Tulane may let one slip through their fingers, a pair of fourth-down gambles paid off in a big way. On 4th-and-7 from the Louisiana 30-yard line, Willie Fritz decided to go for a first down and was rewarded with Justin McMillan completing a 15-yard pass to keep the drive going. A few plays later, Darius Bradwell scored a four-yard touchdown to give Tulane a two-score lead. After the defense came through with a quick series, Tulane once again faced a 4th-and-7 that worked out for the best. McMillan put the game away with just over three minutes to play on a keeper for a 16-yard touchdown run to extend Tulane’s lead to a 17-point margin on a fourth and seven.
One last offensive gasp by Louisiana came to an end with an interception in the endzone by Chris Joyce.
Despite a pair of turnovers, Tulane was called for just one five-yard penalty in the game and the Green Wave out-gained Louisiana 483-258. Bradwell rushed for a game-high 150 yards with two scores and McMillan combined for a pair of touchdowns in the win. The defense was a big factor in the first half, allowing just over 100 yards of offense before halftime despite giving up 75 yards on the first drive of the game. Louisiana scored a touchdown on the game’s opening possession but then struggled to move the ball against the Tulane defense until the second half.
Prior to Saturday’s win in the Cure Bowl, Tulane’s last bowl victory came in the 2002 Hawaii Bowl. This was the second bowl victory for Fritz, who previously won his only bowl game coached at Georgia Southern before coming to Tulane. Fritz is 2-0 in bowl games.
Tulane will head into 2019 season looking to take another step forward as a program as Fritz enters his fourth year on the job. The Green Wave have improved their win total each year with Fritz as the head coach as Tulane continues to try building itself into a contender in the AAC. The 2019 season will begin on Aug. 31, 2019 at home against FIU, followed by a road trip to Auburn the following week. Tulane will get home games in conference play against Houston and UCF and will make road trips to Memphis, Navy, and Temple as part of the conference schedule.
Louisiana will get to open their 2019 season in New Orleans with a matchup against Mississippi State on Aug. 31, 2019. The Ragin’ Cajuns also get home games against Liberty and Texas Southern in non-conference play and will get some big Sun Belt games at home against Appalachian State, Troy and rival ULM. Louisiana will travel to Arkansas State and Georgia Southern in the Sun Belt schedule next fall as well, with conference dates to be announced.
Rutgers is looking for a new head coach and Mississippi State head coach Joe Moorhead is supposedly the so-called frontrunner for the job, according to reports out of New Jersey. But would the Mississippi State head coach leave the SEC to take on the massive undertaking at Rutgers? For now, at least, the Bulldogs head coach is saying all the things you would expect a coach in a current job to say.
“It’s not something that’s under consideration,” Moorhead said to Paul Finebaum of SEC Network when asked about his potential interest in the job on Friday afternoon. “My focus is here at Mississippi State. This is where we want to be and this is what we want to do.”
Moorhead is in his second season as head coach of Mississippi State. Moorhead’s northeastern roots as a New Jersey native seem like a natural fit to take on the Rutgers coaching job. Whether Moorhead is leaving one program stuck in the bottom half of its own division in the SEC for a chance to be stuck in the bottom half of its division in the Big Ten remains to be seen. Moorhead is saying everything a current head coach should be expected to say, whether he genuinely means it or not.
Rutgers fired Chris Ash at the end of September after a 1-3 start capped by a blowout loss at Michigan. Tight ends coach Nunzio Campanile has been serving as the team’s interim coach while the search for a permanent replacement for Ash is found.
As the trend of allowing alcohol at college football games continues to sweep the nation, the state of Idaho has moved one step closer to allowing schools like Boise State to potentially join the trend. According to a report from Idaho Press, the state’s education board has granted preliminary approval to allow universities to decide for themselves if alcohol will be permitted.
The Idaho State Board of Education previously stood in the way of schools within the state from allowing alcohol at collegiate athletic events, such as Boise State football games. Although certain battles have been won in recent years to allow for restricted alcohol availability under certain parameters, the state’s board of education is essentially preparing to step out of the way entirely.
This doesn’t mean Boise State or Idaho Vandal fans will be able to soak in the suds this season though. A revised policy from the board is tentative to be voted on in December for final approval to allow universities to decide for themselves. As it turns out, the decision to pass on the decision-making to university presidents may be more of a way to prevent the board from wasting time on the subject entirely.
“This Board needs to focus on strategic direction for education policy,” board member Andrew Scoggin said, according to the Idaho Press report. “We have very capable and competent chief executive officers at these institutions and there are very clear requirements for safety and security that they will have to meet in order to authorize these permits.”
If the refined policy to pass on the responsibility to individual institutions, that could pave the way for Boise State to have alcohol sales expanded at football games as early as next season if the university is interested in the trend.
Virginia Tech is possibly about to lose a defensive lineman from its roster. Defensive tackle Rob Porcher has entered the transfer portal, a report with confirmation from Virginia Tech confirmed Friday afternoon.
Andy Bitter of The Athletic reported news of the transfer portal development, via Twitter.
Porcher is a redshirt sophomore, so he will have two more years of eligibility at another FBS program. Porcher would have to sit out the 2020 season at another FBS program, per NCAA transfer rules, if he does end up leaving the Hokies. Any player entering the transfer portal is free to have contact with any other college football program as they evaluate their options. A decision to remain in Blacksburg is always possible too, although the report from Bitter suggests that may not be the end-result for Porcher.
Porcher has appeared in five games this season. In that time, Porcher has recorded three tackles with one sack.
The almighty transfer portal has added another college football player’s name to its database. Michigan State tight end Noah Davis has reportedly entered the transfer portal, according to Detroit Free Press reporter Rainer Sabin (via Twitter).
Davis appeared in four games for Michigan State this season, but he has not caught a pass this season. Three other tight ends on the Michigan State roster have contributed on offense this season. Senior Matt Seybert is Michigan State’s third-leading receiver with 15 receptions for 185 yards and three touchdowns. Matt Dotson and Trenton Gillison have also played a part in the passing game at times this season. Davis did not play in 208 due to injury. Davis will have one final year of eligibility in 2020.
By entering the transfer portal, Davis is free to have contact with any other college football program that may be interested in recruiting him to their program. Davis may also choose to stay with the Spartans.
Davis is the sixth Michigan State player to enter the transfer portal since the season got underway. Previous players entering the transfer portal from Michigan State include running backs Connor Heyward (HERE) and La’Darius Jefferson (HERE), wide receivers Weston Bridges (HERE) and Cam Chambers, and linebacker Brandon Bouyet-Randle (HERE).