Bulls head to New Orleans looking for complete performance

Coach Jeff Scott said in a press conference Tuesday he believes Tulane’s recent defensive success is due to the Green Wave playing more man-to-man coverage rather than zone. ORACLE PHOTO/LEDA ALVIM

As the Bulls travel to New Orleans for a matchup with the Tulane Green Wave, they will look to end the trend of not being able to put a full four quarters of successful football together.

“Tulane, I think they’re very similar to us in a lot of ways, better than their record says,” Scott said. “You really look at the last two weeks, they’ve played extremely well, especially on defense.”

The Green Wave’s (1-9, 0-6 AAC) defense recently held UCF and Tulsa to 10 and 13 points, respectively, in its last two games. Tulane also held the Knights to just 277 yards of total offense.

“They’re very athletic at corner, I think one thing that’s helped them the last two weeks defensively is they really went away from playing so much zone coverage to really, they’re playing a lot of press-man [coverage] in your face,” Scott said.

“They have the athleticism to be able to do that. Central Florida and Tulsa both have really athletic wideouts, and Tulane did a really good job not giving up much. Because they can press those guys and not give up the soft throws, its allowed them to be able to get into the box and play the run a little bit better.”

Aside from Tulane’s defense, quarterback Michael Pratt also proves to be a notable threat.

Pratt has completed 56.4% of his passes for 3,738 yards, 37 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in 19 appearances. He has also rushed for 331 yards and 12 touchdowns on 204 attempts.

“[He’s got a] really live arm and [he’s] tough,” defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer said Wednesday. “If you go back to some previous games against SMU and Tulsa, he’s getting hit and scrambling. There was twice against SMU [where] he goes down to slide after he gets the first down and [he gets hit and it’s] a penalty, an obvious penalty.

“I’m surprised he got up after one of them. So, I respect him a lot for his toughness. He’s not coming out, he’s not tapping out. He was high school teammates with [sophomore defensive back] Chris Townsel, and Chris said the same thing about him.”

Despite USF’s (2-8, 1-5 AAC) unfavorable record, the players on the roster still value the final two games of the season and know they’re capable of winning out, according to Scott.

“[The team] knows where we are and what we have the chance to do and what we’re going to set our sights on,” Scott said. “It’s very real and genuine and I think that’s why they’re pushing and working, because they know that as well. 

“If they didn’t have confidence that we have a chance to go out and have success in these last two games, then you wouldn’t see what I got to see today and in Tuesday’s practice.”

The Bulls and Green Wave play Saturday at noon in Yulman Stadium. The game will be streamed on ESPN+ and broadcast on 95.3/620 WDAE/iHeartRadio Bulls Unlimited.