WEST POINT, N.Y. – Tulane got plenty of time to regroup after a dramatic last-second win over Houston and is ready to face a much different test when it visits Army on Saturday. The Green Wave are off to a strong start and are enjoying their final non-conference game against the Black Knights, who lead FBS in rushing attempts per game and rank last in passing yardage.
TV: Noon ET, CBS Sports Network. LINE: Tulane -3
Tulane outlasted Houston 38-31 on Sept. 19 before getting last week off and spent the extra downtime preparing for Army's triple-option attack. "We are going to find out (how much the rest helps), but it sure is nice to have," Green Wave coach Willie Fritz told reporters. "What they do is just so unusual. There's not a lot of carryover with what our offense does compared with what they do." The Black Knights, whose lone loss was a 24-21 setback at Michigan in Week 2, are coming off a bye as well and knocked off Morgan State 52-21 going into the break but had some work to do after coach Jeff Monken was unhappy with the team's level of play. "I don't know when I've been more embarrassed as a coach," Monken told reporters after the victory. "I just did a terrible job of preparing our team. We played as poorly as we've played all year long and we have to do better. If we play like that in any game at any point the rest of the year, we're going to get beat."
ABOUT TULANE (3-1)
The Green Wave are planning on competing for an American Athletic Conference title this season and are counting on the play of quarterback Justin McMillan, who showed off his wide range of talents in the win over Houston. McMillan, who tied the game with a touchdown on a quarterback keep and threw the winning 53-yard TD pass with two seconds remaining, finished with four total TDs (three passing, one rushing) in the win. The Green Wave still prefer to keep the ball on the ground and McMillan is second on the team with 245 rushing yards behind Darius Bradwell (255 yards) and in front of Corey Dauphine (202).
ABOUT ARMY (3-1)
The Black Knights are averaging 293.5 rushing yards with five runners over 100 yards on the season, led by senior Connor Slomka with 261. Slomka led the way with 110 yards in the win over Morgan State and the team finished with 403 yards and six TDs on the ground. "I think it's kind of a point with the O-Line, like Connor said," Black Knights running back Cade Barnard told reporters. "It's a big trust thing with the O-Line and the D-Backs. I feel like any of us go in there and we just trust our fundamentals, the O-Line is going to do their job and the ball is going to get moved no matter who's in there. I think that we have the confidence to be able to succeed because of them."
1. The Green Wave rushed for 250 or more yards in three of the first four games.
2. The Black Knights come into Saturday riding a 15-game home winning streak.
3. Tulane leads the series between the former Conference USA rivals 11-9-1, with the Green Wave taking the most recent meeting 21-17 at home in 2017.
PREDICTION: Tulane 34, Army 28