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GAME PREVIEW: 9 BYU at Tulane

GAME PREVIEW: 9 BYU at Tulane


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PROVO -- Coming off a dramatic 14-13 win against Oklahoma, the BYU Cougars shot up in the polls to No. 9 (AP) and No. 12 (Coaches') receiving a myriad of national accolades.

Now, it's up to the Cougars to avoid the proverbial letdown game against a young and mistake-prone Tulane team in the Superdome in New Orleans.

Coach Bronco Mendenhall seems to have his team on the right page. During Wednesday's "Bronco Mendenhall Show" on KSL Newsradio, Mendenhall said his team is "completely focused on Tulane" and "eager to improve."

![](http://media.bonnint.net/slc/1150/115078/11507807.gif)![](http://www.ksl.com/graphics/byu_score.gif)**Week 2 Game Notes** No. 9 BYU (1-0, 0-0 MWC) at Tulane (0-1, 0-1 CUSA) **Date:** Saturday, Sept. 12 **Time:** 1:30 pm (MT) **Site:** New Orleans, Louisiana (Louisiana Superdome/69,703) **TV:** ESPN2 **Radio:** KSL-Radio; 1160 AM and 102.7 FM **Series Record:** Tied 1-1 **Last Meeting:** BYU won, 70-35, in Provo (2001)
The Cougars need to prove Saturday's upset was not a fluke, clean up their mistakes (turnovers and penalties), play dominantly on both sides of the ball and leave New Orleans with a convincing win.

KSL takes a look back and a look ahead as we prep for game day.

What did we learn about BYU versus Oklahoma?

  • The Cougars and Max Hall can win a big game.
  • The defense is fast and athletic and they hit hard
  • Harvey Unga has an adequate backup in Brian Kariya
  • The offensive line is more than adequate and can only get better

What questions do we have about BYU? - Will BYU play it safe and keep Harvey Unga (hamstring) off the field until the Florida State game? (He is a game time decision vs. Tulane)

  • Will we see improved special teams play? (Muffed punt return, missed field goal and out of bounds kickoff against Oklahoma)
  • Can BYU hang on to the ball after four turnovers against the Sooners?
  • Can the defense make it two strong games in a row?

What can BYU expect from Tulane? - Gimmickry and gadgetry; Bob Toledo and Dan Dodd love to run at least a few trick plays per game

  • A generous run defense; Tulane was 113th against the run last year and gave up 200+ rushing yards against Tulsa last week
  • Rookie mistakes from first year starting QB Joe Kemp
  • Good individual efforts from RB Andre Anderson and WR Jeremy Williams

What can we expect from BYU vs. Tulane? - BYU's first win east of the Mississippi since 2001

  • At least 100 yards rushing after running for less than a yard per carry against Oklahoma
  • More blitzing against Tulane's young quarterback
  • Cleaner play (fewer penalties and turnovers)

Miscellaneous: - This is the second straight season found itself the top 10. The Cougars peaked at 7th (Coaches') and 8th (AP) heading into their game at Utah State in 2008.

  • BYU has been ranked in the Top 25 polls for 22 consecutive weeks That leads the MWC, followed by Utah (18 consecutive) and TCU (12 straight). It's also 12 consecutive polls in which the "Big Three" have all been ranked.
  • The Green Wave have dropped 37 consecutive games against ranked opponents. They last beat a Top 25 team in 1982, when they topped No. 12 , 31-28. The last time the Wave rolled over a ranked team at the Superdome was in 1979; A 33-10 win over No. 13 Stanford.
  • Tulane finished 2008 at 2-10 and lost 16 seniors to graduation.
  • Tulane has the nation's second longest current losing streak at nine games (Washington has lost 15 in a row).
  • BYU was only one of 5 teams to average less than a yard per carry last weekend (28 yards on 33 carries), yet had the 5th best time of possession at 37:02.
  • Tulane head coach Bob Toledo, OC Dan Dodd and DC Steve Stanard, have all coached in the MWC. Dodd worked alongside Mendenhall for a number of years on the staff at New Mexico.

Conclusion: This game is a chance for BYU to prove that the Cougars aren't reading their press clippings. A focused, dominant effort against an undermanned team will show that BYU is not susceptible to the kinds of letdowns that plagued the team at the end of 2008.

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