When the Tulane Green Wave host rival LSU tomorrow in the Louisiana Superdome it will mark the 96th meeting between the two schools. The Tigers hold a commanding 65-23-7 edge over their rivals from the "Big Easy."
LSU beat Tulane last season 49-7 in Baton Rouge with the last Wave win coming in 1982 when Tulane pulled off a huge upset of the Tigers 31-28 in Death Valley. Wave Coach Bob Toledo has been motivating his team all week long.
"We've talked about it all week. In the papers, I've complained a little bit, but we're trying to get our guys ready to play. We motivated them, and I think they're anxious to get out on the field and see how they fare."
The Wave will need much more than motivation to upset the Tigers as LSU is the nation's second ranked team and they also bring to the dome the best defense in the land as well.
LSU has outscored their opponents 165-23 in their first four games of the season including two shut out wins over Mississippi State and Middle Tennessee. If Tulane is to have any shot against the Tigers they must run the football.
That may be the only shot the Wave have and they are hitting their stride as far as rushing the football is concerned. After struggling to move the ball on the ground in their first two games of the season Tulane got a huge outing last week from senior running back Matt Forte.
LSU Coach Les Miles says Forte is a dangerous player.
"He had a great game last week. He is a strong runner and very capable of breaking a long run." Miles was speaking of Forte's record day last Saturday night in the dome.
Forte had the game of his life last weekend as he carried the ball 40 times for 303-yards and five touchdowns in the Green Wave's 35-27 win over Division I-AA Southeastern.
Forte leads the Wave with 435 rushing yards and six touchdowns on 71 carries. He has also hauled in eleven receptions for 80-yards as well. The Wave will also go with a more run oriented QB in Anthony Scelfo.
Tulane is a huge underdog at home as odds makers have the second ranked Tigers as a forty-point favorite. Toledo knows his team is a big underdog but he has been telling his club they have a chance.
"I talked about the teams that won this year: the Appalachian State that beat Michigan, the Syracuse that beat Louisville, how Boise State beat Oklahoma last year in the Fiesta Bowl. Then I talked about the games that I've coached, like the ones when I was at Pacific and we played Iowa State and South Carolina and beat people we had no right beating. The point I'm trying to make is that on any given Saturday, you have a chance if you show up and you play hard."
Kickoff is set for 11 a.m. and the game will be nationally televised on ESPN2.