Defending champion Tulane hosts newcomer UTSA, with the winner clinching a berth in the American Athletic Conference title game and the loser still alive via tiebreaker if SMU is upset by Navy.
It’s the first time in conference history that three teams (UTSA, Tulane, and SMU) are 7-0 in conference play heading into the final game of the regular season.
UTSA-Tulane How to Watch
UTSA at Tulane, Friday, 3:30 p.m. ET
UTSA (8-3, 7-0 AAC)
Tulane (10-1, 7-0)
UTSA-Tulane Betting Odds
Tulane -3 (-110)
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UTSA: Jeff Traylor (38-13)
Tulane: Willie Fritz (207-115 overall, 53-46 at Tulane)
Nov. 9, 2013, UTSA won 10-7 in San Antonio.
Sean Ianno kicked a game-winning 34-yard field goal with 14 seconds remaining for the Roadrunners. Brandon Armstrong scored UTSA’s TD on a 68-yard run in the third quarter. He finished with 77 yards on eight carries.
Tulane had taken a 7-0 second-quarter lead on Orleans Darkwa’s 9-yard touchdown run. Darkwa rushed for 103 yards on 20 carries.
Why This Game Is Important
C’mon. The winner will earn a berth in the AAC championship game. As stated above, SMU would have to lose to Navy for the UTSA-Tulane loser to have a chance to earn a berth and it will come down to an average of four computer ratings (Anderson & Hester, Colley, Massey, Wolfe) announced on Sunday, Nov. 26.
Since suffering a 45-14 loss at Tennessee, UTSA has won seven in a row, all against AAC competition. UTSA is coming off last week’s 49-21 home win over South Florida. The Roadrunners set a program record with 643 yards of offense. Seventh-year QB Frank Harris became the 15th NCAA FBS player to pass for 400 yards and rush for 100 in the same game. Harris completed 31-of-46 passes for 411 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions. He also rushed for 112 yards (11.2 avg.) and three scores.
Harris missed two games earlier this season with turf toe. In nine games, he has completed 64.8% of his passes for 2,308 yards, 17 TDs, and six interceptions. Harris has rushed for 295 yards (4.0 avg.) and four touchdowns.
Robert Henry, who has run for 519 yards (5.1 avg.) leads UTSA with nine rushing touchdowns. Joshua Cephus has 76 receptions for 966 yards and nine touchdowns.
Sophomore LB Trey Moore is the FBS leader with 14 sacks.
UTSA averages 33.1 points and allows 24.3 points.
The Green Wave have won nine in a row since a 37-20 home loss to Ole Miss. QB Michael Pratt missed that game due to injury. In nine games, Pratt has completed 68.8% of his passes for 2,043 yards, 19 TDs, and four interceptions. Pratt has rushed for 271 yards (3.5 avg.) and four TDs. RB Makhi Hughes has rushed for 1,080 yards (5.2 avg.) and six scores.
Leading receiver Lawrence Keys III, who began his career at Notre Dame, missed last week’s 24-8 win at Florida Atlantic with a foot injury. He has caught 33 passes for 599 yards and seven TDs
Redshirt junior DL Darius Hodges has a team-high 7.5 sacks. Tulane averages 27.8 points and is second in the AAC in scoring defense, allowing 18.5 ppg.
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I like Tulane -3.
The Green Wave have not been dominating teams, but have done enough to win. The key to this game will be the battle of the dual-threat QBs, Harris and Pratt. Both are dynamic players who have overcome early-season injuries. Tulane is tied for first in the AAC in fewest TD passes allowed, 14.
This is UTSA’s first season in the AAC, but the Roadrunners have won the previous two Conference USA titles. Dating back to the 2021 Conference USA title game, UTSA has won 17 consecutive games against conference opponents.
There is no doubt that UTSA is capable of winning, but Tulane has the experience of winning the AAC. The Green Wave are a little banged up, but they still have the components to win this game, especially at home.