The Tulane Green Wave and Nevada Wolf Pack meet in Boise, Idaho for the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl at Albertson Stadium. Despite the ridiculous name, this game has churned out some entertaining games over the years. Even going back to when it was the Humanitarian Bowl, there were some games that I remember being good TV. Idaho and Bowling Green in the 2009 Humanitarian Bowl was a thriller on the Smurf Turf at Bronco Stadium. The bowl committees for this game have done a nice job of finding teams that make for good matchups.
I’m not saying the Potato Bowl in 2020 is going to be terrific, though. Tulane has been playing terrific football of late, and are likely interested in finishing strong in Idaho on Tuesday afternoon. While some teams don’t deserve a spot playing in a bowl game, the late surge by the Green Wave is worth rewarding. Tulane finished with a record of 6-5. They recently lost a big game a couple games ago, but it was a very nice effort against a very good Tulsa team. The Green Wave were cut down in overtime by a score of 30-24. There is nothing to feel bad about with that result, though.
During a normal season, this season would have been enough for a bowl berth for Tulane. They will be matched against Nevada, which seems like another pairing that the bowl committee for the Potato Bowl got right. Tulane will be tasked with slowing down the arm of Carson Strong. Strong, who could work himself into the NFL Draft conversation in the future. He is going to be a wildcard undoubtedly. Strong is not the next Josh Allen of the Mountain West and going in the top-10, but he’s a raw talent that could develop into a starter somewhere.
Tulane will have to be prepared for Strong through the air, while Nevada is going to have to do the opposite against the Green Wave. Tulane is going to pound the ball, and then they’re going to pound the ball some more until they try to find an opening. That’s what the Green Wave do best, and if the defense isn’t ready, it can make for a long day. Nevada is coming off a 30-20 loss against the San Jose State Spartans. What a year it’s been for the Spartans, who advanced to the Mountain West Championship and beat Boise State. Head below for our free Tulane vs. Nevada pick for December 22, 2020 in the Potato Bowl.
Tulane Green Wave vs. Nevada Wolf Pack NCAA Betting Odds:
Tulane vs. Nevada Prediction:
Nevada completely collapsed in the second half against San Jose State. They might have gotten a bit lucky in the first half with some breaks that went their way, but the Wolf Pack didn’t show up to play for the third and fourth quarter at all. Nevada had a 20-7 lead at the half, and left the game with a 30-20 loss. Carson Strong was fine, as he passed for 260 yards and a touchdown on 33 for 48 passing.
Strong just doesn’t get much help from elsewhere, so evaluating him can be tough. He’s passed for 22 touchdowns and 4 interceptions on 69.4% passing. With multiple weapons and a running game, Strong would have really put up some big numbers. However, Nevada doesn’t have a whole lot of talent around him.
The offense is predicted on Strong making others around him better, and for the most part, it does work for Nevada. The Wolf Pack averaged 436.6 yards and 29.9 points per game. Their yards per game ranks in the top-half of the FBS, and against the Tulane secondary, this could be a mismatch for the Green Wave.
Tulane has consistently struggled to stop opposing quarterbacks. They’re giving up a hair less than 280 passing yards per game. Their pass defense ranks near the back of the FBS, which provides a perfect opportunity for Strong and the Wolf Pack to have a fun afternoon in Idaho. Strong has more to play for than the Potato Bowl. This is another opportunity for him to put a solid performance on tape for scouts.
Freshman Michael Pratt has a big future at Tulane. The first-year quarterback has been impressive, and a terrific complement for their dangerous backfield. Pratt has thrown for 18 touchdowns and 5 interceptions on 55.9% completions. If he can improve his accuracy, the sky’s the limit for Pratt. Tulane has gained an average of 218.9 yards per game on the ground.
Stephon Huderson has rushed for 721 yards and 4 touchdowns on 6.1 yards a carry. Cameron Carroll has chipped in with 621 yards and 11 touchdowns on 5.5 yards a carry. With Pratt getting stronger as the season has progressed, Tulane has developed into more of a well-balanced attack. They should be able to put some pressure on the Wolf Pack defense. They can be tricky to prepare for. I thought the total would be 62 or 63, so there appears to be value on the OVER at 57.