2018 AutoNation Cure Bowl Preview

2018 AutoNation Cure Bowl Preview

2018 AutoNation Cure Bowl Preview

The 2018 college football bowl season officially kicks off on Saturday with five games. One of those games is the battle between Tulane and Louisiana which airs at 1:30 pm on the CBS Sports Network. These two squads have a long history as a result of only being separated by 130 miles. In beginning our 2018 AutoNation Cure Bowl Preview, we take a look at both teams and how the contest is about more than just football.

More Than Just A Game

The AutoNation Cure Bowl was created in 2015 and is played in Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida. The game is a way for football to aid in the fight against breast cancer. Funds raised from the contest go directly to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation whose mission is to fund cancer research.

In addition, breast cancer survivors and their families are honored before and at halftime of the game. So far in the three years of the game, the Orlando Sports Foundation and AutoNation have raised 3.3 million dollars for breast cancer research.

Now that we’ve told you about what the game represents let’s look at the two teams playing in the 2018 AutoNation Cure Bowl.

What To Know About Louisiana

The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns finished the season with a 7-6 mark and won the Sun Belt Conference’s West Division. They fell to Appalachian State 30-19 in the league’s first-ever championship game. Under first-year coach Billy Napier Louisiana rallied after starting the season 1-3. In addition, two of their losses came to SEC heavyweights Alabama and Mississippi State.

Louisiana boasts a strong rushing attack led by sophomore Trey Ragas. The third-team All-Sun Belt player ran for 1,141 yards and eight touchdowns. Furthermore, he broke the 100-yard mark in the team’s final two games. Another player to watch in the backfield is Elijah Mitchell, who added another 951 yards rushing. In addition, he ripped of 12 plays of more than 30 yards.

Alongside Ragas is senior quarterback Andre Nunez who threw for over 2,000 yards in 2018. For the season the Ragin’ Cajuns ranked second in the league with 423 points and 473 yards per game.

On the other side of the ball, the defense doesn’t fare near as well. The unit surrendered 430 yards a contest and 54 touchdowns. Linebacker Jacques Boudreaux leads the team with 87 tackles while defensive back Michael Jacquet recorded two interceptions.

Scouting The Green Wave

While Tulane comes into the game with a 6-6 record they are one of the hotter teams in American Athletic Conference. Like Louisiana, they started 2018 with a 1-3 record. However, they won four of their last five defeating conference runner up Memphis and South Florida.

They cemented their bowl bid in the final two minutes of the season. Trailing Navy 28-27 after a touchdown head coach Willie Fritz decided to go for two. They converted to win the game 29-28 punching their ticket to Orlando.

Tulane’s offense is headed by the combination of running backs Darius Bradwell and Corey Dauphine. On the season Bradwell rushed for 984 yards and nine touchdowns while Dauphine added another 754.

After struggling through the first half of the year the offense really took off with the addition of former LSU quarterback Justin McMillan. On the season the senior threw for 1,159 yards and nine touchdowns. In addition, he ran for 166 yards and four more scores.

An interesting point of note is the Green Wave’s offense is now headed by new offensive coordinator Will Hall. He comes from Memphis where he led the Tigers to a school record 42 rushing touchdowns and ranked number six in scoring with 43 points per game.

On the other side of the ball, the defense is led by defensive end Patrick Robinson. For the season the sophomore recorded 9.5 sacks and 14 tackles for loss. Overall the unit tied for first in the AAC with 35 sacks.

Series And Bowl History

As mentioned earlier these two schools are separated by 130 miles. Tulane holds a 22-4 record all-time in 26 meetings against the Ragin’ Cajuns. The Green Wave won the last meeting 41-39 in 2016.

Tulane is 4-7 all-time in bowl games with their last appearance coming in the 2013 New Orleans Bowl ironically losing to Louisiana 24-21. On the other side of the ball Louisiana is 4-1 in bowl games with all five coming in the New Orleans Bowl. However, they had to vacate their victories in 2011 and 2013 due to NCAA sanctions. As we continue with the 2018 AutoNation Cure Bowl preview it’s prediction time.

Who Wins The AutoNation Cure Bowl?

On paper, the first game of the 2019 bowl season looks to be a good one. Two teams with really good rushing offenses look to top the other. Tulane already boasts a strong ground attack and with the addition of Hall, it gets even stronger. Look for a back and forth contest which goes down to the wire. In the end, the Green Wave pull out the victory on a field goal.

Tulane 27 Louisiana 24

Thanks for checking out the 2018 AutoNation Cure Bowl preview here at Last Word On College Football. As a reminder, we have previews for every bowl game all the way up through the national championship.