The 2020 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl will include the Nevada Wolfpack for a second consecutive year. They lost last season to Ohio 30-21. This year they will take on the Tulane Green Wave. Here is a preview of the 2020 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.
Nevada Wolfpack (6-2)
Nevada started the season 5-0 but then slowed down and went 1-2 in their final three games. The Wolfpack’s two losses came against Hawaii and an undefeated San Jose State.
Nevada ranks 49th in the FBS in points per game with 29.9 points per game. Their passing offense averages 325.1 yards per game (ranks 10th) while their rushing offense is ranked 112th in the country with 111.5 yards per game.
Quarterback Carson Strong threw for 2,587 yards this season. That ranks 10th in the nation, and it is the second highest among teams that played eight games or less. The sophomore also had a touchdown to interception ration of 22-to-4 as well as completed 69.4 percent of his pass attempts. In the two games that the Wolfpack lost, Strong had his two lowest passing yard games of the season. The teams leading receiver is Romeo Doubs. He had 960 receiving yards with an average of 18.1 yards per catch this season. The junior also caught nine of the teams 22 passing touchdowns on the year.
The ground game is not the focus of the Nevada offense, as they had just six rushing scores compared to their 22 passing touchdowns. The Wolfpack mostly used two runningbacks in Toa Taua and Devonte Lee. Taua led the team in rushing yards with 573, as well as rushing touchdowns with three. Devonte Lee had 322 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns on the year.
Nevada’s defense is allowing 22.9 points per game, and they are currently ranked 45th in total defense. The most points they allowed this season was 34 against Wyoming in a game that went to overtime. They have been very consistent in points allowed, as they allowed between 19 and 27 points in five of their eight games. They also held Utah State to nine points back in November. Senior linebacker Lawson Hall leads the team in tackles with 56, and junior Tyson Williams trails him by just three with 53 tackles.
Tulane Green Wave (6-5)
Tulane had a 2-4 start to the season. They rebounded and went 4-1 to end their 2020 regular season, with the only loss in those five games coming to a ranked Tulsa.
Tulane is averaging 35.4 points per game, which ranks 21st in the FBS. The Green Wave rank 18th in rushing offense with 218.9 yards per game. They average 177.5 passing yards per game (ranked 108th in the FBS).
Tulane had a freshman quarterback take most of the snaps in Michael Pratt. He had 18 passing touchdowns with five picks thrown. Pratt averaged 7.2 yards per completion, and completed 55.9 percent of his passes. They had six players with double-digit receptions. The top two were receivers Duece Watts and Jha’quan Jackson. They both had six receiving touchdowns this season. Watts had 512 receiving yards with 31 catches, and Jackson had 29 receptions for 356 yards.
The Green Wave had another successful year in their running game. They had five rushers with over 200 rushing yards, including quarterback Pratt who contributed 204 yards on the ground with seven rushing scores. Their two leading rushers are Stephon Huderson and Cameron Carroll, who had 721 and 621 rushing yards, respectively. Huderson had three games with over 100 rushing yards, while Carroll had two. Carroll led the team in rushing touchdowns with 11, three of which came in a game against Southern Mississippi where he had a career high 163 rushing yards.
As for the defensive side, Tulane is allowing 28 points per game. The defense ranks 69th in total defense, as they give up 416.7 yards per game. The Green Wave allowed 27 points or less in their first three games. Then they went on a stint where they gave up an average of 45.7 points per game in the next three, including 51 points against UCF. After those games, they ended the season giving up 17.4 points per game in their last five. This includes three points against Temple and 12 against Army. Linebacker Dorian Williams led the team in tackles with 83. Tulane has the FBS leading sacker this season in Patrick Johnson, who had 10 solo sacks on the year.
Statistically, Nevada is the second highest ranked passing offense that Tulane will face this year. The first was UCF, who scored 51 points against the Green Wave. UCF quarterback Dillon Gabriel threw for 422 yards in that game, which is the second most in his career. Carson Strong and the Wolfpack offense could put up numbers against the Green Wave, which could be a big factor in this game. However, Tulane has scored over 30 points in eight of their last nine games this season, so they could keep it tight even if the score runs high.
Tulane Green Wave 38 Nevada Wolfpack 31
Featured image courtesy of capitalpress.com.