2018 Cure Bowl: Teams, Facts, and Pick
Bowl number one of 40.
The first of 40 FBS bowl games kicks off with the 2018 Cure Bowl.
This is that to which the regular season transitions: 37 exhibition games and three contests that matter. Needless to say, the Cure Bowl, first on the docket for 2018 bowl season, is one of the exhibitions. Pride, however, is important, as is the exposure for the school, the extra game to play, and the payout.
In 2018, this is a Sun Belt vs. American matchup as the Ragin’ Cajuns of Louisiana-Lafayette face off against the Tulane Green Wave. Who wins this all-Louisiana showdown?
2018 Cure Bowl: This Year’s Bowl Info
|Saturday, December 15, 2018, 1:30pm ET (10:30am PT)|
|Camping World Stadium, Orlando, Florida|
|Broadcast on CBS Sports Network|
|$751,115 payout (Link: College Football Poll)|
|Tulane is a 3-point favorite|
2018 Cure Bowl: Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns
|7-6 (5-3 Sun Belt); Sun Belt West champions|
|Lost Sun Belt Championship Game to Appalachian State|
|Best Win: Arkansas State|
|Offensive Ranks (out of 130): Scoring Offense T-39th, Total Offense T-39th, Rushing Offense 19th, 3rd Downs 10th, Time of Possession 84th, Turnover Margin 86th, Sacks Allowed T-39th, Red Zone 23rd|
|Defensive Ranks (out of 130): Scoring Defense 104th, Total Defense 95th, Rushing Defense 107th, Opponent 3rd Downs 115th, Sacks Per Game 86th, TFL Per Game 124th, Interceptions T-99th, Opponent Red Zone T-66th|
|Special Teams Ranks (out of 130): Field Goal Kicking T-25th, Punts Per Game T-118th|
2018 Cure Bowl: Tulane Green Wave
|6-6 (5-3 American); American West Division co-champions|
|Best Win: Memphis|
|Offensive Ranks (out of 130): Scoring Offense 94th, Total Offense 71st, Rushing Offense 30th, 3rd Downs 114th, Time of Possession 33rd, Turnover Margin T-68th, Sacks Allowed T-104th, Red Zone T-25th|
|Defensive Ranks (out of 130): Scoring Defense T-72nd, Total Defense 81st, Rushing Defense 50th, Opponent 3rd Downs T-24th, Sacks Per Game T-15th, TFL Per Game T-53rd, Interceptions T-48th, Opponent Red Zone T-20th|
|Special Teams Ranks (out of 130): Field Goal Kicking T-64th, Punts Per Game T-16th|
2018 Cure Bowl: Head-to-Head
Tulane leads the all-time series vs. Louisiana-Lafayette, 22-4. This will be the 27th meeting all-time between the two programs. (Link: Winsipedia)
The Green Wave and Ragin’ Cajuns last played in 2016, with Tulane winning, 41-39.
2018 Cure Bowl: Most Likely Standout Player
Andre Nunez (Sr), QB, Louisiana. He has been the most productive offensive player on the better offensive team in this bowl game. Nunez completes about 64 percent of his passes and threw for 2,136 yards in his 13 games so far. He had a subpar day against Sun Belt champion Appalachian State, but App State also boasts one of the best pass defenses in the nation. Tulane, on the other hand, owns one that allows on average 266 yards per contest. The Green Wave have allowed 24 passing touchdowns and 51 pass plays of 20 yards or more, which is near the bottom of FBS.
One potential pitfall is that Nunez is prone to throw interceptions, and Tulane has shown some adeptness at catching them.
2018 Cure Bowl: Pick
This is a fine Louisiana football game (in Florida) to start bowl season. On paper, two six-loss teams from Group of Five schools appear evenly matched.
The better offense belongs to Louisiana-Lafayette. Nunez is not Kyler Murray but he has had success throwing the football, but the team has also done well running it. Trey Ragas has 1,141 yards on the ground and eight touchdowns this season as part of an FBS top-20 rushing attack.
On defense, one would have to give the nod to Tulane, though it’s a closer fight. Whereas the Green Wave are more average, the Ragin’ Cajuns are just bad. If Justin McMillan and Tulane get anything going, this could morph into a relatively high-scoring game. Should defensive lineman Zi’Yon Hill not play for the Ragin’ Cajuns, they are that much worse. (Link: Daily Advertiser)
Offense rules the day here as the defenses each get gashed for several big plays. The Ragin’ Cajuns keep up and take it in an upset.