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Blazer Fans,

I hope you enjoyed the final open date of the football season...I certainly did! It was one last chance to spend time with the family, play a little golf, eat lots of food and watch some football. We're now entering the home stretch with the football Blazers, and I know we are all looking forward to the trip to New Orleans this Saturday. First, it's a fun trip. Second, it's a winnable game. Third, it's a chance to ERASE the memory of Hattiesburg. I, personally, like to think it's been an extended off week...our last game was Marshall...and no one will convince me otherwise!

The Green Wave of Tulane is coming into Saturday's match-up on a five-game losing streak. Bob Toledo's team has been absolutely beaten to a pulp in 2008...and not necessarily on the scoreboard, although last weekend's game at Houston had a familiar, ugly look to it. Tulane has lost key player after key player to injury, and that certainly is one reason for their skid. The defense has been affected, but, clearly, the offense has taken the biggest pun intended. The Wave will still try to spread the ball around...still use plenty of trick plays...and do their best to hang on to the football as long as possible, something they were quite successful doing early in the season.

But if the offense sputters again, Tulane will not be afraid to see its defense roll out onto the turf at the Superdome. They've done a nice job of pressuring the quarterback, creating turnovers, and even scoring directly off those turnovers. Joe Webb will need to be on his toes this Saturday afternoon...using his feet to keep the Wave honest...and taking VERY good care of the ball in the passing game.

I DO think UAB has a good chance to leave New Orleans with a win, and I think they'll need to have the same type “bounce back” performance that they turned in against Marshall (that coming on the heels of the disappointing second half at Houston). The Blazers need to have selective memory following the Southern Miss game...I know I do!

That's just part of the big weekend for the Green and Gold. The other part will take place in Troy, Alabama. Basketball season gets underway at the exact same time as football. The Blazers will play Troy twice this season, and I know the coaches and players are anxious to tip things off. The good news is fans will be able to hear BOTH games this Saturday. Football will remain on WWMM-FM live 100.5 while basketball will air on WUHT-FM “Hot” 107.7. I'll be in New Orleans, and J.D. Byars will be calling the game at Troy with the one-and-only Steve Mitchell.

As is it done in the South, though, ladies first...the UAB women will tip it off for real on Friday at high noon. Stetson comes to Bartow Arena for the season-opener, and I hope you'll try to work it in your lunch plans!

Well, I'm off to finish getting ready for the call-in show...the trip to New Orleans...the trip to Arizona for the NIT Season Tip-off on Monday and Tuesday...yikes.

Talk to you next week and GO BLAZERS!!!

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