1. Tulane helped in no small amount with its horrid special-teams play. And the Green Wave are not a power-conference team. But putting up 65 points against another FBS team is not a small accomplishment. This offense is hitting it, and it would seem there’s room for improvement. Consider this – Tulane, whose history is hardly glorious – has had just two games in which it’s given up more than 65 points going back to 1980.
2. Defensively, the Yellow Jackets had some missed tackles, and didn’t pressure quarterback Tanner Lee with a four-man rush to coach Paul Johnson’s liking, but a pretty good showing nonetheless. Tech held Tulane, which had gone into the game committed to running the ball better than it did against Duke a week ago, to 71 yards on 33 carries. Tulane was assessed -26 yards for its failed punt that resulted in a safety, so, more realistically, its 97 yards on 32 carries, which is still the sort of play that will win football games.
3. I won’t at all be surprised if Tech leaves Notre Dame with a win. I suspect it’ll be a far more strenuous challenge than perhaps the more optimistic in the Tech fan base might believe, but the Irish’s losing quarterback Malik Zaire to a broken ankle a week after losing starting running back Tarean Folston to a knee injury is a lot to bear. And needing a last-second touchdown to beat Virginia isn’t the most ringing endorsement for the Irish.
That said, Jay Kornegay, the chief oddsmaker at the Las Vegas Hotel and Casino SuperBook, estimated late Saturday night that Notre Dame would open as a 4.5-point favorite. (Kornegay adjusted his estimate from 6.5 after learning of the Zaire injury.)