Tulane, happy to be home, faces UAB

Field Level Media

September 22, 2021 at 9:09 am.

Tulane finally is playing a home game.

The Green Wave (1-2) were scheduled to have played two home games by now, but the opener against Oklahoma was moved to Norman, Okla., because of Hurricane Ida, and the second game — against Morgan State — was moved to Birmingham, Ala., where the team had relocated ahead of the storm.

Tulane, which lost at then-No. 17 Ole Miss 61-21 last Saturday, is back home after a 22-day absence and will host its former temporary neighbor UAB (2-1) in a non-conference game Saturday night.

“I got a standing ovation when I announced (the return),” Tulane coach Willie Fritz said.

It’s been nearly two years since the Green Wave played a home game without crowd limitations because of COVID-19 restrictions last season that have been removed.

“It’s going to be great just to get back home and be around the community and be back at Tulane,” tackle Joey Claybrook said. “We’ve come closer than we ever have been since I’ve been here, just playing for the city of New Orleans and the state of Louisiana and everybody that was affected.”

The Blazers also know what it’s like to go a while without playing a home game. This will be their seventh consecutive game away from home.

They finished last season with three straight road games and are beginning this year with four straight away from home before opening their new stadium Oct. 2 against Liberty.

“As we always say, we have to be better on the road,” UAB coach Bill Clark said. “I think our guys understand what it takes.”

UAB bounced back from a 56-7 loss at No. 2 Georgia on Sept. 11 to defeat North Texas 40-6 in its Conference USA opener last Saturday.

Now UAB will witness the Green Wave’s homecoming a week before its own.

“It’s a big deal for them to get back home,” Clark said. “So they are going to be cranked up to play us on Saturday night. We don’t know how many fans are going to be there, (but) we know they are excited to play at home.”