A change of offense should benefit Tulane and Lee

If you always wondered what option football would be like at Tulane University, you are about to get your answer this fall.

The amicable departure of quarterback Tanner Lee, a pure pocket passer, will only accelerate the transformation to head coach Willie Fritz’s
spread option attack.

At his introductory press conference in December, Fritz said the following: “We led the nation in rushing the last two seasons.”

Then he added: “I am going to adapt to our personnel.”

It was a nice try to leave the door ajar for Lee and a host of receivers. But Fritz was brought to Tulane to run a system.

In 2015, at Georgia Southern, four players had at least 682 rushing yards. At Tulane, the leading rusher was Dontrell Hilliard with 646 yards.

At Georgia Southern, Eagles’ quarterbacks threw 137 passes all season. Tulane’s quarterbacks threw 403 times.

Georgia Southern's leading receiver caught 16 passes. Tulane's leading receiver was Teddy Veal with 48. Veal has left the program.

But the bottom line for any football program in college football today is winning and scoring points. Fritz won eight of 12 games this past season at Georgia Southern. Including the bowl game, which Fritz did not coach, Georgia Southern scored 43 points or more in 10 games.

Tulane scored 40 or more once – 45 points in a win over Central Florida. In four games, the Wave scored seven or fewer points.

I would not be surprised if both Fritz and Lee are successful. Fritz will run an offense that doesn't place a premium on outstanding offensive linemen. Recruiting talented big guys has always been a problem for the Green Wave.

And, if Tulane can control the football on offense, its defense will be on the eld for fewer minutes. If so, the Green Wave can get by on the defensive line with a shorter rotation.

As for Lee, my take has always been the same: Put him behind a quality offensive line and give him good skill players to get the ball to, and he will. Don't look at his completion percentage (51.8) but at his skills.

Lee is a tough quarterback and a proven leader. And, if you watch some of the bad quarterback play in the National Football League, you can arrive at only one conclusion: A tall pocket passer who can make every throw will get his chance in the pro game soon.

By then, Fritz may have turned Tulane football into a consistent winner. It would be a win-win for both.

Ed Daniels is sports director of ABC26. He can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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