Tulane (7-5) vs. Louisiana-Lafayette (8-4), 9 p.m. (ESPN)
Line: Tulane by 1 1/2.
Series record: Tulane leads 21-5.
WHAT'S AT STAKE
Both teams have capitalized recently on Louisiana's fertile recruiting grounds, vying to attract the best of the rest who want to stay close to home but don't end up at LSU. The winner of the New Orleans Bowl will end the 2013 season as the second-strongest Division I college team in the state, bragging rights which both of these ascending programs covet. Louisiana-Lafayette is trying to become the first team to win the New Orleans Bowl three straight times.
Louisiana-Lafayette's running game, which averages 207.6 yards, against Tulane's vastly improved defense. The Green Wave yields 119.2 yards rushing per game, which ranks 16th nationally.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Tulane: WR Ryan Grant (70 catches, 926 yards, 9 TDs), CB Lorenzo Doss (7 INTs), DE Julius Warmsley (15 TFL) and K Cairo Santos (16 of 22 FGs) were named All-Conference USA this season. Santos was the 2012 Lou Groza Award winner as the nation's best kicker.
Louisiana-Lafayette: RBs Alonzo Harris and Elijah McGuire, who've combined for 1,706 yards rushing and 20 TDs this season. Harris has 883 yards and 13 TDs on 186 carries, while McGuire has 823 yards and seven TDs on 92 carries.
FACTS & FIGURES
The status of both teams' starting quarterbacks is uncertain. ULL's Terrance Broadway hasn't played since breaking his arm Nov. 30 in a loss to Louisiana-Monroe, and coach Mark Hudspeth has not sounded optimistic that he'll play. His backup is redshirt freshman Brooks Hack. Tulane starter Nick Montana, son of Hall of Fame QB Joe Montana, has been banged up most of the season. He played in the Wave's regular season finale against Rice, but struggled as the Wave managed only 123 total yards. His backup is redshirt freshman Devin Powell. ... Tulane is 4-6 all time in bowl games, winning its last two, the Hawaii Bowl (over Hawaii) in 2002 and the Liberty Bowl (over BYU) in 1998. ... Tulane coach Curtis Johnson is a former New Orleans Saints receivers coach under Sean Payton. He is in his second season at Tulane. ... Hudspeth is in his third season, going to a bowl each year, and seeks his third straight nine-win campaign.