Joe Montana’s son lighting up Superdome
The Montanas will never replace the Mannings as New Orleans’ first family of the forward pass, but they have had their moments in the Superdome.
Joe Montana had arguably his best NFL game there, throwing a then-record five touchdown passes to earn MVP honors in San Francisco’s 55-10 win against Denver in Super Bowl XXIV.
His son Nick is the primary reason Tulane is on pace for its first winning season since 2002. Saturday he’ll try to engineer the Green Wave’s biggest win in almost a decade when they welcome ECU in a collision of division leaders.
The Green Wave was picked to finish sixth in the West Division, somewhat logical considering it had to replace its three-year starting quarterback (Ryan Griffin), had won two games each of the past two seasons and hadn’t won more than four since 2004.
Nick Montana, who started his career at Washington before transferring twice, has stepped in and emerged as a C-USA player of the year candidate while leading Tulane (4-2, 2-0) to the top of the West standings.
“He looks like Joe a little bit,” ECU coach Ruffin McNeill told reporters. “You say he can’t run, and he runs. You say he can’t make every throw and he makes every throw. He does a good job leading them.”
Montana has thrown for 1,116 yards and 10 touchdown passes.
He hasn’t done it alone of course. Tulane ranks first in C-USA in turnover margin (plus 8) and already has 11 interceptions.
We know ECU also will throw it Saturday. Shane Carden, likely the favorite in the C-USA POY race, leads the league with 1,537 yards and 12 TD passes, and starting running back Vintavious Cooper is banged up. The key for Carden and the Pirates is to limit how many times Tulane catches those passes.
North Texas knocked Montana around a little bit last week, sacking him five times, but Tulane coach Curtis Johnson expects him to be ready Saturday.
“He just took some hits,” Johnson told the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “The kid took some hits. What I told his dad after the game is he needs to invest in an ice tub because they can afford it. He is just sore.”
Elsewhere, it appears Marshall will be the only legitimate hurdle in the Pirates’ path to the C-USA title game. ECU slipped past Middle Tennessee last week, and nobody else in the East has a winning record.
Marshall (3-2, 1-0) hosts Florida Atlantic on Saturday before traveling to Middle Tennessee on Oct. 24. That game will impact the bowl pecking order. If Marshall wins, it very likely will stay unbeaten in league play and set up a winner-take-all showdown with ECU to close the regular season.
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