Sep 17, 2022; Manhattan, Kansas, USA; Kansas State Wildcats tight end Ben Sinnott (34) is tackled by Tulane Green Wave linebacker Darius Hodges (6) during the first quarter at Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

Tulane notches upset of Kansas State

Michael Pratt found Tyrick James on a 4-yard touchdown pass with 4:27 left as Tulane pulled a huge 17-10 upset over double-digit favorite Kansas State in Manhattan, Kan.

The Green Wave drove for the winning points after stopping Kansas State on fourth down with 6:38 to play.

It was Tulane’s first road victory over a Power 5 conference school since defeating Rutgers in 2010.

Pratt was just 13-of-26 for 176 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions, but he engineered a 52-yard drive for the go-ahead score for Tulane (3-0).

Adrian Martinez finished 21-of-31 passing for 150 yards for Kansas State (2-1). Deuce Vaughn, who had rushed for 100 or more yards in eight straight games, was held to 81 yards on 20 carries. He was also held out of the end zone for the first time in 10 games.

Tulane used a nine-play, 91-yard drive to get on the board first. Tyjae Spears punched it in from the 1-yard line from the Wildcat formation. The key play on the drive was a 38-yard completion from Pratt to Dea Dea McDougle. The Green Wave dominated the stats in the first quarter. Even going against a stiff wind, they outgained the Wildcats 125-46 in the quarter.

Things got a little better for the Wildcats in the second quarter, but it took a perfect throw from Martinez to his former Nebraska teammate Kade Warner on a 21-yard touchdown pass to tie the score at 7. It capped an eight-play, 75-yard drive for K-State.

Tulane appeared to be heading toward a halftime lead as the Green Wave moved into K-State territory. But Daniel Green picked off a Pratt interception at the Wildcats’ 28-yard line and returned it 49 yards. K-State’s drive stalled at the Tulane 4-yard line and Chris Tennant’s 22-yard field goal as time expired gave the Wildcats their first lead of the game at 10-7.

Tulane held Deuce Vaughn to 36 yards rushing on 13 carries in the first half.

After turning over the Wildcats on downs to start the second half, Tulane responded with a 30-yard field goal by Kriston Esnard to tie the score.

The Green Wave stopped the Wildcats on fourth and short twice in the third quarter and once in the fourth. K-State finished the day 1-for-5 on fourth down.

–Field Level Media

Sep 10, 2022; Manhattan, Kansas, USA; Missouri Tigers running back Nathaniel Peat (8) is tackled by Kansas State Wildcats linebacker Austin Moore (41) during the fourth quarter at Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

Top defenses square off as Kansas State meets Tulane

Kansas State enters their final nonconference game Saturday up against one of the best defenses in the country in Tulane.

In a contest where moving the ball will be at a premium, Tulane (2-0) actually has one of the few defenses that is statistically better than Kansas State’s.

Kansas State (2-0) has averaged 6.0 points allowed per game on defense and has given up one touchdown on the season. And that score came on an untimed down at the conclusion of their 40-12 victory over Missouri. After a roughing-the-passer penalty as the clock expired, K-State allowed a late score on a 1-yard run.

“We have a good football team and we’re continuing to improve, but we have a lot of guys with a chip on their shoulder (in the locker room) because we think we have the potential to have a good team and continue to improve,” K-State head coach Chris Klieman said. “This was no question a huge win.”

K-State will not take anyone by surprise now. After a shutout over South Dakota in the opener, it shut down Missouri’s offense. The Wildcats had interceptions on four straight second-half Tigers possessions, and those came on a total of five passes.

“I would definitely say we have made a statement that we’re fast as a defense,” cornerback Julius Brents said. “But we also have a lot of room to grow. I am just being humble with it. But honestly, I would say what we have put on film the past two weeks is pretty good. It’s just not to our standard yet.”

Tulane has been winning with defense as well, while getting the best of Massachusetts (42-10) and Alcorn State (52-0). Against Alcorn State, the Tulane defense surrendered four first downs plus 60 yards rushing and 49 passing. Their first road contest of the season Saturday will be a step up in level of competition.

“We’re very excited about getting our first shutout since 1997,” Tulane head coach Willie Fritz said. “It’s very difficult to shut out people nowadays. We got a chance to play a bunch of guys, and we got a chance to rest a bunch of guys.

“(K-State) is going to be superior to the two teams we defeated. But I like being 2-0 right now going into a tough ballgame.”

— Field Level Media

Sep 25, 2021; Provo, Utah, USA; South Florida Bulls running back Jaren Mangham (0) reacts to the Brigham Young Cougars fans after his touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Brigham Young Cougars at LaVell Edwards Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Tulane looks to end winless streak vs. skidding South Florida

South Florida is trying to avoid falling into the American Athletic Conference cellar.

Tulane will try to pull the Bulls into the cellar with it when the two teams meet Saturday in New Orleans.

USF (2-8, 1-5 AAC) has lost its last three games, but has managed to stay in second-to-last place, tied with Temple, just ahead of the Green Wave (1-9, 0-6) who have lost eight consecutive games.

“A lot of people outside this program and not in our locker room will look at our record and say, ‘Oh man, Tulane’s a 1-9 team,’” Green Wave linebacker Nick Anderson said. “But anybody watching the games knows that our record does not show who we really are.”

The Green Wave have lost to four teams that were ranked at the time they played them — Cincinnati, Oklahoma, Ole Miss and SMU.

Tulane had opportunities to win its last two games, losing a 10-7 fourth-quarter lead at UCF two weeks ago and missing a potential game-winning 26-yard field goal at the end of regulation and falling to Tulsa in overtime at home last Saturday.

“Everybody would like to scream and yell and go off,” coach Willie Fritz said of the near misses. “But it’s not going to do anything.”

USF fell behind No. 5 Cincinnati, 31-7, before scoring 14 straight then losing 45-28 at home last Friday.

“We put a lot into that game, and we really expected to go out and play better in the first half than we did,” coach Jeff Scott said. “We just dug too big of a hole.”

Scott took solace in how his team responded in the second half. It gained just 35 yards in the first half and gained 309 in the second half on its way to scoring the most points this season against a Bearcats defense that entered the game allowing just 14.9 points per game, the third lowest in the country.

But the Bulls’ defense couldn’t slow down the Bearcats offense. USF has allowed a total of 128 points during its losing streak.

“It’s frustrating,” Scott said. “We’ve got to figure it out. We’ve got two games to figure it out. We’re just too inconsistent in some of our alignments and executions defensively.”

Jaren Mangham has 15 rushing touchdowns this season, tied for second in school history and just three shy of the school record.

–Field Level Media

Nov 6, 2021; Orlando, Florida, USA; Tulane Green Wave quarterback Michael Pratt (7) throws a pass against the UCF Knights during the second half at Bounce House. Mandatory Credit: Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

Tulane, Tulsa each look to recover from disappointments

Tulsa and Tulane have both endured frustrating losses while compiling disappointing records.

They will try to take their frustrations out on each other when they meet in an American Athletic Conference game on Saturday in New Orleans.

The Golden Hurricane (3-6, 2-3 AAC) are coming off a 28-20 road loss to then-No. 6 Cincinnati last Saturday. Tulsa ran eight plays inside the Bearcats’ 20 in the final moments, but couldn’t score a touchdown that would have given it an opportunity to tie with a two-point conversion.

Tulsa was competitive in other losses to Oklahoma State and Ohio State.

“This team continues to battle and give ourselves opportunities,” coach Philip Montgomery said. “It’s a break here, it’s a play there and it can be the difference in this being an unbelievable season or a season that you’re still battling for.”

The Golden Hurricane scored on only three of their six red-zone opportunities against Cincinnati. For the season Tulsa has failed to score on 10 of 32 red-zone opportunities.

“It’s just us not executing,” running back Anthony Watkins said. “It’s on us. We’re going to find a way to fix that.”

The Golden Hurricane rushed for 297 yards against Cincinnati, the fifth time this season the team has rushed for 200 or more yards.

Tulane (1-8, 0-5), which has played four teams that were ranked when it met them, has lost seven straight.

The Green Wave defense has struggled for much of the season, but has played much better the last two weeks, in a 31-12 home loss to Cincinnati and a 14-10 loss at UCF last week.

It held the Knights, who had rushed for at least 148 yards in their first eight games, to season lows in points, rushing yards (48) and total yards (277).

“Now that we know what we can do,” linebacker Dorian Williams said, “we’ve got to go out and prove it every weekend.”

Quarterback Michael Pratt returned after suffering a concussion two weeks prior, but passed for just 147 yards and failed to throw a touchdown pass for the first time in 18 career starts.

“We just have to continue to fight through this adversity and not play the string out,” coach Willie Fritz said. “That’s the last thing we’re going to do. We are going to play as hard as we can the next three weeks.”

–Field Level Media

Oct 30, 2021; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA;  Cincinnati Bearcats quarterback Desmond Ridder (9) runs against Tulane Green Wave linebacker Kevin Henry (33) during the first half at Yulman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Desmond Ridder leads No. 2 Cincinnati over Tulane

Desmond Ridder threw three touchdown passes and No. 2 Cincinnati held off host Tulane 31-12 in an American Athletic Conference game Saturday afternoon in New Orleans.

Ridder completed 17 of 27 passes for 227 yards with one interception as the Bearcats (8-0, 4-0 AAC) endured their second consecutive sluggish performance. Their 27-20 victory at Navy a week earlier was their closest outcome of the season.

Josh Whyle caught two of the touchdown passes and Jerome Ford caught the third and also rushed for a score.

Tyjae Spears rushed for 110 yards and a touchdown to lead the Green Wave (1-7, 0-4), who lost their sixth straight game and fell to 0-4 this season against ranked opponents.

Tulane played without quarterbacks Michael Pratt and Justin Ibieta, who are both injured, and freshman Kai Horton managed just 79 yards on 7-of-16 passing with two interceptions.

The Bearcats converted a fourth-and-one on their way to Ridder’s 5-yard touchdown pass to Whyle that increased their lead to 21-12 at the end of the third quarter.

Cincinnati recovered a fumble at the Tulane 10, leading to Christian Lowery’s 27-yard field goal and a 24-12 lead midway through the fourth quarter.

Ridder added a 26-yard touchdown pass to Ford to complete the scoring.

Cincinnati drove 99 yards in 16 plays, the last of which was a 16-yard touchdown pass from Ridder to Whyle. That gave the Bearcats a 7-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Marvin Moody sacked Ridder for a safety and Spears ran 47 yards for a touchdown that gave the Green Wave a 9-7 lead.

Ridder and Whyle connected on a 28-yard pass and Ridder ran 37 yards, setting up Ford’s 3-yard touchdown run that put Cincinnati ahead 14-9.

The Bearcats had a chance to extend the lead in the final minute of the second quarter, but Ridder was intercepted by Macon Clark, who returned it 33 yards to midfield. Merek Glover kicked a 41-yard field goal as time expired to cut Cincinnati’s lead to 14-12 at halftime.

–Field Level Media

Sep 18, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Cougars running back Alton McCaskill (22) runs the ball during the first half against the Grambling State Tigers at TDECU Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports

Surging Houston hits road to face Tulane

Houston and Tulane are heading in opposite directions as they prepare to meet Thursday night in an American Athletic Conference game at New Orleans.

The Cougars (4-1, 2-0) have won four games in a row and are coming off a 45-10 thrashing of host Tulsa last Friday.

The Green Wave (1-4, 0-1) opened the season by playing Oklahoma to the wire, but have lost three in a row, including Saturday’s 52-29 loss at East Carolina in their conference opener. Tulane has been outscored 141-71 in consecutive losses to Ole Miss, UAB and East Carolina, and now it takes on a Houston team that has outscored its last four opponents 162-37.

Houston has allowed just four touchdowns during its four-game winning streak and head coach Dana Holgorsen called the performance against Tulsa “complete dominance.” The Cougars had a smothering run defense, intercepted three passes (returning one for a touchdown) and recorded four sacks.

“We hope we made a statement,” said safety Gervarrius Owens, whose 45-yard interception return for a touchdown came in the first minute of the second half, making the score 35-3. “We showed how exciting and dominant we can be when we’re clicking on all cylinders.”

Cougars freshman Alton McCaskill scored three times against Tulsa and already has eight total touchdowns this season.

Tulane, meantime, has not led in a game since an easy 69-20 victory against Morgan State on Sept. 11.

“We can’t let negativity sink in. We can’t let outside things creep in,” said Green Wave running back Cameron Carroll, who had 147 all-purpose yards and a rushing touchdown against East Carolina. “We have to just stay focused and stay positive. We can’t get down on ourselves. We constantly have to lift each other up.”

Tulane fell behind 24-0 to East Carolina and gave up 612 yards, including 310 rushing. The Green Wave committed four turnovers, two of which led to Pirates touchdowns.

“You’ve got problems when you dig a hole as big as we did,” said Fritz, whose team has its worst record after five games in his six seasons as head coach.

The quick turnaround for the Thursday game didn’t leave much time for Tulane to dwell on its most recent loss.

“I like it,” linebacker Dorian Williams said. “You always like to play big Thursday night games on ESPN. We just have to get going and get back into the groove.”

–Field Level Media

Sep 18, 2021; Oxford, Mississippi, USA; Mississippi Rebels quarterback Matt Corral (2) scores against Tulane Green Wave at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Corral (7 TDs) leads No. 17 Ole Miss in rout

Matt Corral tied an Ole Miss record by producing seven touchdowns — four rushing, three passing — as the No. 17 Rebels throttled Tulane 61-21 in a weather-delayed contest Saturday night in Oxford, Miss.

Corral — 23-of-31 for 335 yards and no interceptions — tossed a scoring pass for his 15th straight game and added 68 yards rushing on 13 carries. He did all of his scoring in three quarters.

The Rebels (3-0) received two touchdowns from Dontario Drummond (rushing, receiving), and a scoring reception from Jonathan Mingo (six catches, career-high 136 yards) and Braylon Sanders. Henry Parrish Jr. rushed for one. Jerrion Ealy rushed 15 times for a game-high 105 yards.

Drummond scored via the air for the eighth consecutive contest — the longest active streak in the FBS.

Ole Miss won for the 12th straight time in the series, moved to 13-2 against Tulane in Oxford, and started a season with three wins for the first time since 2015.

Cameron Carroll, Shae Wyatt and Tyrick James scored for the New Orleans-based Green Wave (1-2), who have been training in Tuscaloosa, Ala., at the Crimson Tide’s facility in the wake of Hurricane Ida.

Michael Pratt played three quarters and finished 10-for-18 for 166 yards with two TDs and no picks.

In a matchup featuring two of the top FBS offenses, Ole Miss notched 707 total yards to Tulane’s 305.

Kickoff between the former SEC foes was delayed nearly two hours because of day-long rain and lightning, but Ole Miss showed the soaked home fans that the wait was worth it.

In an explosive first half, Parrish dashed 19 yards for the first score. Corral called his own number on a 9-yard draw and again later on a 15-yard run.

After Carroll put Tulane on the board with a plunge, Corral rushed for one and threw for another to give the Rebels a 26-7 lead.

Pratt’s 39-yard strike to Wyatt with 7:21 left before halftime gave the second-year freshman quarterback a passing TD in all 13 games of his career.

But Corral hit Mingo for 50 yards and Drummond scampered in as the Rebels led 40-21 at the half.

In the second half, Corral ran for two more scores and the Rebels were never threatened in the nonconference victory.

–Field Level Media

Dec 30, 2020; Arlington, TX, USA; Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Spencer Rattler (7) rolls out during the fourth quarter against the Florida Gators at ATT Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Tulane’s challenges continue with tall order at No. 2 Oklahoma

Tulane coach Willie Fritz is trying to keep things in perspective as his Green Wave prepare to open the season with an unexpected trip to No. 2 Oklahoma on Saturday.

“We got a curveball,” Fritz said. “We’ve just got to adjust to it. Our players are really champing at the bit to play a high-caliber team like Oklahoma.”

The game was supposed to be played at Tulane’s Yulman Stadium, but Hurricane Ida forced it to be moved to Norman instead, although Tulane will remain the designated home team, for whatever that is worth.

The Green Wave left New Orleans on Saturday night, about 24 hours before the hurricane made landfall, and moved to Birmingham, Ala., to continue preparing for the game.

Saturday’s game might not be the only contest on Tulane’s schedule affected by the storm.

The Green Wave have another home game scheduled for Sept. 11 against Morgan State and then against Alabama-Birmingham on Sept. 25. Tulane’s campus is currently closed through Sept. 12, and in-person classes at the school aren’t scheduled to resume until at least Oct. 7.

For now, though, the Tulane football team’s focus is on the Sooners, a squad with sky-high expectations, especially after winning eight consecutive games to end last season.

“I feel like we’re ready to play,” Sooners coach Lincoln Riley said. “We’re ready to go play somebody else, ready to see what this young team is going to look like early in the season, how young guys are going to come along, the chemistry, adapting to all that’s new.

“We’ll get a good litmus test Saturday about where we’re at.”

The Sooners haven’t lost a nonconference game on their home field since falling to Ohio State in 2016 and haven’t lost to an unranked nonconference opponent anywhere since 2005.

Among the biggest reasons for optimism are the development of Spencer Rattler at quarterback and the improvement of the defense a year ago in the second season under defensive coordinator Alex Grinch.

Rattler enters the season among the favorites for the Heisman Trophy after coming on strong over the second half of last season, his first as a starter.

“Something I feel like I’ve gotten better at is just my decision making,” Rattler said. “Being more consistent. Not turning the ball over.”

After preaching the importance of takeaways since his arrival, Grinch’s defense finally forced turnovers in bunches late last season, getting 14 in the final six games after recording just 16 in the first 19 games of his tenure.

“A few years back, I would say it was just like, ‘Coach Grinch is just saying all these things,’ and we’re just like, ‘OK, we got to do this,’” Sooners linebacker Nik Bonitto said. “I feel like it really didn’t start clicking until those things actually started happening. Like once people started running to the ball, like, we’ve seen it can work. Once you start getting takeaways, we see it equals victory.

“A lot of those things that he preaches — once we started doing it, it all started coming into fruition and we started believing it and trusting in what he’s saying.”

–Field Level Media

Dec 22, 2020; Boise, Idaho, USA; Nevada Wolf Pack wide receiver Justin Lockhart (17) catches a touchdown pass during the first half of the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl versus the Tulane Green Wave  at Albertsons Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

Strong’s 5 TDs tosses lead Nevada over Tulane in Potato Bowl

Carson Strong threw five touchdown passes and Nevada compiled eight sacks and three interceptions in a 38-27 win over Tulane on Tuesday in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl at Boise, Idaho.

Strong, the Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year, completed 22 of 28 passes for 271 yards with no interceptions.

The Wolf Pack were led on the ground by Devonte Lee, who gained 105 yards on 18 carries. Toa Taua produced 102 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries. Taua also caught six passes for 77 yards, including a 44-yard touchdown.

Nevada (7-2) finished with 209 rushing yards.

The Wolf Pack achieved their seventh bowl win in program history, including three in their past four attempts.

Tulane quarterback Michael Pratt, who entered the game with only five interceptions on the year, was picked off three times, leading to two Nevada touchdowns. Pratt completed 12 of 25 passes for 168 yards and two touchdowns.

Tulane (6-6) was unsuccessful in its attempt to achieve three bowl victories in the past three seasons.

Trevor Price, Lawson Hall and Tristan Nichols each had two sacks for Nevada.

Nevada led 26-7 at halftime with a time-of-possession edge of 20:16 to 9:44 after tallying 334 yards in total offense with 14 first downs.

Tulane had the first possession of the second half and drove 75 yards for a touchdown to pull within 13 points. The 12-play drive, which culminated on a 6-yard touchdown by Pratt, took 4:57.

At the end of Nevada’s ensuing possession, Tulane’s Jha’Quan Jackson returned a punt 27 yards to the Wolf Pack’s 45. Four plays later, Pratt connected with Jackson for 28 yards with 6:30 left in the third quarter to cut the deficit to 26-20.

Senior E.J. Muhammad recorded his first career interception, Pratt’s third of the game, to end the Green Wave’s next possession. Muhammad returned the ball 32 yards to the Green Wave 20.

Strong then completed a 2-yard touchdown pass to Cole Turner, and the Wolf Pack led 32-20 with 13:22 left in the fourth quarter after the two-point conversion pass failed.

The lead grew to 38-20 on Strong’s 21-yard pass to Jamaal Bell with 4:19 left.

Nevada’s halftime lead was built behind three touchdown passes by Strong and 76 rushing yards by Taua, who scored on a run and also a pass from Strong.

–Field Level Media

Nov 7, 2020; Greenville, North Carolina, USA;  Tulane Green Wave quarterback Michael Pratt (7) looks on before the snap of the ball against the East Carolina Pirates at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Tulane would like to find success against Memphis

No lead is safe against the Memphis Tigers.

No lead is safe with the Tulane Green Wave.

So a dramatic momentum shift could be in the offing when those two teams meet in an American Athletic Conference game Saturday in New Orleans.

The visiting Tigers (6-2, 4-2 AAC) have come from behind in five of their wins. The Tigers had the biggest comeback win in school history when they overcame a 21-point margin to defeat UCF 50-49 back in October on a touchdown with a little more than a minute to play.

They trailed South Florida by 13 with four minutes remaining and scored two touchdowns, including another game-winner with a little more than a minute left, to prevail 34-33.

The offensive fireworks were absent in a 10-7 victory at Navy last week, but fourth-quarter dramatics were not. Memphis kicked a tiebreaking field goal early in the fourth quarter and the defense made it hold up.

“The defense is starting to come together,” Tigers coach Ryan Silverfield said. “The guys have a better idea of what we’re trying to do. The defense has been one of the bright spots for us this year, for sure.”

If the offense can regain its form of earlier in the season, Memphis can still make a run. It’s mathematically alive for a berth in the conference title game, though it would take quite a bit of help.

“We’re trying to find a way to get into a rhythm running the football,” Silverfield said. “We’ve got to find ways to get our offense going in the right direction.”

Silverfield said it’s especially important to establish the run and viable play action to slow down the Green Wave pass rush, which leads the AAC with 33 sacks.

Tulane had seven sacks when it beat the Tigers 40-24 two seasons ago, the teams’ last meeting in New Orleans.

“They took us behind the woodshed and kicked our tail,” Silverfield said.

That’s the Green Wave’s only victory in the last 13 meetings. Memphis prevailed at home last season, 47-17.

Tulane (5-5, 2-5) hasn’t played since a gut-wrenching 30-24 loss in double overtime at Tulsa on Nov. 19.

The Green Wave led 14-0 after three quarters and watched Tulsa’s third-string quarterback, Davis Brin, who was thrust into action because of injuries, produce three touchdowns, including a tying 37-yard Hail Mary touchdown pass as time expired in the fourth quarter.

After both teams kicked a field goal in the first overtime, Zaven Collins intercepted Michael Pratt and returned it 96 yards for the Golden Hurricane’s winning touchdown.

“We had our foot on their necks and we let it slip,” Green Wave linebacker Nick Anderson said.

Tulane led Navy 24-0 but was outscored 27-0 in the second half of its home opener in September.

Two games later, it led Houston 24-7 early in the second quarter before being outscored 42-7 the rest of the way. The Green Wave lost four leads against SMU before losing in overtime.

“We still have yet to play a full game,” running back Stephon Huderson said. “We are getting tired of these ‘almost’ games.”

This game was postponed one week as the AAC rearranged several games to accommodate COVID-related make-ups.

–Field Level Media