Tulane Football Game Notes: Green Wave treks to face nationally-ranked Ole Miss
GREEN WAVE TO FACE FORMER SEC FOE ON SATURDAY IN OXFORD
- The Green Wave return to action on Saturday, as they travel to Ole Miss for their matchup with the Rebels.
- The game will be aired live on ESPN2 and will kickoff at 7 p.m. CT.
- The Green Wave’s last appearance at Ole Miss came back in 2012 with Tulane suffering a 39-0 loss.
- The two teams met regularly during the Green Wave’s affiliation with the Southeastern Conference .
- The Green Wave will look to continue their momentum following a convincing 69-20 win over Morgan State last Saturday (Sept. 11) inside Legion Field Stadium in Birmingham.
- Tulane will be in search of its first road win over a ranked opponent since Oct. 6, 1984.
Tulane will be wearing “throwback” helmets featuring Greenie, a mascot logo used from 1945-1964, for their matchup against Ole Miss this weekend.
— Ole Miss Uniform Archives (@OleMissUnis) September 15, 2021
FIRST AND 10
- Tulane comes into its matchup with Ole Miss featuring the American Athletic Conference’s top scoring offense, averaging 52 points per game. Tulane’s offensive unit also ranks fourth nationally.
- The Green Wave defensive unit has also made a name for themselves this season, ranking second in the American Athletic Conference in turnovers gained.
- Last week against Morgan State, freshman quarterback Michael Pratt threw for a pair touchdown passes against the Bears. Pratt has thrown for a touchdown pass in every college game he has played in since making his debut in 2020 (12 straight games). He currently has 25 career touchdown passes and needs just one more to crack into the program’s all-time Top 10 in career touchdown passes.
- Tulane scored 69 points last week on the road at Oklahoma. The Green Wave have now surpassed 30-or-more points in 10 of their last 12 games, dating back to last season.
- The Green Wave’s 69 points last week were the second-highest total in week two among teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision.
- The Green Wave have surpassed 200 yards rushing in 16 of their last 27 games dating back to the start of the 2019 season. Tulane led the American in rushing yards per game last year, averaging 217.1 per game.
- Last week against Morgan State, Tulane rushed for 294 yards.
- Tulane has rushed for over 100 yards or more as a team in 66 of its last 67 games. Tulane had its 56-game streak of rushing for at least 100 yards as a team snapped at Houston back on Oct. 8, 2020.
- Tulane was one of just 15 FBS teams to play 12 or more games in 2020 (no games were canceled and team activities were never paused during the season).
- Tulane’s special teams unit leads the nation in net punting (51.5 yards per game) and punt return defense, holding teams to a -9.00 yards per return.
SCOUTING OLE MISS
- Ole Miss comes into its matchup with Tulane on Saturday with a perfect 2-0 ranking and a Top 25 ranking after posting convincing wins over Louisville (43-24) and Austin Peay (54-17).
- Ole Miss was picked to finish fourth in the SEC West Division.
- The Rebels are led by second-year head coach Lane Kiffin. In 10 years as a head coach, Kiffin has posted a 68-39 record.
- The Rebels have own 54-15 record against non-conference opponents dating back to 1994.
- Ole Miss has only lost one home non-conference game since 2012.
- Ole Miss is one of only three teams in the FBS to have four players average more than 40 yards rushing per game.
- The Rebels air attack is led by quarterback Matt Corral. He currently leads the SEC and currently ranks fourth in the FBS in total offense, averaging 376.0 yards per game.
LAST TIME OUT: WAVE ROLL PAST MORGAN STATE
- Tulane’s matchup with Morgan State was moved to Birmingham, as a result of the effects of Hurricane Ida.
- Tulane improved to 72-51-4 in home openers.
- Tulane scored on its first drive of the game for the second straight week.
- The Green Wave opened up a 52-7 lead at the half and never trailed.
- The Green Wave faced Morgan State for the first time in program history.
- Tulane’s 69-point is the most since the Green Wave put up 72 points against Louisiana-Lafayette in 1998.
- The Green Wave’s 69-point outburst marked the fourth time the Green Wave have scored 60-or-more points since 2016.
- Tulane played 107 players against Morgan State.
- The Green Wave have now surpassed 30-or-more points in 10 of their last 12 games, dating back to last season.
- Tulane has now defeated 17 straight opponents from the Football Championship Subdivision.
- Tulane seniors JoJo Dorceus, Corey Dublin, Merek Glover, Kevin Henry, Ajani Kerr, Jaylon Monroe, Marvin Moody, Derrion Rakestraw, Jaetavian Toles, Ryan Wright and Jeffery Johnson served as the team captains.
- Tulane offensive lineman Joey Claybrook carried the Wave of Change flag and Green Wave wide receiver Jha’Quan Jackson carried the No. 18 flag in honor of former Tulane student-athlete Devon Walker.
- With the win, Tulane head coach Willie Fritz moved to 223-108-1 all-time. He becomes just the sixth Tulane head coach with 30-or-more wins in program history.
- Offensive starters for the Green Wave were QB Michael Pratt, WR Jaetavian Toles, WR Shae Wyatt, RB Ygenio Booker, RB Cameron Carroll, TE Tyrick James, OL Sincere Haynesworth, OL Corey Dublin, OL Joey Claybrook, OL Rashad Green and OL Josh Remetich.
- Dublin’s start was the 51st of his career.
- Pratt finished the game with two touchdown passes and added one rushing touchdown. The freshman signal caller has now thrown for multiple touchdown passes in 10 career games. He also has thrown for a touchdown in every game he has appeared in for the Green Wave.
- Pratt has rushed and passed for a touchdown in eight career games.
- Pratt finished the game with 124 yards.
- Tight end Tyrick James caught a touchdown for the second straight game.
- Senior wide receiver Jaetavian Toles posted single game career highs in receptions (5) and yards (64). He also scored a touchdown for the second straight game.
- Defensive starters for the Green Wave were LB Kevin Henry, LB Marvin Moody, CB Jaylon Monroe, DB Jadon Canady, DB Larry Brooks, DB Ajani Kerr, DB Macon Clark, DL JoJo Dorceus, DL Eric Hicks, DL Angelo Anderson and DL Jeffrey Johnson.
- As a team, Tulane held Morgan State to just 49 yards in the first half and forced the Bears into three first half turnovers.
- Senior Nick Anderson led the way defensively with 5.0 tackles.
- Graduate student Kevin Henry hauled in his first interception at Tulane. He then returned the interception 49 yards for a touchdown.
- Graduate student Derrion Rakestraw recorded his first interception with the Olive and Blue.
- Tulane has now recorded two interceptions in back-to-back games. As a team, Tulane finished the game with 10.0 tackles for loss and 5.0 sacks.
- Ryan Wright punted just once for 68 yards.
- Merek Glover connected on a 40-yard field goal. He also drilled 2 extra points and in the process surpassed 300 points for his career. He currently has 301 career points and stands 32 shy of becoming the school’s all-time leading scorer.
GREEN WAVE NEARLY PULLS UPSET AT OKLAHOMA
- After being displaced to Birmingham, Alabama, due to Hurricane Ida, the Tulane football team nearly pulled off one of the biggest upsets in program history.
- Tulane scored on its first drive of the game, as it went 55 yards in eight plays.
- The Green Wave and Sooners were tied at 14 after the first quarter, but Oklahoma reeled off 23 unanswered points in the second quarter to take a 37-14 lead into the locker room.
- Tulane responded in a big way, as it outscored Oklahoma 21-3 in the second half and had the ball with less than 2:30 remaining, but were unable to pick up the go ahead score.
- The Green Wave’s 35-point effort were the most points Tulane has posted against a Top 5 team in program history.
- Tulane fell just shy of picking up its first-ever victory over a Top 5 opponent.
- Pratt finished the game with a career-high three touchdown passes and added one rushing touchdown.
- Pratt’s 296-yard effort was a single-game career high.
- Tight end Tyrick James had career-highs with six receptions and 93 yards receiving.
- Redshirt sophomore running back Cam Carroll caught a career-high two receiving touchdowns.
- As a team, Tulane held Oklahoma to just 118 yards of total offense and forced the Sooners into one turnover in the second half.
- Nick Anderson led the team with 8.0 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss.
- Tulane tallied a pair of interceptions. Jadon Canady collected his first career interception, while Macon Clark recorded his fourth interception.
GOING TOE-TO-TOE WITH THE BIG BOYS
- Tulane’s near victory over second-ranked Oklahoma is nothing new for Willie Fritz coached teams.
- Fritz’s teams have made a habit of putting a big-time scare into their big-time opponents from the ACC, BIG 12 and SEC.
- In 2018, Tulane took Wake Forest into overtime, but fell 23-17.
- In 2019, Tulane trailed by just eight points (14-6) midway through the third quarter at 10th-ranked Auburn, but ultimately fell 24-6.
- Fritz’s Georgia Southern squad took Georgia into overtime in 2015.
- In 2014, Fritz’s Georgia Southern team nearly defeated NC State on the road, but fell 24-23. In that same season, GSU fell by just four points to a Georgia Tech team that went on to win the Orange Bowl.
- In 2012, Fritz’s Sam Houston State team held a 20-10 halftime lead over Baylor.
THEY SAID IT….
Tulane has caught the attention of the nation so far this season. Listed below are some highlights from what people are saying about the Green Wave this year.
“7 from Tulane is tough tough.”
-Tyrann Mathieu, Kansas City Chiefs
“Respect Michael Pratt !! Dudes a beast from Tulane.”
-Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks
“That Tulane QB is feisty.”
-Mina Kimes, ESPN
“That’s a tough team. That was one of the hardest hitting teams, one of the most physical teams I’ve ever played.”
-Spencer Rattler, Oklahoma QB
“They were so spirited. Those Tulane players were playing for a lot.”
-Joe Tessitore, ESPN
“Willie Fritz is an excellent coach. He has built a program there that will
fight you every single week. They (Tulane) gave Oklahoma all they
wanted and more.”
-Greg McElroy, ESPN
“This is an SEC opponent.”
-Lane Kiffin, Ole Miss Head Coach
- Now in his 29th year as a head coach, Willie Fritz has coached in 104 games in the month of September.
- In those 104 games, Fritz’s teams have posted a mark of 74-30.
- In addition, Fritz’s teams have tallied a perfect mark in the month
- of September on eight separate occasions
35 EQUALS WINS
- Under Coach Fritz, the Green Wave have scored over 35 points in 24 games. Tulane is 21-3 in those games.
- The Olive and Blue scored exactly 38 points in last three of their last six games in 2020, all of which were wins. Tulane scored 35+ in three straight games against FBS opponents for only the second time in Fritz’s tenure. The Green Wave achieved the feat last season in wins over Houston, Army and Uconn in 2019.
A 60 SPOT
- The Green Wave’s 69 points were second-most points scored in Week 2 of the college football season.
- Tulane’s 69-point outburst this past Saturday marked the fourth time the Green Wave have scored 60-or-more points since 2016.
- Prior to Willie Fritz’s arrival in 2016, Tulane had not scored 60-or-more points since 1998.
MEET THE PRESS: Fritz Previews Ole Miss at Weekly News Conference
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – Listed below is the complete transcript from Green Wave football head coach Willie Fritz’s weekly press conference leading up to Tulane’s matchup vs. Ole Miss on Saturday.
Opening Statement – “You know, after the W we celebrate by having snowballs and there’s actually a Nola snowball bus, here in Birmingham. So we’re able to go ahead and do that. I thought we’re going to have to wait till we got back to NOLA, but we’re able to do that today, which was fun. We had a good, spirited practice. Worked out a little bit yesterday as well. I’m just trying to have a good grasp of all the unique things that Ole Miss tell us.”
Ole Miss is averaging 600 yards per game after two games. They can run it, they can throw it they’ve got a quarterback. He’s generating Heisman buzz early in the year and they run at a really fast pace. What is the biggest challenge for your defense going against that group?
“Well, we got to stay over the top we got to do a good job of tackling in space because they do a super job of getting their playmakers ball in space, whether it’s by pass or run. They’ve got a really good running game – much much much better than people probably give them credit for. I don’t know exactly everything with all the offense, who’s calling what and all that stuff. But I think it’s a little bit of a combination Coach Kiffin, he had fantastic offenses for years and years and years and years. It’s a tough offense to defend and they’ll build tempo at times, sometimes they’ll go regular speed as well, if you let that quarterback back here and pat the ball, he’s gonna find somebody open.”
Having already faced Oklahoma, how much does that help going into a game like this?
“There are some similarities between both of them. They’re exactly the same family as far as, where they learned everything and all that, but they both are going to spread the ball around and they both have much better running games than people give them credit for. They really can run the ball effectively. Outside and inside Oklahoma probably ran a lot more of a counter, than what we’ve seen from Ole Miss.”
How important is it going to be to do a better job of the affecting (Matt) Corral?
“We always want to try to get some pressure but sometimes we got to rush three sometimes four. Sometimes you sell the farm and try to bring more than they got to block. He (Matt Corral) sits back there and pats the ball. We’ve got to be really, really good in coverage, both underneath and over the top.”
Do you feel like you have to score a ton of points to the even have a chance in this game?
“I think we’re gonna have to score some points. There’s no question about it. We have to do a good job controlling the ball. It looks like they’ve changed up quite a bit from what they did last year, defensively. They’re doing a little bit more than the high three, safety type look – Iowa State has had a lot of success with that. They may have visited with them, I don’t know.”
The fact that you have a good running game, and you have a good offensive line, do you think that makes you better equipped for a game like this then maybe you’ve been perhaps of the first three or four years when you were here?
“We have to do a good job with protection. We have to do a good job with protection and then we got to be balanced. If we stand back there, and do long developing routes every play, it’s gonna be difficult for us because they’ve got a heck of a front. They’ve got some really good pass rushers up there. Number seven (Sam Williams) is dynamic pass rusher. That’s a big fast guy up there. They’re not going to allow you to hold the ball for very long.”
How much has Mike Pratt kind of helped transform what I guess maybe the expectations would be for your offense and what what you guys have been able to do since he’s become the starter over this last year?
“He’s done an excellent job. He’s just picking the game up. I think the game slowed down for a little bit. He’s seeing things pre snap. He’s accurate, has a strong arm and has much better movement than people give him credit for. We’re excited that we’ve got an excellent quarterback. You’ve got to have that in these type of games.”
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