Tulane rides Pratt, defense to 24-9 win over ECU

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NEW ORLEANS – The Tulane football team (5-1, 2-0 AAC) used a career passing effort from quarterback Michael Pratt and a defense that continues to limit the opposition to defeat visiting East Carolina University (3-3, 1-2 AAC) by a 24-9 score on Saturday at Yulman Stadium.

After missing the last game, Pratt returned to action and threw for a career-high 326 yards plus two touchdowns on his 27 completions. The junior quarterback also ran for a touchdown. Tyjae Spears led the team in rushing with 53 yards. Duece Watts caught four passes for 93 yards including an acrobatic touchdown catch over a defender late in the third quarter. Shae Wyatt led Tulane with his five catches. He totaled 45 receiving yards. Jha’Quan Jackson hauled in four passes for 64 yards. Lawrence Keys III totaled four catches for 37 yards. Tyrick James had three catches for 32 yards and a touchdown. Bryce Bohanon made his two catches count for 45 yards.

Macon Clark led the defense with his nine tackles, two stops for loss and an interception. Nick Anderson totaled eight tackles plus a quarterback hurry. Jarius Monroe had six tackles and two pass breakups. Jadon Canady also had six tackles and two pass breakups. Larry Brooks had six tackles plus an interception in the end zone that prevented a potential ECU score early in the second half. Dorian Williams had five tackles and a pass breakup. Lummie Young IV had five tackles and a pass breakup. Patrick Jenkins registered a sack for Tulane. Devean Deal had three tackles including a stop for loss.

Tulane’s offense gained 391 yards on the day with 350 of them coming through the air. The Green Wave defense limited the explosive ECU offensive attack, who came into the game averaging 35.12 points a game, to a season-low nine points. The defense also was able to force a pair of ECU turnovers.

East Carolina started the scoring on a 27-yard field goal from Owen Daffer to make the score 3-0 with 3:09 remaining in the first quarter. The Green Wave answered early in the second quarter on the three-yard pitch-and-catch from Pratt to James to make the score 7-3. After ECU took the lead back on a touchdown pass with a missed extra point, 9-7, Tulane went on its longest drive of the season. The Green Wave marched down the field on a 16-play, 93-yard drive that was finished off on a quarterback sneak for a touchdown from Pratt with 4:12 remaining in the first half. In the third quarter, Watts made a spectacular catch over an ECU defender to end the 44-yard touchdown connection from Pratt and put Tulane up 21-9 with three minutes left in the third. The Green Wave added a 42-yard field goal late in the fourth from Valentino Ambrosio to make the final score 24-9. The field goal make was a long for Tulane this season and the very first here for Ambrosio, who had missed 2022’s first five weeks, after transferring from Rutgers. The kick was the longest for a Tulane kicker since Merek Glover also made a 42-yarder against ECU. His was during the 2020 season.

Next, the Tulane football team gets back on the road and takes on the University of South Florida on Saturday in Tampa at Raymond James Stadium at 3 p.m.

Notes: The win makes the Green Wave 5-1 this season … It is the first time that Tulane has been 5-1 or better to start the year since 2019 and the 22nd time overall (2022, 2019, 1998, 1979, 1974, 1973, 1949, 1948, 1939, 1936, 1934, 1931, 1930, 1929, 1925, 1924, 1919, 1912, 1908, 1904, 1901, 1900) … The win over ECU gives Tulane victories in four of the last five meetings between the two schools … Michael Pratt has now thrown at least one touchdown pass in 26 of his 27 career games … Pratt set a career-high in passing yards with 326 yards in the contest … His previous high for yards was 318 against Alcorn State earlier this season (9/10/22) … His 27 completed passes tied his career high for the third time.

Tickets for the 2022 season can be purchased by calling 504-861-WAVE (9283), logging on to TulaneTix.com or visiting the ticket office at the James W. Wilson Jr. Center.

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