Tulane rolls to 38-21 win at East Carolina
GREENVILLE, N.C. – Behind a record-setting day for senior defensive end Patrick Johnson and freshman quarterback Michael Pratt’s three touchdown passes, the Tulane football team collected its second American Athletic Conference win in as many weeks with a 38-21 road victory at East Carolina on Saturday afternoon at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.
The win was Tulane’s (4-4, 2-4 AAC) third on the road this season – a feat the program last achieved in 1998.
Defensively, Johnson posted a monster performance by matching a career-high three sacks to complement six tackles, two forced fumbles and one pass deflection. The American’s leader in sacks this season now has 23.5 career sacks and became the program’s all-time leader in the category, passing Kenan Blackmon (22.5) and Floyd Dorsey (21.5) for the top spot.
Pratt completed 22 of his 34 pass attempts for 216 yards, while junior wide receiver Duece Watts caught five passes for 57 yards and two scores. Redshirt sophomore Cameron Carroll rushed six times for 126 yards and two touchdowns to lead the ground attack.
Pratt has now thrown for multiple touchdown passes in three straight games and for three scores in two of the last three contests. Watts caught multiple touchdown passes for the second week in a row and now has five scoring receptions in the last three games. Carroll’s two rushing touchdowns give him 10 for the season.
Tulane assumed the first possession of the game and put together a nine-play, 78-yard drive that was capped by a 35-yard touchdown pass from Pratt to Watts.
East Carolina (1-5, 1-4 AAC) was quick to respond once its offense took the field, piecing together a 10-play 75-yard drive of its own that ended on a 10-yard touchdown pass to tie the game, 7-7.
Both defenses clamped down to keep the game scoreless for the next 14 minutes of gameplay, but the Green Wave seized control midway through the second quarter when Pratt led a quick drive that began right around midfield before finding Tyrick James for a five-yard touchdown pass after just four plays later.
After blocking a long field goal attempt by the Pirates, Tulane relied heavily on senior running back Stephon Huderson who accounted for five rushes and 35 yards as well as a 10-yard reception. That set up Pratt for his third touchdown toss of the first half when he found Watts from five yards out with 38 seconds left before halftime to give the Green Wave a 21-7 advantage.
Tulane continued its scoring run just over halfway through the third quarter when Carroll took the fourth play of a drive over the right side for a 48-yard touchdown run. The defense then forced a three-and-out before settling for a 42-yard field goal by redshirt senior kicker Merek Glover on its next possession to stretch the lead to 31-7.
The Wave’s streak of scoring 24 straight points came to an end on an ECU touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter, but Carroll broke free once more for a 28-yard scamper into the end zone to extend the margin to 38-15 with just over five minutes left in the game.
The Pirates scored on a long touchdown pass on the first play of their subsequent possession but were unable to connect on a two-point conversion attempt. That proved to be the final score of the afternoon.
Up next, Tulane takes a break from conference play and returns home to host Army on Saturday, November 14. Kickoff is scheduled for 11 a.m., at Yulman Stadium and the game will be broadcast on ESPN+.
TULANE 38, ECU 21 – POSTGAME NOTES
• With the win, Tulane picked up its third road victory of the season. The Green Wave have not won three road games in a single season since 1998.
• The Green Wave’s win over East Carolina marked the second consecutive win for Tulane at ECU. Tulane has never won back-to-back road games at ECU.
• Tulane’s win over ECU marked the Green Wave’s third straight win over the Pirates. Tulane has never defeated ECU in three straight games.
• Tulane has now won four of the last five meetings with ECU.
• The Green Wave’s 17-point win over the Pirates was tied for Tulane’s largest margin of victory over ECU in the all-time series.
• The gameday captains for this week were LB Nick Anderson, QB Michael Pratt, DL Patrick Johnson and OL Corey Dublin.
• The Wave of Change flag carrier was DL De’Andre Williams.
• The No. 18 flag was carried by OL Ben Knutson.
• With the win, Tulane head coach Willie Fritz improved to 220-105-1 all-time. Fritz has never lost to ECU.
• The Green Wave have now scored 30-or-more points for the sixth straight game. Tulane has not scored 30-or-more points in six straight games (in the same season) since the 1998 campaign.
• Tulane outgained ECU 493-386.
• The Green Wave also rushed for over 200 yards for the 14th time in their last 21 games (dating back to last season).
• The Green Wave defensive unit held ECU to under 100 yards rushing. Tulane has held four opponents under 100 yards rushing this season.
• Offensive starters for the Green Wave were QB Michael Pratt, WR Duece Watts, WR Jha’Quan Jackson,WR Mykel Jones, RB Stephon Huderson, TE Tyrick James, OL Sincere Haynesworth, OL Corey Dublin, OL Ben Knutson, OL Joey Claybrook and OL Tim Shafter.
• Corey Dublin made his 46th consecutive start. Tim Shafter made his first career start.
• Pratt finished the game with a career-high 216 passing yards. He also has tied a career high with three touchdown passses. The freshman signal-caller surpassed 200 yards passing for the third straight game.
• Cam Carroll finished the game with a pair of rushing touchdowns. Carroll has now scored at least two touchdowns in four games this season. He also has scored 11 total touchdowns on the year.
• Carroll’s 10 rushing touchdowns are tied for ninth all-time for a single season.
• Carroll surpassed 100 yards rushing for the second time this season, as he finished with 129 yards on the ground.
• Tulane finished the game with over 100 yards rushing for the 60th time in its last 61 games.
• Duece Watts tied a career high with five receptions. He also tied a career high with two receiving touchdowns.
• Jha’Quan Jackson closed the game with a career-high seven receptions.
• Defensive starters for the Green Wave were LB Kevin Henry, LB Dorian Williams, S Chase Kuerschen, S Macon Clark, DL Patrick Johnson, DL Cameron Sample, DL Jeffrey Johnson, S Larry Brooks, CB Jaylon Monroe, CB Willie Langham and LB Marvin Moody.
• Patrick Johnson tied a career high with 3.0 sacks and became the all-time career sack leader at Tulane. Johnson surpassed Kenan Blackmon (1999-02) and now has 23.5 career sacks. Johnson now has 9.0 sacks on the year.
• Nick Anderson finished the game with a team-best 8.0 tackles.
• As a team, Tulane finished the game with 10 tackles for loss and five sacks.
SPECIAL TEAMS NOTES
• Ryan Wright finished the game with four punts for 177 yards (44.2 average). He also had two punts land inside the 20-yard line. Wright entered the game leading the American Athletic Conference in punting average.
• Merek Glover connected on five extra points. He also drilled a 42-yard field goal. He now has 273 career points kicking which ranks fourth all-time.
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