Tulane shuts out Alcorn, 52-0

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Iverson Celestine
(Photo: Parker Waters)

NEW ORLEANS – The Tulane football team (2-0) cruised to a 52-0 victory over visiting Alcorn State (0-2) on Saturday night at Yulman Stadium.

The Tulane offense put up 558 yards in the game, while the defense pitched the first shutout for the program since 1997 in limiting Alcorn State to 109 total yards.

The Green Wave offense finished a yard short of eclipsing 400 yards through the air, while recording 159 yards and four touchdowns on the ground.

Quarterback Michael Pratt connected on 17 of 21 attempts for a career-high 318 yards and three touchdowns. Justin Ibieta came off the bench and went 7-for-9 for 72 yards through the air. He also rumbled into the end zone from three yards out on the ground.

Wide receiver Shae Wyatt caught five of the six balls he was targeted on for 130 yards and a touchdown. He had 110 yards after contact and was helped by his 72-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter. Jha’Quan Jackson hauled in four passes for 61 yards and a touchdown. Dea Dea McDougle caught three passes for 47 yards, plus he had a rush for 16 yards and his first career touchdown. Tight end Tyrick James tallied a pair of catches for 51 yards and a touchdown. Iverson Celestine led the team in rushing with 11 carries for 43 yards. Lucas Barisas had a healthy 5.6 yards a carry on his seven attempts for 39 yards on the ground. Shaadie Clayton had three carries for seven yards and a touchdown. Lawrence Keys III made his one rushing attempt count around the goal line for a touchdown.

The Tulane defense was led by safety Larry Brooks’ six stops. Defensive lineman Carlos Hatcher picked up three tackles, one stop for loss and half a sack. Linebacker Corey Platt Jr. tallied three tackles plus a sack. Defensive lineman Devean Deal also had three tackles plus a stop for loss. Defensive lineman Patrick Jenkins had two stops for loss among his three tackles. Linebacker Dorian Williams had a pair of stops plus an interception that he returned for 13 yards. Defensive lineman Noah Taliancich had a pair of tackles plus half a sack. Nickel Macon Clark had three tackles and two pass breakups.

The Green Wave defense surrendered just four first downs in the game plus 60 yards rushing and 49 passing. Tulane’s offense went 7-for-9 in red zone opportunities and was 7-for-13 on third down.

Tulane began the scoring as Kriston Esnard made his first career field goal from 26 yards to finish off a 12 play, 64-yard drive and put the Green Wave up 3-0. Clayton scored the next touchdown for the Green Wave from six yards out to complete a three play, 27-yard drive and increase the score to 10-0 midway through the first quarter. Keys made it a three-score game as he rushed it in from seven yards out to put Tulane up 17-0 with 3:10 remaining in the opening quarter. The second quarter saw Jackson reach the end zone on a 16-yard pitch-and-catch from Pratt to put the Green Wave up 24-0. Tulane reached paydirt once more before the half as James hauled in 25-yard pass from Pratt to increase the lead to 31-0 before the break.

The second half started quickly for the Green Wave offense as Wyatt and Pratt connected on a 72-yard touchdown on a one-play drive to put Tulane up 38-0. McDougle’s 16-yard rush allowed the Green Wave to go up 45-0 with 8:58 remaining in the third quarter. Ibieta finished the scoring for Tulane with his three-yard rush to end a long 13 play, 86-yard drive and make the final score 52-0.

The Green Wave plays its first road contest of the season it travels to Manhattan, Kansas to take on Kansas State (2-0) on Saturday, September 17, at 2 p.m.

Notes: Tulane improved to 2-0 this season with the victory over Alcorn State…The Green Wave is unblemished after the first two games of the season for the first time since 2002 and only the fourth time since 1975…The team is 2-0 overall for the 33rd time in school history (2022, 2002, 1998, 1975, 1974, 1973, 1972, 1966, 1949, 1941, 1939, 1934, 1932, 1931, 1929, 1928, 1924, 1923, 1922,1920, 1919, 1918, 1917, 1916, 1915, 1914, 1912, 1911, 1909, 1908, 1907, 1904 and 1900)…The game was the first time that the Green Wave have played against Alcorn State although the program is now 7-0 all-time against teams from the Southwestern Athletic Conference…Michael Pratt has now thrown at least one touchdown pass in 22 of his 23 games. …Tulane has run for 100 yards as a team in 76 of the last 79 games…The last time Tulane posted a shutout was a 56-0 victory over Louisiana Lafayette on the road on Nov. 1, 1997…The program’s last home shutout was earlier that season against Army by a 41-0 tally on Oct. 4, 1997…The 558 yards of offense for Tulane against Alcorn State was the most for the program since putting up 584 last season against Morgan State (9/11/21)…The 52 points scored were the most for the program since scoring 69 against Morgan State last season…Tulane has now defeated 18 straight opponents from the Football Championship Subdivision…The game marked the second straight game where Tulane has scored 40 or more points and the third time in the last four games…Overall, Tulane has now scored 30 or more points in 34 games since Willie Fritz took over as head coach in 2017…The program has scored 40 or more points in 17 of those games….In the first two games, the Tulane defense has allowed a total of 10 points and 66 yards passing.

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