No. 24 Houston takes out Tulane 42-7

Tulane Green Wave sophomore running back Dontrell Hilliard makes a break upfield during Friday’s 42-7 loss to the Houston Shasta. Hilliard finished the night with 11 carries for 53 yards and one touchdown.

Samantha Shafia, Associate Sports Editor

Tulane football (2-4, 1-2 American Athletic Conference) swiftly lost momentum after its offense put down a seven in the second quarter in its 42-7 fall to nationally ranked Houston (6-0, 3-0 AAC).

Houston’s sixth-ranked offense set the tone for the night early, scoring on its first possession. In spite of that initial play, Tulane’s defense worked to prevent the Cougars from scoring for the rest of the quarter, though that success did not last.

The Green Wave’s offense struggled to make gains all night. Redshirt junior quarterback Devin Powell, who started in light of redshirt sophomore quarterback Tanner Lee’s concussion, completed just 11 of 28 passes for 88 yards.

Tulane marked its only score of the night when sophomore running back Dontrell Hilliard ran the ball into the end zone for the touchdown in the second quarter, putt the score at 14-7.

Tulane’s defense worked to keep the squad in the game throughout the first half with a near fumble recovery and ending with with an interception by junior linebacker Nico Marley in the last 30 seconds. However, the defense could not contain the No. 6 offense, despite three of Houston’s starting offensive linemen out with injuries. The Cougars racked up 461 total yards offensively.

Following intermission, the point deficit grew as Houston scored two more touchdowns and Tulane’s offense remained stagnant. The Cougars’ fast offense, headed by junior quarterback Greg Ward Jr., constantly challenged the Tulane defense as Ward Jr. finished with 17 of 25 throws for 222 yards and 14 carries for 77 yards.

“Every time we thought we had [Ward Jr.], we didn’t really have him,” head coach Curtis Johnson said.

With the score sitting at 42-7 after the third quarter, the second-string players checked in for the remainder of the game. Third-string redshirt senior quarterback Jordy Joseph got in some reps, throwing a 51-yard pass and having a 3 of 5 completion rate.

Penalties plagued the Wave’s play yet again as the team piled up 12 penalties for 133 yards. To add insult to injury, the Wave accumulated fewer first downs—11—than penalties.

“It’s just hard to go out there and make so many mistakes and know that this game could have been so different,” senior safety Darion Monroe said. “We made a lot of mistakes, and a lot of dumb penalties and fouls.”

Tulane heads to the road again, looking for its first away win as it takes on Navy at 12:00 pm on Saturday October 24 in Annapolis.

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