Green Wave head to Houston for AAC battle

Harrison Simon, Staff Reporter

If you are a fan of watching Tulane University football games on major television networks, you’re in luck. Tomorrow, Oct. 8, the Tulane Green Wave football team will take on the Houston Cougars at 6:30 pm CST on ESPN in what, in recent years, has become one of the more heated rivalries in the American Athletic Conference.

The biggest headline for the Green Wave heading into this contest has to be the team’s starting quarterback. After blowing a 24-0 lead against the Navy Midshipmen in Tulane’s second game of the season, head coach Willie Fritz decided to give quarterback Michael Pratt a chance under center in the team’s next game. Pratt did not disappoint, captaining the Green Wave to a 66-24 drubbing versus Southern Mississippi. Fritz seems to have great confidence in Pratt, as he named the true freshman as the team’s starter for what is the biggest game of the season so far.

Tomorrow’s game will be the Green Wave’s first game against another AAC team this season. (Parker Waters)

Pratt seems ready to lead the Green Wave, but he certainly won’t mind some help from his backfield. After losing sixth-year player Corey Dauphine to a torn Achilles tendon in the off-season, Tyjae Spears seemed poised to lead the running game until he went down for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in the Green Wave’s only loss of the season. Redshirt sophomore Cameron Caroll and senior Stephon Huderson played well last week, both going for 100+ yards on the ground, but we have yet to see them take on a team as stingy as the Cougars.

After a disappointing 4-8 finish last season under first-year head coach Dana Holmgren, the Cougars have been locked in since the start of the season. Well, they would be if they had actually played a game yet. The Cougars’ first four opponents either cancelled or postponed their matchups due the COVID-19 pandemic, so Houston will soon get its first taste of a differently colored jersey. There will certainly be some rust, but the players also have to be itching to finally play an actual game, which could add an extra fire to their flame.

Houston is led by junior quarterback Clayton Tune, who seems to feel comfortable with the offense in his first season at the helm. Houston’s defeat at the hands of Tulane last year marked the final game for QB playmaker D’Eriq King, who transferred to University of Miami shortly after the Cougars’ defeat last year. It will be interesting to see how Tune handles himself. The Cougars boast strength on both sides of the ball, primarily through wide receiver Marquez Stevenson and linebacker Keith Corbin, both senior captains.

Last year’s clash between these two teams was arguably the most exhilarating of the teams’ 25-game history, as Tulane battled back from being down 28-7 late in the first half. After Houston tied the game with a late field goal, the Green Wave ran a fake kneel before Justin McMillan hit Darnell Mooney with three seconds left to lift the Green Wave to a 38-31 victory.