Green Wave football falls to SMU in Tulane’s third loss this season

Jude Papillion, Associate Sports Editor

Tulane football welcomed the 17th-ranked Southern Methodist University Mustangs to Yulman Stadium on Friday. The Green Wave fell short in a close 37-34 game that went into overtime. This was Tulane’s second consecutive loss and their third of the season after falling to the University of Houston last week and to Navy earlier this season.

Tulane quarterback Michael Pratt scored two touchdowns on the ground, along with 192 yards and one touchdown in the air. Pratt also threw a critical interception in overtime, giving SMU their chance to win the game. Tulane running back Stephon Huderson rushed for a game-high 132 yards on 19 carries. Safety Larry Brooks led Tulane’s defense with 10 solo tackles and a total of 11 tackles.

SMU quarterback Shane Buechele threw for 384 yards and two touchdowns, and the Mustangs’ leading rusher, Ulysses Bentley IV, rushed for 94 yards and a touchdown.

The Green Wave sported their Wave of Change jerseys in the team’s 34-37 loss to SMU last Friday. (Parker Waters)

Tulane struck first in the first four minutes of the game when receiver Mykel Jones scored on a 31-yard reception from Pratt. The Mustangs answered back quickly with a 32-yard Danny Gray touchdown run. With five minutes, 32 seconds remaining in the first quarter, SMU scored again on a 48-yard Chris Naggar field goal.

Tulane took the lead halfway into the second quarter on a one-yard touchdown run by Pratt. SMU made it into the end zone again thanks to a 10-yard Buechele touchdown pass. The Green Wave responded with a 34-yard field goal near the end of the half to tie the game 17-17 at halftime.

Tulane opened up the second half when Huderson ran for a 22-yard touchdown on the Green Wave’s first possession of the half. The Mustangs then responded with a Bentley IV two-yard touchdown run and a 33-yard field goal by Naggar.

Michael Pratt opened the fourth quarter with his second rushing touchdown of the evening – a seven-yard run giving the Green Wave a 31-27 lead. Buechele responded, throwing a 10-yard touchdown pass to Danny Grey, putting the Mustangs up 34-31. With 1:30 remaining in regulation, Merek Glover nailed a 27-yard field goal tying the game at 34-34. SMU’s 57-yard field goal attempt with 21 seconds remaining missed off the right upright, and Tulane’s subsequent Hail Mary pass was overthrown, sending the game to overtime.

On Tulane’s first overtime possession, Pratt threw an interception setting up a 34-yard Mustangs field goal to win the game.

With the loss, Tulane fell to 13-14 all-time against SMU.

Tulane sported their WAVE OF CHANGE jerseys against the Mustangs. The all-black jerseys featured “WAVE OF CHANGE” on the back of the jersey’s nameplate. This phrase “represents the Green Wave’s player-focused group that is committed to bringing awareness to injustices and inequalities facing society.” WAVE OF CHANGE was established before the season and has made several impacts, such as making sure every Tulane football player is registered to vote in the upcoming 2020 election.

The Green Wave is set to travel to Orlando, Florida for an in-conference matchup with the University of Central Florida Knights on Saturday. Tulane is seeking to prevent a third straight loss to the 2-2 Knights.

UCF is a 19.5-point favorite over Tulane according to ESPN’s PickCenter and the game will be nationally televised on ESPN2.