Green Wave dominates Morgan State, looks forward to Ole Miss

The+Green+Wave+picked+up+right+where+they+left+off+a+week+ago%2C+totaling+584+yards+of+total+offense+in+their+69-20+victory+over+Morgan+State.

Matthew Tate

The Green Wave picked up right where they left off a week ago, totaling 584 yards of total offense in their 69-20 victory over Morgan State.

Jude Papillion, Sports Editor

After an impressive performance against the then second ranked Oklahoma Sooners that almost resulted in a victory for Tulane, the Green Wave was back in action on Sept. 11, decimating the Morgan State Bears 69-20 and collecting their first win of the season. While technically a home game for Tulane, the game was played at Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama due to the impact of Hurricane Ida. 

In a game that Tulane continues to play well, the Green Wave picked up right where they left off a week ago, totaling 584 yards of total offense compared to the Bears’ 228. Quarterback Michael Pratt started the game for Tulane, passing for 124 yards and two touchdowns, but freshman quarterback Justin Ibieta led the Green Wave in passing with 166 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. The Olive and Blue also dominated Morgan State on the ground with 294 total rushing yards, while the Bears only rushed for 44. True freshman Iverson Celestine led the Green Wave with 77 rushing yards and both quarterbacks —  Pratt and Ibieta —  scored on the ground. On defense, junior linebacker Nick Anderson led Tulane with five tackles while true freshman Keith Cooper contributed with two sacks.

After forcing Morgan State to punt on their first drive of the game, Tulane quickly got on the board with a 30-yard touchdown pass from Pratt to Jaetavian Toles. On Tulane’s next offensive drive, Merek Glover chipped in a 40-yard field goal. The Green Wave then forced a three-and-out on Morgan State’s next drive allowing Tulane running back Tyjae Spears to run for a six-yard touchdown, giving Tulane a comfortable 17-0 lead to end the first quarter. 

Tulane continued to dominate in the second quarter, starting with a quick 1-yard touchdown run from Pratt to start the quarter. The Olive and Blue quickly added on to their lead on the next possession after linebacker Kevin Henry intercepted Morgan State quarterback Neil Boudreau’s pass and took it back 49 yards for a pick-six. Tulane’s next offensive drive was just one play: a 43-yard touchdown pass from Pratt to Tyrick James, giving Tulane a 38-0 lead and allowing Ibieta to replace Pratt at quarterback. On Ibieta’s first drive he scrambled up the middle for a 23-yard touchdown. After an interception by Ibieta, Morgan State finally got on the board with a 13-yard touchdown pass from Boudreau to receiver Wesley Wolfolk. The Green Wave wrapped up the first half with a 7-yard touchdown pass to Jha’Quan Jackson as time expired. At the half, Tulane held a 52-7 lead over Morgan State, holding the Bears to just 47 yards of total offense in the half. 

Tulane began to slow down in the third quarter, scoring just once on a 27-yard touchdown pass from Ibieta to Phat Watts. Morgan State also added to their score with a 3-yard touchdown pass from Boudreau to Wolfolk.

In the fourth quarter, Tulane scored a touchdown after a field goal attempt by Tulane kicker Graham Dable was blocked, recovered by the Bears, then fumbled again and recovered by Tulane’s Josh Coltrin for a touchdown. Tulane’s final score of the game was a 19-yard field goal by Bobby Noel, which was shortly followed by a Morgan State 2-yard touchdown pass from Boudreau to Marcus Thomas, leading to a final score of 69-20 in favor of the Green Wave. Tulane’s 69 points is the most scored by the program since scoring 72 against University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 1998. 

Following their dominant showing against Morgan State, the Green Wave will travel to Oxford, Mississippi on Sept. 18 to face the 17th-ranked Ole Miss Rebels from the Southeastern Conference. Kickoff at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium will be at 7:00 p.m. CST, and ESPN2 will broadcast the game. Ole Miss is 2-0 this season after a 43-24 victory against University of Louisville in week one and a 54-17 win last week against Austin Peay State. The Green Wave opens as a 14.5 point underdog against the Rebels, and the last matchup between the two programs was in the 2012 season when Ole Miss defeated Tulane 39-0 in the Superdome. This win, however, was vacated by Ole Miss after an NCAA investigation discovered the Rebels were fielding ineligible players between 2010 and 2016.