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Student newspaper serving Tulane University, Uptown New Orleans

The Tulane Hullabaloo

Student newspaper serving Tulane University, Uptown New Orleans

The Tulane Hullabaloo

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Green Wave squeaks out win against Tulsa, 24-22

Running back Makhi Hughes dodges a tackle during the Green Wave’s win against Tulsa on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2023. (Courtesy of Parker Waters — Tulane Athletics)

The Green Wave knows how to keep games interesting. After winning the last two games by a combined margin of 5 points, the Green Wave looked for a statement win against University of Tulsa Golden Hurricanes, only 1-4 in their last five games. Tulsa’s starting quarterback was announced out, which should have given the Green Wave an even bigger advantage. 

After forcing a third and 10 on the second set of downs, defensive back Jarius Monroe intercepted the Tulsa quarterback to give the Green Wave the ball at their own 30. The offense hoped to get going, but a Tulsa defensive stand forced a fourth and goal from the 1-yard line. Makhi Hughes broke through to cap off the drive with a touchdown. 

A 29-yard rush by Anthony Watkins set up the Tulsa offense in Tulane territory, but a forced incompletion on third down resulted in a Tulsa punt. The Green Wave got possession at its own 7-yard line, but a 16-yard rush by Shedro Louis negated any concerns about a safety. The offense could not build on that play and were forced to punt four plays later. The Green Wave defense forced a three-and-out, which allowed the offense to get back out on the field. 

After falling flat on the last drive, the offense came out rolling to start their third drive. A 30-yard rush by Hughes moved the Green Wave into Tulsa territory, and Michael Pratt found tight end Alex Bauman for the 39-yard score to end the first quarter. 

Tulsa started the second quarter strong. The offense drove to the Tulane 9-yard line in just two plays and later found the end zone to cut Tulane’s lead in half. The Tulane offense was only on the field for five plays before punting the ball away again. The defense looked poised for another stop with a penalty negating a 10-yard gain, but eventually Tulsa’s offense took off with consecutive 20-plus yard passes. They only gained two more yards and settled for the 37-yard field goal. 

Tulane’s offense only stayed on the field for four plays this drive, but a Tulsa three-and-out gave them the ball right back. A Bryce Bohanon 15-yard catch and run gave the offense the ball at the Tulsa 36, but a Pratt interception prematurely ended the drive. The Tulsa offense continued to start their drives strong, with two straight first-down conversions, only to fall flat in opponent territory, much like the Green Wave. A defensive fourth down stand gave Pratt and the offense the ball at the 37 with 19 seconds to work, but the Green Wave was happy to take its 14-10 lead into the locker room. 

The Green Wave quickly returned to the scoreboard. Louis took the opening kick of the second half 100 yards to the house, restoring Tulane’s two-score lead. The Tulsa offense continued to start drives well, with a 16-yard run, but again stalled in Tulane territory. A Tyler Grubbs sack moved Tulsa back 9 yards and forced a Tulsa punt. The Green Wave offense was unable to even start a drive, going three-and-out on their first possession of the second half. A bad snap moved the Hurricanes back to their own 11, but a 51-yard catch and run by Kamdyn Benjamin put the offense back into Tulane territory. Three plays later, the Tulsa offense was inside the Tulane 10, but the “bend don’t break” Tulane defense forced Tulsa to kick a field goal. 

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The offense continued to struggle, only gaining 18 yards on a six-play drive that ended in a punt. The Golden Hurricanes offense was moving the ball downfield, but a false start penalty was too much to overcome, as Tulsa settled for another field goal to cut the lead to 5. With just a one-score lead, the offense needed to get going. They finally put a drive together and advanced into Tulsa territory for the first time in the second half. A Hughes 26-yard run gave the Green Wave the ball inside the red zone, but they were forced to settle for 3 points. 

The Tulsa offense was down by 8 points and needed a score. The two first downs and ball past midfield looked promising.  But the Tulane defense stopped the drive and gave the ball back to the offense with 6:04 left in the game. Like last week and the week before, the offense looked to close out the game with a long drive, but were only able to take 1:21 off the clock due to a Tulsa defensive stand. 

A 57-yard catch and run from Carl Chester gave Tulsa the ball at the Tulane 10, and quarterback Braylon Braxton found Benjamin for a 4-yard score to cut the lead to 24-22. Tulsa attempted to tie the game on a 2-point conversion, but an incompletion gave Tulane the ball up 2 points. 

The offense faced a third and 9 with 2:44 left, but a 10-yard strike to Chris Brazzell gave Tulane a fresh set of downs. On the ensuing play. Hughes broke a 31-yard rush into Tulsa territory to seal the victory for the Green Wave. 

Pratt finished the day 16 for 29 with 194 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Pratt also added 5 yards on the ground. Hughes had 131 rushing yards, putting him above 100 for the sixth straight game. Hughes also became the first freshman in school history to eclipse 1,000 rushing yards in a season. Bohanon had four receptions and 57 yards. Bauman and Brazzell each had three targets as well, and Baumnan had the only touchdown catch. 

On defense, Bailey Despanie led the way with eight tackles, but four other players had five-plus. Lance Robinson led the way in solo tackles with six. Grubbs and Monroe each recorded a sack, and Monroe added the only turnover. 


Tulane plays at Florida Atlantic University next week, Nov. 18, at 11 a.m.

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