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  • Tulane University removed Tonya Hansel as director of the doctor of social work program. Hansel remains a tenured professor.

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    Club spotlight: Tulane Sports Business Conference

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  • OPINION | Could NOLA be more than four years of fun?

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    OPINION | Could NOLA be more than four years of fun?

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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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Second wave: Tulane beats UTSA, will host AAC Championship

Defensive back Tahir Annoor celebrates a play on Friday, Nov. 24, 2023 against UTSA. (Courtesy of Parker Waters — Tulane Athletics)

The American Athletic Conference Championship returns to Uptown New Orleans, with the Green Wave finishing conference play undefeated after defeating the University of Texas at San Antonio Roadrunners 29-16 on Black Friday. 

Makhi Hughes held the Green Wave offense on his back and led the team, putting up 166 yards rushing on 26 carries to go along with a touchdown. Hughes has cemented himself as one of the elite running backs in college football despite entering the season as the fourth string. 

The run game led Tulane’s offense, with Michael Pratt finishing with only 125 yards passing on the night. Pratt still stepped up with timely plays, namely a 47-yard bomb down the sideline to Chris Brazzell II who finished off the play with an impressive one-handed grab. Brazzell II shined as the Green Wave’s best passing threat of the day, putting up 93 yards receiving along with two touchdowns. 

While the offense shone in key moments, the Tulane defense, dominating from the opening kick, decided the game. On the second play of the game, Bailey Despanie picked off a tipped pass to set up the first Green Wave touchdown. That move marked the first of five turnovers the Tulane defense would force, which included two forced fumbles and two more interceptions, one of which came on a UTSA fake punt attempt

Tulane’s defense held their ground through the end of the game, fending off a UTSA drive that threatened to cut into their 23-10 lead with a timely fourth down stop on the Tulane 10-yard line. The stop brought the Green Wave offense back on the field to finish the Roadrunners off with a five-play drive led by Pratt and Brazzell II, culminating in a touchdown. 

Tulane’s win against UTSA sets Tulane in motion to host the conference championship for the second straight season. The Green Wave opposes the Southern Methodist University Mustangs, who come off a dominant 59-14 win against the United States Naval Academy. 

Despite their impressive performance, SMU have lost their starting quarterback Preston Stone, who suffered a lower leg injury late in the second quarter. Prior to the injury, Stone boasted 322 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Mustangs to a 42-7 start. With over 3,000 yards and 28 touchdowns on the season, Stone’s availability will be critical to the outcome of the championship game. 

For the Green Wave, the implications of the upcoming championship game extend beyond hoisting the AAC trophy in front of a home crowd: a ticket to a coveted New Year’s Six Bowl game is on the line. Tulane will have to use their run game along with momentum from what is sure to be a packed home crowd to control the pace and possession of the game. With another dominant defensive performance, the Green Wave could become consecutive conference champions for the first time since they were in the Southern Conference from 1930 to 1931

Tulane will face off against SMU in Yulman Stadium on Saturday, Dec. 2 at 3 p.m. CST. 

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