Going into Saturday many felt that Army’s 6-1 record was not necessarily indicative of the type of team they are this year. After all they had only won three FBS games (Middle Tennessee, ULM and UTSA) so Tulane and company weren’t exactly sure what they’d be getting when the Black Knights rolled into town. Coming off a decisive win of their own last week over ECU and with Army starting quarterback Christian Anderson who was not expected to be available, the Green Wave knew that they needed to be ready for anything.
Right off the jump, Michael Pratt continued to shine in this his true freshman season. After the Tulane defense forced a three-and-out on the Black Knights’ opening possession, Pratt capped a 10-play scoring drive with a touchdown pass to Tyrick James. Not only did the score give Tulane the early 7-0 lead, but it also broke Tanner Lee’s school record for touchdown passes by a Green Wave freshman. Not a bad way to start the day.
At the end of the first quarter the Greenies got an emphatic addition to their lead when Amare Jones broke free on a 50-yard touchdown run in which he went untouched into the end zone. By the end of one, Tulane led 14-0 and Army was reeling.
The visitors from West Point were able to turn the tides a bit in the second quarter. Anderson connected with Tyrell Robinson for a 10-yard touchdown but the Wave blocked the extra point to make it 14-6. Later in the quarter Anderson would run it in himself but with a failed two-point try, Tulane held a narrow 14-12 lead at the half.
Pratt and the offense got it rolling again in the second half. He notched his touchdown of the day, this one to receiver Jha’Quan Jackson before Merek Glover tacked on three more. Jackson would go on to add a rushing touchdown later on in the fourth and when the dust had settled in Yulman Stadium Tulane was on the right side of a 38-12 beatdown.
The Good: What more can we say about Pratt? The kid was called upon earlier this season to replace the faltering Keon Howard and has done nothing but improve since taking over. He’s now thrown for 14 touchdowns and over 1,300 yards in his six games of action. In that same span he’s only tossed four picks. If this early success is an indicator of what’s to come in New Orleans, then Wave fans ought to be pretty happy looking ahead.
The (Other) Good: Patrick Johnson is a stud and there’s no two ways about it. He recorded another sack against Army on Saturday no pushing his career total up to 21 which is good for a new program record. Johnson is also among tops in the entire country for sacks and tackles for loss. Keep an eye on this kid as the season wraps up and NFL draft time approaches.
The Bad: The Green Wave did allow nearly 300 rushing yards on Saturday but we’ve got to take that stat with a grain of salt. Army ran the ball 57 times compared to only throwing 13 times, which is quite typical for the Black Knights. Moving forward, obviously Tulane will want to shrink the opposition’s rush numbers but in this case it’s forgivable.
The Ugly: It may be the easy way out but there really wasn’t anything we feel we can peg as ugly here. Even penalties (the normal killer for the Wave) were way down compared to usual. Tulane only had two for 20 yards in what was a pretty clean game.
Up Next: The Greenies will head to Tulsa on Thursday night to take on the Golden Hurricane. A win will guarantee Willie Fritz his third straight winning season and more than likely give Tulane bowl eligibility.