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Tulane beats ECU 38-21 for second conference win

Freshman Michael Pratt tossed three touchdowns as the Green Wave toppled the Pirates on Saturday afternoon.

NCAA Football: Tulane at East Carolina James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Last week’s win against Temple was encouraging for the Tulane Green Wave who, until then, were a measly 2-4 on the season and had yet to win an AAC contest. It re-routed their season but in order to ensure that they didn’t slip to five losses on the year, the Greenies needed to stay tough against ECU.

Fortunately for the Wave, true freshman QB Michael Pratt arrived in Greenville with one thing on his mind: football. Pratt wasted no time getting himself and the Greenies on the scoreboard as he connected with JuCo-transfer receiver Duece Watts for a 35-yard touchdown just four minutes in.

ECU responded with a score of their own when Holton Ahlers hit Tyler Snead for the equalizer. From there, however, Tulane poured it on and didn’t look back.

Pratt threw for two more touchdowns while running back Cam Carroll found the end zone twice. By the time the third quarter came to a close, the Green Wave held a commanding 31-7 advantage.

Ahlers and receiver Blake Proehl did their best to keep the score respectable for the Pirates in the final frame. The duo connected for two late-game scores that drew ECU to within 17 but that was about all they could muster up by the time the final whistle sounded.

The Green Wave should be really excited about their young signal-caller. Pratt finished the day with 216 yards and three touchdowns and just one pick. He spread the ball to eight different receivers and certainly appears to be coming into his own after being named the starter last month ahead of Keon Howard.

NCAA Football: Tulane at East Carolina
Tulane QB Michael Pratt (#7) threw for over 200 yards and three touchdowns on Saturday.
James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Tulane’s ground attack also looked no worse for the wear as they piled up 277 total yards and two touchdowns as well. Carroll led the way with the 129 yards on just six carries (for those of you doing the math at home, yes. Two thirds of his touches wound up in the end zone).

For the Pirates, it was a step back instead of forward after losing to Tulsa with an asterisk due to the missed calls at the end of the game last week. The Pirates were held to their lowest point total of the season and only managed 35 yards on the ground. The Green Wave out-gained ECU 493-386.

The team came out flat while Tulane played with urgency allowing the Green Wave to storm to a major lead. The defense has been the major issue for East Carolina allowing teams to score at will on them but the offense has been extremely inconsistent which is hurting this squad despite having talent is all over the offensive side of the ball.

Garbage time touchdowns will not keep the fanbase discouraged about the teams lack of fast starts. It’s time for Coach Houston to take some ownership regarding this team falling into the same trap over and over: falling too far behind early in games.

There were a couple bright spots but that’s it. Sophomore receiver Blake Proehl enjoyed a career day, finishing with a personal-best 182 yards and two touchdowns on 13 catches. Also, Defensively, senior linebacker Bruce Bivens tallied a career-best 13 tackles, including four of the solo variety.

People may say Ahlers had a strong game but the bulk of his numbers were late game stats which was only to make the score look closer than the game actually indicated. The team stated it was due to a lack of preparation for this week.

Pirates fans are restless because of this apparent lack of preperation. Now in Week 8 of the season ECU seemed as lackluster as ever. Little discipline and falls on the shoulders of coaching. Scoring late touchdowns that results in a reasonable scoreline won’t cut it.

Up Next: Tulane (4-4, 2-4 AAC) returns home next week to take on Army in a rematch of last year’s contest in which the Wave won.

East Carolina (1-5, 1-4 AAC) will travel to Cincinnati on Friday night to face the #6 Bearcats.