Despite not being able to play at home for a second consecutive week, Tulane (1-1) looked sharp as could be on Saturday against Morgan State (0-2) and made it clear that what happened against Oklahoma a week ago was no fluke.
Things got off to a fast start for the Green Wave in the first quarter of Saturday’s contest. After Tulane’s defense forced a quick three-and-out, quarterback Michael Pratt orchestrated an eight-play, 53-yard drive that culminated in a beautiful catch-and-run score from receiver Jaetavian Toles. That early 7-0 lead would balloon to 17-0 by the end of a first frame that was absolutely dominated by the Wave. The Bears, who were only able to muster up a measly seven total yards of offense in the first were in for a long day.
Morgan State QB Neil Boudreau threw his first interception of the season to Tulane’s Derrion Rakestraw late in the first to cap off what was a particularly dismal quarter. Meanwhile his counterpart in Pratt was rolling. The Green Wave signal-caller, who impressed so many on a national stage last week, ran in from two-yards out early in the second quarter for his second rushing score on the young season.
Trailing 24-0, things went from bad to worse for the Bears. Boudreau tossed a second pick, this time to Kevin Henry, which was returned 49 yards for yet another Tulane touchdown. Before the second quarter had reached the 12-minute mark, Morgan State had already surrendered as many points as they had last week’s game against Towson.
But Tulane wasn’t done, not by a long shot. Two more quick touchdowns, one a pass from Pratt to Tyrick James and the other a run from Pratt’s backup Justin Ibieta, all but put the game on lock before halftime even hit. It was 45-0 and still Morgan State had only mustered up 21 total yards.
Finally, the Bears scored their first points of the season late in the second when Boudreau connected with receiver Wesley Wolfolk but, as had been the case all day, Tulane’s offense wasted zero time answering. Ibieta hit Jha’Quan Jackson for a seven-yard strike that put the Green Wave on top 52-7.
From there it was smooth sailing for Tulane. Pratt finished his day with two touchdowns, no picks and 124 yards. Ibieta looked just as good. Save for a couple of picks, his two passing touchdowns and 166 yards made it clear that the Wave has a viable backup if need be.
The Green Wave defense put on a show of their own, picking off the Bears twice and the main starters allowing just seven points in the first half. They held Morgan State to 3-of-13 of third downs and stymied them to just 44 rushing yards.
Meanwhile Tulane’s own ground attack was clinical. The Wave saw 12 different ball carriers rack up a total of 294 rush yards. The main starters like Cameron Carroll looked as they should but so did fresh faces like freshman Iverson Celestine who ran for 77 yards on 13 totes.
All things considered, this was a tune up game for Tulane and they used it well. Good teams do what they’re supposed to in matchups like this and that’s precisely what the Green Wave did on Saturday. Morgan State didn’t have an ounce of hope from the get go and the 69-20 blowout reminds us all what we learned last week: Tulane is a force. They are as advertised and if they continue to play at this level, the AAC may be in trouble.
Up Next: The Green Wave will hit the road for their first (actually scheduled) road contest of the season to face Ole Miss in Oxford. Kickoff is slated for 7:00 PM CT.
Morgan State too will be on the road next week to play Sacred Heart.