[All Photos Courtesy of Tulane University]

Will Tulane’s Success Continue with Jon Sumrall?

07:00 December 21, 2023
By: Andrew Alexander

Military Bowl presented by GoBowling.com

Date/Time: December 27 at 1 p.m.

Location: Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Annapolis, MD

Where to Watch: ESPN

[Courtesy of Tulane University]

End of an Era

A golden opportunity was squandered in Uptown, New Orleans on the second day of December.

After a magical run in 2022, Tulane had the chance to clinch a second consecutive American conference title and New Year's Six Bowl berth. Despite living on a prayer in one-score games throughout the season, the Green Wave went 11-1.

Any hope of a repeat was erased when Southern Methodist rode into town and swiped away a victory. A day later, Tulane's coach, Willie Fritz, announced his move to the University of Houston.

Can newly-appointed coach Jon Sumrall keep the feel-good era of Green Wave football? The previously apathetic Tulane fans finally cared somewhat about what their football team accomplished on Saturdays in the fall.

Offensive coordinator Slade Nagle takes over as interim head coach for the Green Wave as they prepare to face off against Virginia Tech in the Military Bowl.

Handling the Hokies

[Courtesy of Tulane University]

Virginia Tech (6-6) was the epitome of average this season. Yet, the Hokies did improve as the season progressed. After a 1-3 start, second-year coach Brent Pry guided his team to a respectable .500 finish.

Quarterback Kyron Drones passed for nearly 2,000 yards, 15 touchdowns, and three interceptions. His backfield companion, Bhayshul Tuten, rushed for over 700 yards and eight touchdowns. The Hokies have a trio of solid receivers in Da'Quan Felton, Jaylin Lane, and Dae'Quan Wright to watch out for in this matchup.

For Tulane, it all comes down to pride. How much do the Green Wave want to end the season on a high note? They flirted with a second loss all season, survived, then lost to SMU. Then their coach left. There's no question Tulane is a very talented football team, but what is the mental state of the key players right now?

Tulane's quarterback Michael Pratt is the AAC Offensive Player of the Year, passing for over 2,400 yards and 22 touchdowns and was also the team's second leading rusher. Is he playing? Should he play? It's sad that those questions have to be posed, but that's the reality of college football today.


[Courtesy of Tulane University]

Michael Pratt delivers a final, glorious exclamation point on an incredible Tulane career, the Green Wave Roll, and their apathetic fanbase enjoys one last hurrah before returning to obscurity for another two decades.

Tulane 31, Virginia Tech 24

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