In a hard-fought battle at Yulman Stadium in New Orleans, LA, No. 18 Tulane emerged victorious with a 29-16 win over UTSA in American Athletic Conference action on Friday afternoon. Despite a standout performance from UTSA’s Frank Harris, Tulane capitalized on turnovers to secure a spot in the AAC Championship Game.
With this triumph, the Green Wave (11-1, 8-0) earned the right to host the AAC Championship Game next Saturday, Dec. 2. Their opponent will be determined between SMU or the Roadrunners, who concluded their debut campaign in The American with a 7-1 record and an overall record of 8-4.
UTSA’s Frank Harris showcased his skills with 198 passing yards, a touchdown, and 28 rushing yards, contributing 226 yards of total offense. However, five turnovers proved costly for the Roadrunners, marking their first loss against a league foe in two years and ending their 17-game winning streak in conference play.
The Green Wave’s Michael Pratt connected with Chris Brazzell II for a 7-yard touchdown pass early in the game, capitalizing on an interception deep in UTSA territory. The Roadrunners quickly responded, with a strip-sack by Jamal Ligon leading to a fumble recovery by Donyai Taylor, setting up a 23-yard touchdown run by Rocko Griffin to tie the score at 7-all.
UTSA briefly took the lead with a 40-yard field goal by Chase Allen, but Tulane answered with Valentino Ambrosio’s 47-yard field goal and a 2-yard TD rush by Makhi Hughes, giving the Green Wave a 20-10 advantage at halftime.
The second half saw a scoreless third quarter, but Tulane extended their lead with a 3-yard TD catch by Brazzell, bringing the score to 29-10. Harris rallied UTSA with a 9-yard touchdown pass to Oscar Cardenas, but a failed two-point conversion attempt sealed the Green Wave’s victory.
Tulane’s Pratt delivered a solid performance with 125 passing yards and two touchdowns, while Hughes led all rushers with 166 yards on 26 carries. The Green Wave’s defense, led by Jesus Machado with 10 tackles, played a crucial role in securing the win.
As Tulane prepares to host the AAC Championship Game, the Roadrunners will regroup and await their opponent for what promises to be an intense showdown next Saturday.