NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — It took a quarter before the Green Wave was about to shake off last year’s demons and live up to the promise that put Tulane as heavy favorites in their season opener against the University of Massachusetts on Saturday night.

In a rain-soaked Yulman Stadium, tailback Tyjae Spears rushed for three touchdowns in the first half en route to a 42-10 final over the visiting Minutemen.

Tulane quarterback Michael Pratt went 12 of 20 for 164 yards and two touchdowns passing, as well as a 20-yard scoring run early in the second half.

The Green Wave defense limited UMass to just 217 yards of total offense, including 17 yards passing on just 11 attempts. In fact, Tulane defenders recorded three interceptions compared to the Minutemen’s four completions.

The final marked the first win for the Greenies since a 45-14 victory over South Florida in November of last year – a season Tulane finished 2-10 overall to snap three straight bowl berths.

“We are just pumped up by the win,” said head coach Willie Fritz after the game. “It’s been a long time coming. Seems like we’ve been practicing for a long period of time.”

Spears concurred.

“You gotta be thankful for little moments like this, even though the game was over with three minutes left, just live in the moment, because we haven’t won since November and it’s a great feeling.”

Next up, the Green Wave (1-0) hosts FCS opponent Alcorn State (0-0) on Saturday, Sept. 10.

Kickoff is set for 6 p.m.

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