Tulane QB Michael Pratt settling into starting role

Michael Pratt accounted for three touchdowns, while passing for 205 yards and two touchdowns....
Michael Pratt accounted for three touchdowns, while passing for 205 yards and two touchdowns. He rushed for 56 yards and one more score.(Parker Waters)
Published: Nov. 10, 2020 at 8:40 PM CST
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As you’d expect from a first year starter and true freshman, Michael Pratt’s first three outings began a little rocky, with a completion percentage below 45 percent, as he was trying to both lead his team to victory and adjust to the speed of the college game.

But since then, he’s taken big steps forward week-by-week. And in the last three games, where the Green Wave are 2-1, he’s completing more than 60 percent of his throws and keeping defenses off balance.

“Just seeing things and moving my eyes faster, I think this week was huge for picking up blitzes and seeing where they were going to bring pressure from,” says Pratt. “For me, that’s really just helped me slow down the game and be able to execute better.”

But that doesn’t just happen overnight. Head coach Willie Fritz says that Pratt’s development goes hand in hand with the overtime he’s put in with his offensive coordinator.

“He’s in coach (Will) Hall’s hip pocket all week,” says Fritz. “They watch a ton of tape.”

And that’s half the battle: knowing what’s coming before it happens.

“You see all that pre-snap and the game slows down for you,” says Fritz. “It makes it easy to know where you’re going to go to.”

Where he’s gone to has often been another newcomer, Deuce Watts, which is also part of Pratt’s development: finding the receiver you trust most in a tough situation.

“Our connection’s definitely getting a lot better,” says Pratt. “We’ve been here since the spring when I first got here. That’s when he first got here too. And it was really me and him and Quan (Jha’Quan Jackson) and Mykel Jones and all of us just putting in extra work everyday. And I really think that our chemistry has really built a lot. Week by week, we’re just getting better and better.”

It certainly helps that Tulane’s been able to run the ball successfully as well. Their 231 yards per game ranks top 20 in the country, and Pratt’s been a part of that too, with five rushing touchdowns of his own.

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