No. 10 LSU Jumps on Tulane Early, Wins Homecoming, 49-7

LSU's Early Doucet (9) celebrates with Charles Scott (32)
LSU's Early Doucet (9) celebrates with Charles Scott (32)
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by Chris Macaluso
Special to LSUsports.net

BATON ROUGE -- Tulane’s epic 14-game road journey in the wake of Hurricane Katrina was just one week away from ending Saturday night as the Green Wave will return to New Orleans next weekend to play a game for the first time since the 2004 season.

Unfortunately, the last stop in that journey was Tiger Stadium where LSU blasted the outmanned Wave 49-7 in front of 92,135 mildly amused homecoming fans.

The win improved LSU’s record to 3-1 overall a week before the Tigers have a chance to even their conference record against the struggling Mississippi State Bulldogs. Tulane fell to 1-2 one week after beating Mississippi State and one week before hosting SMU under the bright lights of the Louisiana Superdome.

“I can tell you that we respect that team,” LSU Coach Les Miles said of Tulane in regards to the difficult road back to Louisiana for the Green Wave. “It was the wrong week to play us.”

Tulane didn’t threaten to score until late in the first half on a long field goal try. By that point, the LSU offense had scored 28 points and effectively salted away the win.

The Tiger offense amassed 373 yards in all, led by a strong 101-yard, two-touchdown rushing performance by freshman tailback Charles Scott and an admirable 17-23, 198-yard, two-touchdown passing performance by JaMarcus Russell.

Tulane picked up most of its yards late against a host of second and third-string Tiger defenders. The Wave posted 231 yards overall, led by 47 yards rushing by tailback Ray Boudreaux and 41 yards rushing and one touchdown by third-string quarterback Anthony Scelfo.

The Tigers opened the scoring with 9:28 to play in the opening quarter when Early Doucet sprinted 12 yards to the east-side pilon in the north endzone after reeling in a short pass from Russell. The touchdown ended a nine-play drive in which LSU passed the ball eight times, completing seven. The point after by Colt David was good, putting the game out of reach less than 7:00 in.

Tulane picked up nine yards on the ensuing possession before treating the drive-ending punt like a dodgeball game after deep snapper Craig Gelhardt launched the snap well over Chris Beckman’s head and toward the north endzone. Beckman dodged rushers left, then right before managing a 12-yard punt.

LSU capitalized on the advantageous field position by scoring three plays later on a reverse from Russell to Scott to Doucet who raced in the endzone from 17-yards out. The point after gave LSU a 14-0 lead with 6:20 remaining in the first quarter.

The Tigers turned to their slow-to-start rushing attack for their next score as Scott carried the ball for 23 yards in a 34-yard drive, culminating in an 8-yard touchdown run with 14:32 remaining in the second quarter. The drive consumed just 34 seconds and extended the Tiger lead to 21-0.

For varieties sake, LSU’s next scoring drive lasted a bit longer as the Tigers gradually paced 80 yards in 17 plays mixing runs and passes before Russell found Doucet alone at the goal line from four yards away for his third touchdown of the game. The drive consumed 6:43 and LSU held a 28-0 lead with 4:25 to play in the half.

Tulane threatened to score late in the half on a 44-yard field goal attempt by Ross Thevenot with less than 20 seconds to play. But, Tiger defensive end Ricky Jean-Francois shoved the attempt sideways after cutting through the Green Wave line to preserve the first half shut out.

LSU stumbled out the second-half blocks, losing 12-yards on its first drive and forcing punter Chris Jackson to kick from the back of the north endzone.

A 31-yard return of that punt gave Tulane a first down at the LSU 31. But, the glimpse of scoring hope was brief as the Wave turned the ball over to LSU on downs after picking up just two yards.

The Tigers responded to Tulane’s inability by scoring again six plays later. Scott became the first Tiger running back to rush for more than 100 yards this season when an 8-yard touchdown run with 8:54 to play in the third quarter gave him 101 yards for the game. The touchdown ran LSU’s advantage to 35-0 after a 71-yard drive.

After most folks in the thinning crowd blinked once, LSU scored again thanks to a fumble by Green Wave quarterback Scott Elliot at his 19-yard line. Linebacker Ryan Willis caused the fumble on a vicious hit to Elliot’s backside. LSU backup quarterback Matt Flynn scored on a five-yard scramble three plays later to give the Tigers a 42-0 lead with 5:21 remaining in the quarter.

LSU defensive back Craig Steltz entertained the thinned crowd on the last play of the third quarter when he intercepted Elliot at the LSU 18 then zigged and zagged and broke several tackles during a 76-yard return. His legs finally quit at the Green Wave 6-yard line.

Tailback Jacob Hester beat the Tulane defense to the east pilon on the next play and LSU’s lead swelled like a tick to 49-0 with 14:53 remaining in the game.

Tulane tried to score again, this time led by backup, backup, backup quarterback Scelfo but LSU again stopped the drive with an interception. Scelfo’s third-down, 11-yard pass into the endzone was tipped by linebacker Jacob Cutrera before freshman safety Danny McCray picked it from the air and kneeled in the endzone with 7:05 remaining.

The Tiger defensive backups bent too much on the next Green Wave possession and Scelfo gave Tulane its lone score on a 1-yard plunge with 3:21 remaining in the game. The touchdown ended a 41-yard, four-play drive and cut the lead to 49-7.

LSU vs. Tulane
Sept. 23, 2006 – Tiger Stadium Stadium (Baton Rouge, La.)
Game Notes

Team Notes
1. LSU’s game captains were 25 Justin Vincent, 31 Jessie Daniels, 41 Chris Jackson and 80 Dwayne Bowe.
2. LSU won the toss and deferred to the second half. Tulane received the opening kickoff.
3. LSU’s homecoming Queen is Sarah Ford (Sr., Plano, Texas) and King is Kyle Goldrich (Sr., Baton Rouge).
4. Tigers extending their consecutive starts streak today were: FS LaRon Landry (39), CB Chevis Jackson (17), DE Chase Pittman (10).
5. RG Brian Johnson’s consecutive starts streak was snapped at 12 straight.
6. RB R.J. Jackson and QB James Welker saw their first career action late in the fourth quarter.
7. LSU improved to 13-2 overall record when wearing purple jerseys since the 2000 season. The Tigers are 12-2 in Tiger Stadium in purple and 1-0 in the Peach Bowl (2000 vs. Georgia Tech).
8. LSU’s extended its streak to 41 straight trips into the red zone not being stopped by an opponent or missing a kick with seven successful trips tonight.  The streak dated back to the Auburn game in 2005 (33 touchdowns and eight field goals).
9. LSU has now outscored its opponents 182-23 in the last 20 quarters of football. The streak includes a 40-3 victory over Miami in the 2005 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, 45-3 wins over UL-Lafayette and Arizona, a 7-3 loss at Auburn and a 49-7 victory tonight over Tulane.
10. LSU’s defense has only allowed an offensive touchdown in 19 of the last 21 quarters of play. The Tigers have only surrendered two touchdowns in four games this season. 
11. LSU (Ricky Jean-Francois) blocked a Tulane field goal attempt with 0:10 left in the second quarter. It was the Tigers’ first blocked FG since Kyle Williams blocked a North Texas attempt in 2005.
12. Tonight’s attendance of 92,135 is the eighth largest in Tiger Stadium history and the third largest non-conference game.
13. LSU has now intercepted at least one pass in five straight games (all four this season and the Peach Bowl last season). It is the longest streak since the Tigers recorded at least one pick in seven straight games in the last two games of 2002 and the first five contests in 2003.
14. The Tigers improved to 54-25-3 all-time in Homecoming contests. LSU has now won its last six Homecoming games.
15. LSU upped its non-conference home winning streak to 17 straight games, and the Tigers have now won 15 of its last 16 non-conference games overall.
16. The Tigers posted their 19th straight win against an in-state opponent.

Individual Notes
17. WR Dwayne Bowe pulled in a 13-yard reception early in the first quarter to extend his consecutive games with a reception streak to 16 straight games.
18. WR Early Doucet scored the ninth and 10th receiving touchdowns of his career and second and third of the season during the first half.
a. Doucet scored the first rushing touchdown of his career on a 17-yard run on a reverse with 6:20 left in the first quarter.
b. Doucet became the first LSU WR to score both a rushing and receiving TD in the same game since Michael Clayton accomplished the feat against Ole Miss on Oct. 27, 2001.
c. Doucet became the first LSU player to score three times in one game since Alley Broussard scored three rushing touchdowns against Ole Miss on Nov. 20, 2004.
19. QB JaMarcus Russell tossed the 30th and 31st touchdowns of his career in the first half. The TD scores are the sixth and seventh of the season for the junior.
a. Russell moved into seventh-place on LSU’s career passing attempts list with his first three of the game. He passed Matt Mauck and sits in seventh-place with 550 attempts.
b. Russell moved into sixth-place on LSU’s career passing completions list with his first four of the game. He passed Josh Booty and Matt Mauck and sits in sixth-place with 324 completions.
c. Russell moved into a tie for fifth on LSU’s career touchdown passes list with 31. He is tied with Alan Risher.
20. With seven PATs tonight, PK Colt David has extended his consecutive successful PAT streak to 54 straight. The streak moves him into third place in school history. 
21. WR Craig Davis pulled in a 21-yard reception in the first quarter to extend his consecutive games with a reception streak to 27 (every game in which he has played).
22. RB Charles Scott scored the second touchdown of his career on an 8-yard run with 14:32 left in the second quarter.
a. Scott scored the third touchdown of his career on a 7-yard run with 8:54 left in the third quarter.
b. Scott became the first LSU back to rush for 100 yards in a game since Joseph Addai rushed for 130 yards against Miami in the Peach Bowl on Dec. 30, 2005.
c. Scott is the first true freshman to rush for 100 yards in a game since Justin Vincent gained 117 yards against Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 4, 2004.
d. Scott became the quickest true freshman to rush for 100 yards (doing so in his fourth game) since Kevin Faulk did so in two games (second game in 1995).
23. With a tackle in the first quarter, FS LaRon Landry extended his tackles in consecutive games streak. The senior has now made a tackle in 43 straight games.
24. With a tackle in the first half, SS Jessie Daniels extended his tackles in consecutive games streak. The senior has now made a tackle in 33 straight games.
25. QB Matt Flynn scored the first rushing touchdown of his career on a five-yard run with 5:21 left in the third quarter.
26. S Craig Steltz’s 76-yard interception return was the longest for a Tiger since Mark Roman returned a pick 85 yards in 1996 against Tulane.
a. Steltz’s interception was the fourth of his career and third of this season.
27. RB Jacob Hester scored his third rushing touchdown of the season on a six-yard run with 14:53 left in the fourth quarter. The score was Hester’s fourth overall touchdown of the season and ninth overall in his career.
28. S Danny McCray intercepted the first pass of his career with 7:05 remaining in the fourth quarter.

Tulane Game Notes

  • Tonight’s game marked the 95th time Tulane and LSU have met on the gridiron, adding to the Green Wave’s school-record for most common opponent.
  • Saturday’s contest marked the first of a 10-year, home-and-home series, guaranteeing that the Tulane/LSU series will be played every season until at least 2015.
  • Redshirt-freshman quarterback Anthony Scelfo made his collegiate football debut in the Green Wave’s opening drive of the fourth quarter. It was not his overall collegiate debut, however, as Scelfo played baseball for Tulane during the 2006 season.
  • Scelfo made a good first impression, rushing for 41 yards on six carries while passing for 27 yards after completing two of four passes, including a 21-yarder to fellow redshirt-freshman Jeremy Williams. The 21-yard completion was the longest pass play allowed by LSU all season.
  • Scelfo’s one-yard touchdown run with 2:05 left to play in the game was just the second touchdown allowed by the Tigers all yearn and the first touchdown allowed by LSU at home since the final regular-season contest last year against Arkansas.
  • Junior defensive lineman Antonio Harris started his 25th consecutive game, the longest such streak on the Green Wave team. In addition, sophomore center Michael Parenton started his 14th consecutive contest along the offensive line.
  • Both players have now started every game of their collegiate careers.
  • Saturday’s ballgame marked the 14th consecutive game the Green Wave played away from its home stadium – the Louisiana Superdome. The last time Tulane played at home was on Dec. 4, 2004, against Louisville. Today’s game marks the first time since the road odyssey began that the Green Wave played in the same stadium. Last season, Tulane played Southeastern Louisiana in Tiger Stadium on Oct. 1.
  • With the loss, Tulane dropped its 15th consecutive game to the Tigers. The last Green Wave win came on Nov. 27, 1982, when Tulane defeated LSU, 31-28, in Tiger Stadium.
  • The loss dropped the Green Wave’s record against LSU to 10-30-1 in games played in Baton Rouge.
  • Reserve punter Barrett Pepper’s 53-yard punt in the first quarter was the longest of his career. His previous career-best was 48-yard effort against Tulsa on Nov. 19, 2005, in a game played at Louisiana-Monroe’s Malone Stadium. Pepper punted tonight due to an injury sustained by Ray Guy Award candidate Chris Beckman in last Saturday’s 32-29 win at Mississippi State.
  • True freshman running back André Anderson also made his collegiate debut in Saturday’s ballgame.
  • The announced crowd of 92,135 is the largest crowd to ever watch a Tulane football game. Saturday’s crowd surpassed the previous mark of 91,782, which was set during the Green Wave’s last game against LSU on Sept. 1, 2001.
  • Junior running back Ray Boudreaux posted a career-best 47 yards rushing, eclipsing his former high of 28 vs. Navy on Nov. 6, 2004.
  • Tulane’s 112 yards rushing was the second-most rushing yards allowed by LSU all season. UL-Lafayette posted 113 in the Tigers’ season opener.

LSU vs. TULANE
September 23, 2006

LSU HEAD COACH LES MILES

Opening Statement...
"I realize that Tulane has played a series of road games, and that this was the last of their travels. They get to play a home game next week. I can tell you that we respect that team. That football team is capable, certainly to win against Mississippi State. They showed everybody that. I wish them well. I can tell you that it was the wrong week to play us. We came off a disappointing showing a week ago. There is a little edge on this program and our kids wanted to win, get victory back and enjoy the fruits of their labors. I thought that our performance was very strong. I thought the defense played well from start to finish.  Offensively, we scored the first three possessions. We threw the ball well and ran the ball better. Overall, I thought it was a nice day, a good outing, something that will prepare us for the rest of the season."

On whether it was something he saw in Charles Scott or something he didn't see in the other running backs...
"No, he got loose the first couple of times, and we decided to stay with him a little bit. I don’t make too much of it, to be honest with you. It's nice to have a back with over 100 yards. That's nice to have happen. I am not certain that next week it won’t be another back. We will see how it goes."

LSU OFFENSIVE PLAYER QUOTES

OG WILL ARNOLD

On the game...
“It fell good coming out strong tonight. I feel like we ran the bell better than we did last week. We accomplished the things we had talked about during the week.”

On what the team’s mindset was heading into this game...
“To be honest, I believe it was the mindset we have had all year. We always try and focus on the upcoming game and not worry about what happened the week before. As tough as last week’s loss was we knew we had to forget about it and move on.”

On getting back to SEC play against Mississippi State this week...
“We will start looking at them Monday and prepare ourselves throughout the week. We look forward to getting back into conference play.”

WR EARLY DOUCET

On the way the team used him tonight...
“I was very pleased with the way they used me tonight. Some nights I won’t be used as much, but when they call your number you just have to take advantage of it.”

On his three touchdown...
“I haven’t scored that much since high school. It feels good because I haven’t had one of those nights in a while but the main thing is we got the win tonight.”

On if the team had something to prove tonight...
“We knew we had to come out and play hard to show America that we are not going to dwell on the Auburn game. I thought we came out tonight and executed well and ran the ball well.”

On QB JaMarcus Russell’s block on his touchdown run...
"It was great seeing him out there. I was taking it slow at first because I wasn’t sure if he was going to get it. It was a great block and if it wasn’t for him I probably wouldn’t have got the touchdown.”

QB JAMARCUS RUSSELL

On his block on WR Early Doucet’s touchdown run...
“In practice I never got chance to get it but when Early took the reverse I knew I had to make a play for him to score.”

On RB Charles Scott’s performance tonight...
“He did an excellent job of seeing the holes and hitting them hard. Being a young guy he just needs to get more comfortable holding onto the ball when you take so many hits from different directions.”LSU Defensive Player Quotes

DE Chase Pittman

On the loss to Auburn...
"All week long we had a bad taste in our mouths and we wanted to come out and show that we were LSU and we were going to play like LSU."

On playing another Louisiana team...
"Tulane always has a good team and they play very good in the conference. They came in and they were going to play their hardest, and we were going to play harder then we normally would."

Comparing the Tulane game with last week's loss to Auburn...
"We had a lot more mental errors and penalties this week and we went back into the second half and really improved on them."

DB Craig Steltz

On the loss to Auburn...
"We treat every week the same whether we win or lose. Whether or not we play the best team out there we are going to play our best."

On playing another Louisiana team...
"You always want to be the powerhouse in the state and no matter who it is, and especially after a loss like that you want to get back on top."

On his 74 yard interception...
"The line had great pressure he threw a wobbly pass and I just happen to break under it. I was in the right place at the right time and I took off running."

DL Ricky Jean-Francois

On the loss to Auburn...
"It was very important to put the game (Auburn) behind us. We can't keep thinking we should have done this or that, we did everything we could and put Tulane in front of us and worked on our technique with Tulane."

On how he thinks Tulane feels after tonight's game...
"We knew had to play Tulane, and they are good team. It was just a bad week to run into us and they felt that."

Tulane coach Chris Scelfo Quotes

Opening Statement...
"We just got dominated across the board. We had some kids out there who didn't perform. That's the disappointing thing. We had some kids out there who didn't perform the way they're capable of. You saw the dropped passes. We don't normally do that. I don't know if they were intimidated or not. You'd have to ask them. They kept fighting. We had some bad turnovers right there that let it really get out of hand. I thought the kids fought hard for the most part. I was pleased to see the special teams did a lot better job than last week. The big plays and the turnovers, they got after us good."

On whether Tulane took a step back as a team tonight...
"We didn't take a step back this week, no. I thought we came out there and competed, and we got beat by a better football team. You guys can write what you want. They're 10th-ranked, the No. 1 ranked defense in the country. They're a dad gum good football team. We didn't take a step back."

On the status of quarterback Lester Ricard...
"Lester's injured. We'll evaluate him tomorrow and see where he is. That's it."

Tulane Defensive Player Quotes

DL AVERY WILLIAMS

On the game...
“You can’t come into Death Valley and make mistakes and expect to win. We knew what we were coming in to. Give credit to LSU. They did what they had to do to win the football game. As a university, coming from Tulane, we’ve been through a lot, so yes that’s in the past, nobody cares about that. It’s about us, and all we have to do is stick together and just go on from there. We’re going to go back and watch this film and we’re going to get ready for conference play because it’s all we can do to be a bowl contender.”

CB JOSH LUMAR

On the game...
“Well it was nothing that we didn’t see coming because we practiced most of this, but some players weren’t executing, we had different coverages, and different things were happening. They (LSU) were executing, that was the bottom line.”

On matching LSU physically...
“I give them credit where credit is due. They’re an alright team but they’re nothing we can’t play with. We’ve just got to get it in our heart that we’ve got to come out and fight. They practice just like we practice, they put on jerseys like we put on jerseys and they breathe just like we breathe. Its just man on man we got we got out played.”

On playing at home next week for the first time in 14 games...
“It’s very important. We’re just ready to get back in front of the home crowd, get everything going and get everyone out going to the game. We’re just ready to get back to the Superdome.”

Tulane Offensive player Quotes

Lester Ricard QB

On what was expected for this game...
“No it wasn’t a success. It was ugly they came out here and played hard. They put up a good defensive front. I just think they played a good game on both sides of the football. You have to give them credit the have the No.1 defense in the county and they are ranked No. 10 in the SEC. They are having a lot of success this year.”

On keeping the team off balance...
“They kept pressure on me the whole game, with that front forward. They took a little out off me. I was hoping to get a better performance from this. Just getting out of here helped me. We have to get ready for SMU. We have a big game next week.”

On performing better...
“We know where we have to go. With the type of opponent LSU is we know we have a lot of work ahead of us. Just beating Mississippi State last week was not enough. We have some things we need to work on.”

Michael Parenton OL 

On playing in the area...
“It was a great game for the area. We like to get together and this is something that guys since five years ago have had the chance to come out here. LSU came out here to play tonight, we gave them our best shot. We didn’t do some things well at times and they took advantage like a good team does. They are No.1 defense in the county and they know how to attack weakness and we just didn’t play well.

On playing a close team to home...
“Once the final buzzer sounds its back to where we were. I went to camp with a lot of these guys and was recruited with a lot of these guys. We have players on the team that have played with these guys in high school, its like family. We are all one state and when the final buzzer sounds we are back to normal and we are friends again. Between the lines its war.

On playing in the Dome again...
“Its just another game. We are excited and we want to get back in the Dome. It’s a place we call home. It’s a place we feel we can take advantage of with our offensive line. Given the condition its always 72 degrees and sunshine. It’s a big thing for the Tulane community to come out and finally play a home game. We have been on the road for 14 games.” 

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