The Green Wave played it's best quarter of football Saturday but 15 minutes wasn't enough,
as second-ranked LSU shook off the pesky Green Wave to pull away for a 34-9 victory over Tulane at the Louisiana Superdome.
It was the first game in the Superdome between
the two ancient foe's since 1994.
Tulane's record falls to 1-3, and LSU's record goes to 5-0.
In the first half, the Green Wave's tenacious defense played it's finest football of the season, sacking LSU quarterback Matt Flynn six times, allowing the Tigers only 89 yards total offense, and limiting the Tiger ground game to minus-11 rushing yards in the half.
The Green Wave defense was led by middle backer Evan Lee with 13 tackles, linebacker James Dillard and strong safety Joseph Goosby added seven tackles apiece. Defense tackle
Antonio Harris had 2 sacks.
In the first start of his career Tulane quarterback Anthony Scelfo completed just 11-of-26 passes for 117 yards with an interception, but Scelfo provided a spark that the Tulane
offense had at times seemed to be lacking in ther first three games.
Matt Forte ran for 73 yards on 16 carries, the most yardage gained by any back against the
No. 1-ranked Tiger defense. And the Green Wave's 88 yards rushing is the most allowed by the Tigers in a game this season.
The second half was a different story, as Tulane gained just 101 total yards and the Tigers
scored 24 points to seal the victory.
For the Tigers, Flynn completed 16-of-29 passes for 258 yards with an interception.
The LSU ground game was led by Jacob Hester and Charles Scott, both of whom ran for a pair of touchdowns, Hester gained 33 rushing yards, and Scott added 53, third teamer Richard Murphy added 35 yards and dimunitive speedster Trindon Holliday gained 19 yards on 3 carries.
The second quarter was dominated by the Tulane defense, which allowed the Tigers only
36 yards and a field goal in the quarter, while sacking Tiger quarterback Matt Flynn three
times. Seven penalties were enforced against the Tigers in the quarter, mostly on offensive
linemen. One of those penalties was for holding in the end zone, which resulted in a safety
and accounted for the Wave's first two points of the game.
Tulane took the opening kickoff but their first possession of the game ended with a turnover
as receiver Kenneth Guidroz fumbled after catching a pass from Scelfo. LSU recovered the loose ball at the Green Wave 27 but the Tigers failed to pick up a first down and Colt David's 37-yard field goal attempt failed when the kick hit the top of the right upright and bounced away.
Tulane failed to move the ball on the ensuing possession and Ross Thevenot was called
upon to punt.
After Thevenot's 28-yard punt, the Tigers needed just two plays to score. Flynn opened the series from the Tulane 49 with a 43-yard pass to Brandon LaFell. Following an offside penalty against the Green Wave, Jacob Hester scored on a three-yard run to give LSU the lead a 7-0.
But the Tulane defense stepped up at that point and stymied the LSU offense. Tulane enjoyed the better field position for the remainder of the half.
After the safety cut the Tiger lead to 7-2, Tulane's Fred Smith returned the ensuing free
kick to the Tulane 42 from where Scelfo mounted an 11-play drive capped by a five-yard Andre Anderson touchdown run to give the Wave the lead at 9-7 with 1:40 remaining in the half. A 20-yard pass from Scelfo to Michael Batiste on 3rd-and-14 early in the drive kept the drive's momentum going.
A 38-yard kickoff return by Trindon Holliday gave the Tigers position at their own 44.
Flynn moved the Tigers to the Tulane 19 where David kicked a 36-yard field goal and LSU was able to take a 10-9 advantage into the locker room.
The Tigers took the second half kickoff and moved 54 yards on 11 plays to the Tulane
16 from where Colt David kicked another field goal, this one from 33 yards out to extend
the Tiger lead to 13-9.
Tulane's offense opened their next possession with two runs by Matt Forte that gained
29 yards, but Forte fumbled on the second play after the kickoff and LSU recovered at the Tulane 48. Flynn needed just five plays to put his team in the end zone, as he threw a 38-yard pass to Terrence Toliver to put the ball at the Tulane 6. Three plays later Hester scored on a plunge from one yard out to stretch the Tiger lead to 19-9. David's PAT stretched LSU's lead to 20-9.
The teams exchanged turnovers before Flynn led the Tigers on an eight-play, 76-yard drive for another touchdown to make the score 27-9. Scott scored again with a three-yard scoring run on LSU's next series to make the score 34-9.
LSU now leads the all-time series 67-23-7.
The Green Wave returns to action on Saturday, Oct. 6, when they take on the Black Knights
of Army at 6 p.m. in a game that will be broadcast live nationally on ESPNU from the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y.