The Tulsa Golden Hurricane battered the Tulane Green Wave 49-25 in Conference USA action
Saturday night at the Louisiana Superdome before a crowd announced at 15,271.
Tulane's record falls to 2-7 overall and 1-4 in C-USA. Tulsa, now 6-3 overall and 4-2 in league
play, keeps their quest for a division championship and a bowl date alive.
It was a lackluster performance by Tulane.
Matt Forte, the nation's leading rusher heading into the game, led Tulane in rushing but was held to only 107 yards on 26 carries, breaking his string of four consecutive games with more than 200 yards rushing.
Green Wave quarterback Anthony Scelfo was 17-of-28 passing for 237 yards. Scelfo threw for both a touchdown and an interception.
Brian King led the receiving corps with four catches for 91 yards, and a touchdown. Jeremy Williams added six catches for 76 yards.
The Golden Hurricane shredded the Green Wave defense for 600 yards of total offense and
seven touchdowns. Quarterback Paul Smith passed for 319 yards and three of those touchdowns,
completing 18-of-27 passes, and also scor two rushing touchdowns.
Hurricane receiver Trae Johnson led with four receptions for 49 yards and a touchdown.
Brennan Marion caught three passes for 102 yards and a touchdown.
Tulane's defense could not contain the Tulsa running game. Led by Jamad Williams with
161 yards on the ground off 31 carries, the Hurricane rushed for 281 yards despite the
previous effectiveness of the Tulane run defense, which was allowing only 120 yards per
Freshman A.J. Whitmore gained 72 yards on only 3 carries, one of which was a 56-yard run
for a touchdown.
Roy Roberts returned a kickoff 92 yards to account for the Hurricanes seventh touchdown.
Tulsa showed the ability to move the ball on their first possession but turned the ball over
at the Tulane when receiver Jesse Meyer coughed up a Smith pass at the Tulane 42 after a fierce hit by Green Wave safety Chinoso Echebelem. Dave Skehan recovered the fumble for the Green Wave and advanced the ball to the Tulane 47.
Tulane drove the ball down to the Tulsa 1, but Anthony Scelfo was stopped on a fourth-down
quarterback sneak to turn the ball over to the Hurricane.
The Hurricane moved the ball again but an interception by Soso Echebelem at the Tulane
19 killed the drive.
Tulane was forced to punt on the ensuing possession, and Tulsa opened the scoring when
Smith ran the ball in from the four with 2:49 remaining in the first quarter.
Tulsa scored again at the 9:03 point of the second quarter when Smith hit Marion for
a 52-yard touchdown to stretch the Golden Hurricane lead to 14-0.
Scelfo brought the Wave back when he completed a 44 yard pass to Brian King to cut the
Tulsa lead to 14-7, but Tulsa's Roberts nullified the score by returning the ensuing kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown.
Tulane's Ross Thevenot kicked a 34-yard field goal as time expired in the half, cutting the
Tulsa lead 21-10 at the half.
Tulane surprised Tulsa with an onsides kick that the Green Wave recovered at their own 44 to open the second half. From their the Green Wave drove downfield to the Tulsa one in ten plays. Forte carried the ball on four straight plays from the Hurricane 6-yard line but was unable to punch the ball into the end zone, although he did get a first down at the one to keep the drive going.
Forte was thrown for a one-yard loss on first down but Scelfo scored on a two-yard sneak
on the next play and Forte's two-point conversion run cut the Tulsa lead to three at 21-18 with 9:47 remaining in the third quarter.
But the Tulsa offense took over and scored four unanswered touchdowns to ice the game.
Smith first started the 28-point run with a one-yard jaunt to pay dirt and the Tulsa offensive circus took over the game, amassing 600 yards of total offense.
Tulane backup quarterback Scott Elliott relieved Scelfo late in the fourth quarter and led
the Wave to a score, hitting Kenny Guidroz with a seven-yard touchdown pass with
:27 remaining to end the scoring.
The Green Wave defense was led by Soso Echebelem with 13 tackles, defensive tackle
Avery Williams with 11, and middle linebacker Evan Lee with 10.
Williams had three tackles for loss and Lee added 2.
Tulane will return to action at 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 10, when they take on UTEP
in the Louisiana Superdome in the final home game of the 2007 season. Saturday
will also be Senior Day and the Green Wave will honor their senior class.