The Tulane Green Wave defeated the Rice Owls, 45-31, in a Conference-USA battle at Rice Stadium Saturday before a crowd announced at 11,539.
Tulane, now 4-7 overall and 3-4 in C-USA, was led by senior running back Matt Forte, who
torched the Owls for 194 yards and five touchdowns in eclipsing 2,000 yards for the season. Forte leads the nation with 2,007 yards and is Tulane's single season rushing leader.
Tulane rushed for 267 yards and six touchdowns in the win.
Quarterback Chase Clement had 371 yards of total offense to lead the Owls. The junior completed
35-of-55 passes for 345 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Owls.
Rice's running backs combined for 7 carries for minus-3 yards.
Owls All-American Jarett Dillard grabbed nine passes for 87 yards and two TDs in the loss, while multi-purpose athlete James Casey hauled in six passes for 113 yards.
Tulane scored on their opening drive when Ross Thevenot capped the 12-play, 51-yard march
by hitting a field goal from 38 yards out.
The Owls answered early in the second quarter when Clement hit Dillard with a 13-yard scoring
Tulane countered with two late second quarter touchdowns. The first when Forte raced 46 yards
to score with 3:44 remaining and the second when Forte pounded it in from one yard out with
:41 seconds remaining in the half and the Green Wave took a 17-7 lead into the locker room.
Tulane scored first in the third quarter, as Forte crossed the goal line on a five-yard run, pushing Tulane's lead to 24-7.
Rice answered at the mid-point of the third quarter when Clement and Dillard hooked up again, this time on a six-yard pass, to cut the Tulane lead to 24-14.
Forte scored for the fourth time early in the final quarter, this time scoring from one-yard out.
A good punt return by the Owl's Ja'corey Shepherd set Rice up at the Rice 49, from where the Owls moved to the Tulane 13 where the drive stalled and Clark Fangmeier hit a 30-yard field
goal to makwe it a two-score ball game at 31-17.
But Tulane rode Forte downfield again, and the big back scored from 13 yards out with 7:24
remaining to make the score 38-17.
But Rice scored on just one play after the ensuing kickoff when Clement hit Casey with a
61-yard touchdown pass to bring it back to a two-score ball game at 38-24.
The Green Wave took over at their 25 after Andre Anderson's 24-yard return. Matt Forte carried
the ball on the first two snaps of the drive, gaining 13 yards and going over the 2,000 yard mark for the season.
Adeboye Tuyo replaced Forte at that point of the drive and took the brunt of the drive. Anthony Scelfo's 38-yard run kept the drive alive and Tuyo scored from one-yard out with 2:14 remaining to give the Green Wave
a 45-24 lead and seal the win.
After the kickoff the Owls moved downfield and scored again when Clement threw his fourth
touchdown pass to Casey from six-yards out with 25 seconds remaining to make the final score
Scelfo started at quarterback for Tulane and completed 5-of-12 passes for 63 yards and was
intercepted once. Kevin Moore came off the bench to alternate series with Scelfo throughout
the ballgame and led the team with 125 yards on 6-of-10 passing.
Scelfo also had 55 yards rushing on 2 carries.
Sophomore receiver Jeremy Williams led the Green Wave with four catches for eleven yards, and junior Michael Batiste led the squad with a career-best 61 yards on three receptions.
Brian King caught two passes for 59 yards and Forte was credited with a reception for 51 yards
Houstonian Joseph Goosby led the Green Wave defense with 14 tackles and freshman Phillip Davis added 7.
Cornerback Josh Lumar came off the bench to play perhaps his finest football. Lumar was also
credited with 3 tackles and 6 pass breakups.
Vernon James and Andrew Sendejo led the Owl defense with 11 tackles apiece.
The Green Wave will return to action on Saturday, Nov. 24, when they close out the 2007
season at East Carolina. Kickoff is set at noon.