NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- While Navy set out to do something it hadn't
done in 41 years, Tulane's Lester Ricard ended up making history.
Ricard completed 18 of 19 passes -- setting a school record with
a 94.7 completion percentage -- for 323 yards and four touchdowns in
Tulane's 42-10 victory over Navy on Saturday night. He completed
his last 14 passes.
"I don't ever remember playing a game this good," said Ricard,
a sophomore who transferred from LSU last season. "We won the
game. That's all that counts."
The Midshipmen (7-2) failed in their attempt to match their best
record after nine games since 1963. That year, they started 8-1
behind Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Roger Staubach. Tulane
improved to 3-5.
"We don't handle it very well when people tell us we're good
and we're supposed to win," Navy coach Paul Johnson said. "They
came to play and they clearly outplayed us. I did a poor job of
getting us ready to play because certainly we weren't ready to
Two of Ricard's touchdown passes went to Roydell Williams, who
had six catches for 148 yards. Williams had his fourth 100-yard
receiving game in the last five and became Tulane's career leader
in touchdown receptions with 32, one more than JaJuan Dawson.
"They hit some big plays," Johnson said. "(Ricard) made some
nice throws and we didn't match it."
The Green Wave, who led 21-10 at halftime, extended the lead to
28-10 on a 28-yard touchdown pass from Ricard to Williams on their
first possession of the second half.
After Navy's Geoff Blumenfeld missed a 26-yard field goal,
Tulane drove 80 yards and Ricard threw an 18-yard touchdown to Matt
Forte to take a 35-10 lead.
Jovon Jackson's 22-yard touchdown run gave the Green Wave a
42-10 with 12:22 remaining in the game.
"There's no question that this was the first time we played 60
minutes on offense, defense and special teams," Tulane coach Chris
Scelfo said. "Our offense went the way Lester went tonight and he
Tulane took the opening kickoff and drove 80 yards, taking a 7-0
lead on Jackson's 1-yard touchdown run. The Green Wave were in
scoring position again after Kelvin Johnson's interception gave
them the ball at Navy 32. After gaining one first down, Tulane
attempted a 27-yard field goal. Nick Beucher's kick was blocked by
Josh Smith and Jeremy McGown recovered the ball and ran 33 yards to
the Green Wave 12.
Six plays later Kyle Eckel ran one yard for a touchdown to tie
the score at 7.
On the next possession on third-and-21, Ricard threw an 87-yard
touchdown pass to Williams.
Navy got a 29-yard field goal from Blumenfeld to get within
14-10 with 6:22 left in the second quarter.
Green Wave safety Joey Dawson recovered Eric Robert's fumble at
the Midshipmen's 42, and two plays later Ricard threw a 38-yard
touchdown pass to Chris Bush for a 21-10 lead with 3:02 left in the
Navy drove to the Tulane 11 late in the second quarter, but on
third-and-3 with no time-outs, the Midshipmen handed the ball to
Marco Nelson, who was stopped for a 3-yard loss and time ran out
before they could attempt a field goal.