7:00 PM ET, November 6, 2004
MERCEDES-BENZ SUPERDOME, NEW ORLEANS, LA
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 play."
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 was outstanding."
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 second quarter.
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.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||6-16||4-10|
|4th Down Conversions||1-4||0-1|
|TD||12:11||JOVON JACKSON 1 YD RUN (NICK BEUCHER KICK)|
Drive info: 7 plays, 80 yards.
|TD||10:28||KYLE ECKEL 1 YD RUN (GEOFF BLUMENFELD KICK)|
Drive info: 6 plays, 12 yards.
|TD||8:28||ROYDELL WILLIAMS 87 YD PASS FROM LESTER RICARD (NICK BEUCHER KICK)|
Drive info: 3 plays, 76 yards.
|FG||6:22||GEOFF BLUMENFELD 29 YD FG|
Drive info: 5 plays, 31 yards.
|TD||3:02||CHRIS BUSH 38 YD PASS FROM LESTER RICARD (NICK BEUCHER KICK)|
Drive info: 2 plays, 42 yards.
|TD||11:42||ROYDELL WILLIAMS 28 YD PASS FROM LESTER RICARD (NICK BEUCHER KICK)|
Drive info: 4 plays, 58 yards.
|TD||2:11||MATT FORTE 18 YD PASS FROM LESTER RICARD (NICK BEUCHER KICK)|
Drive info: 10 plays, 80 yards.
|TD||12:22||JOVON JACKSON 22 YD RUN (NICK BEUCHER KICK)|
Drive info: 5 plays, 57 yards.