Tulane 32

(1-1, 1-1 away)

Mississippi St 29

(0-3, 0-3 home)

7:00 PM ET, September 16, 2006

Davis Wade Stadium, Starkville, MS

1 2 3 4 T
TULN 7 7 18 032
MSST 0 7 0 2229

Top Performers

Passing: L. Ricard (TULN) - 298 YDS, 4 TD

Rushing: M. Forte (TULN) - 29 CAR, 170 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: T. Burks (MSST) - 4 REC, 130 YDS

Green Wave claims first road win over SEC since '89

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) -- The Tulane football program is still trying to regain its footing following Hurricane Katrina.

The Green Wave's 32-29 victory Saturday over Mississippi State should help. It was Tulane's first victory over a Southeastern Conference opponent on the road since 1989 and comes a week after the team was embarrassed 45-7 by Houston.

"To be able to do that is a tremendous tribute to those players," Tulane coach Chris Scelfo said. "It has been a long time."

Tulane quarterback Lester Ricard had an easy time against the Mississippi State secondary, completing 16-of-23 passes for 298 yards and four touchdowns.

The performance helped end a string of eight consecutive losses for the Green Wave (1-1).

The Bulldogs (0-3) ended an offensive drought. They scored the first points of the season and mounted a fourth-quarter comeback, but still fell short.

"We're always close, but in football close is not good enough," Croom said. "The inexperience still shows."

The Green Wave led 14-7 at halftime, but put together a three-play, 76-yard drive on their first possession of the second half. Ricard found Gabe Ratcliff open down the sideline for a 55-yard completion, setting up Demarcus Davis for a 6-yard score.

Tulane would score three times in the third quarter -- twice on Bulldogs turnovers -- sealing the win.

"We hit the big play to Gabe which really helped us," Scelfo said. "In games like this there are going to be three or four plays that decide it and that was one of them."

The Bulldogs mounted a comeback in the fourth quarter, scoring first on a blocked Chris Berkman punt, then again two minutes later on a 3-yard rush by Arnil Stallworth.

Mississippi State closed the gap with just under two minutes left in the game as Omarr Conner led the offense on a 12-play, 77-yard drive and scored the team's first rushing touchdown of the season on a 5-yard dash.

The Bulldogs pulled within three when Conner scored on a two-point conversion, making the score 32-29.

However, Tulane grabbed the ensuing onside kick attempt, killing all hopes of a Bulldogs rally.

Davis had a game-high four catches for 90 yards. Matt Forte rushed for 170 yards and a touchdown for Tulane.

Conner, who has been shifted around Croom's West Coast offense, switched from receiver to quarterback in the second quarter after freshman starter Tray Rutland struggled to make things happen with 6 yards passing.

Conner went 15-for-25 for 241 yards, and led the Bulldogs offense on its first touchdown drive of the year. He also led the team in rushing with 55 yards.

"It's obvious that Omarr came in and gave us a spark," Croom said. "He's probably played better quarterback (tonight) than the entire time he's been here. He made some big plays when things weren't there. He'll be starting next week."