8:00 PM ET, September 23, 2006
Tiger Stadium, BATON ROUGE, LA
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -- LSU brought Tulane's 14-game span away from New Orleans to a merciless and painful end.
Early Doucet caught two touchdown passes and ran for a third score as the No. 10 Tigers jumped out to a large early lead in a 49-7 victory over Tulane on Saturday night.
LSU's top-ranked defense also knocked Tulane starting quarterback Lester Ricard out of the game when two tacklers hit him from opposite sides late in the first half.
"It was the wrong week to play us," LSU coach Les Miles said, referring to his team's drive to bounce back from a potentially costly 7-3 loss at No. 2 Auburn last weekend. "We came off a disappointing showing a week ago. There's a little edge on this program and our kids wanted to win. Get victory back and enjoy the fruits of their labor."
Tulane officials could not immediately say whether Ricard's throwing shoulder injury would force him to miss the school's home opener in the Louisiana Superdome next Saturday, the Green Wave's first game in New Orleans since Dec. 4, 2004.
Hurricane Katrina forced Tulane out of New Orleans for all 11 games last season as well as its first three this season while repairs continued on the Superdome, which opens Monday night for an NFL game between the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons.
Tulane (1-2) won three of those 14 games away from its home field, including a victory at Mississippi State last weekend.
But while Tulane may be LSU's best rival within Louisiana, the Green Wave has far to go to make the matchup with the Tigers (3-1) a legitimate rivalry again.
That was obvious from the start.
"We didn't take a step back this week, no," Tulane coach Chris Scelfo said testily. "We got beat by a better football team. You guys can write what you want. They're 10th-ranked, the No. 1 ranked defense in the country. They're a dad gum good football team."
Ricard, who transferred from LSU in 2003, fumbled the first snap of the game in shotgun formation and fell on it for a 7-yard loss. He then threw two incomplete passes, setting up a quick punt.
"We had to come out and play hard and show America that we're not going to dwell on that loss we had," Doucet said. "We just have to learn from our mistakes and move forward and I thought we came out tonight and executed our passing game well. We ran the ball really well when we needed to. We just came out with a great win."
Tulane's next series also ended quickly -- and sloppily -- when backup punter Barrett Pepper, filling in for the injured Chris Beckman, allowed a long snap to skip off his hands. He was able to pick up the ball inside the Tulane 5, slip on tackle and get off a weak kick on the run, giving LSU the ball on the Tulane 39-yard line.
Three plays later, Doucet ran in a 17-yard reverse to make it 14-0 with less than nine minutes gone.
Charles Scott's 8-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter made it 21-0 and Doucet's 4-yard reception made it 28-0 by halftime. Numerous fans left at that point, with the only matter in doubt being whether LSU, 36-point favorites coming in, would cover the spread. It was 49-0 after Jacob Hester's short touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter.
"We didn't want anyone to reminisce about we should have done this or we should have done that," LSU defensive lineman Ricky Jean-Francois said. "We knew we had to play Tulane and they are a good team. It was just a bad week to run into us and they felt that."
As with LSU's first two home games, both of which the Tigers won 45-3, Russell came out in the third quarter. He was 17-of-23 for 199 yards and two touchdowns.
Tulane drove the ball across midfield several times but rarely came close to scoring. Ricard was 6-of-16 for 44 yards before being knocked from the game and replaced by Scott Elliot and later Anthony Scelfo, the coach's nephew, who scored Tulane's touchdown on a keeper late in the fourth quarter.
Without mentioning any names, Chris Scelfo said he was disappointed that some players failed to perform to their capabilities -- a comment echoed by some of those on the roster.
"Some players weren't executing," cornerback Josh Lumar said. "We've just got to get it in our heart that we've got to come out and fight. It's just man on man. We got outplayed."
Tulane has not beaten LSU since 1982, but the two stopped playing regularly in 1995. This game was their 95th meeting since 1893 and marked the beginning of a 10-year agreement to play annually again.
Top 25 Overview
It was over when... JaMarcus Russell found Early Doucet in the end zone for LSU's first touchdown of the day. The Tigers scored again in the first quarter to put Tulane away.
Gameball goes to... Russell, who completed 17-of-23 passes for 198 yards and two TDs. Charles Scott rushed for 101 yards and two TDs in the 49-0 win.
Stat of the game... 117: Tulane's trip of quarterbacks combined for 12-of-32 passing and just 117 yards -- just more than half of Russell's total.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||6-17||5-10|
|4th Down Conversions||0-1||1-1|
|TD||9:28||EARLY DOUCET III 12 YD PASS FROM JAMARCUS RUSSELL (COLT DAVID KICK)|
Drive info: 9 plays, 66 yards.
|TD||6:20||EARLY DOUCET III 17 YD RUN (COLT DAVID KICK)|
Drive info: 3 plays, 39 yards.
|TD||14:32||CHARLES SCOTT 8 YD RUN (COLT DAVID KICK)|
Drive info: 3 plays, 34 yards.
|TD||4:25||EARLY DOUCET III 4 YD PASS FROM JAMARCUS RUSSELL (COLT DAVID KICK)|
Drive info: 17 plays, 80 yards.
|TD||8:54||CHARLES SCOTT 7 YD RUN (COLT DAVID KICK)|
Drive info: 6 plays, 71 yards.
|TD||5:21||MATT FLYNN 5 YD RUN (COLT DAVID KICK)|
Drive info: 3 plays, 19 yards.
|TD||14:53||JACOB HESTER 6 YD RUN (RYAN GAUDET KICK)|
Drive info: 1 plays, 6 yards.
|TD||3:21||ANTHONY SCELFO 1 YD RUN (ROSS THEVENOT KICK)|
Drive info: 4 plays, 41 yards.