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LSU jumps out to big early lead before cruising past Tulane

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.

LSU's JaMarcus Russell completed a 13-yard pass to Dwayne Bowe
on his first play to open 66-yard drive capped by Doucet's 12-yard
touchdown catch.

"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.