Oct. 6, 2007
WEST POINT, N.Y.-Senior running back Matt Forté ran for 202 yards and two scores, but it was not enough as the Tulane University football team dropped a 20-17 overtime decision to the Army Black Knights Saturday evening at Michie Stadium.
With the score knotted at 17-all at the end of regulation, Army place kicker Owen Tolson kicked a 25-yard field goal during the opening possession of the overtime to provide the Black Knights with their final points of the ballgame. The Green Wave had a chance to tie or win the game with a touchdown during their possession of OT, but after being stopped on third down, sophomore place kicker Ross Thevenot's 34-yard field goal try sailed just left of the upright to spark the Army celebration.
"I've been in some tough ones but that's a pretty tough one to lose," Tulane head coach Bob Toledo said. "I mean, you play well enough to win the football game yet you make so many mistakes, penalty wise and you miss two field goals and you end up losing the game. We gave up a big play there in the end on a Hail Mary. They outplayed us. They outcoached us. They just played better than we did."
The Green Wave led 17-10 with four second remaining when Army quarterback Kevin Dunn threw a Hail Mary pass into the endzone. The ball was tipped around, but Mike Wright snared the ball on the way down and managed to get his left toe in bounds to set up the game-tying PAT with no time remaining in regulation.
"I got a hand on it," senior strong safety Joe Goosby said. "I was just trying to tip it back out of the end zone and somehow it got deflected and they say he got his feet inbounds. We were trying to bat the ball down. We weren't trying to catch it or anything, just bat it down and kill the game right there. Things like that are not supposed to happen. The ball just bounced their way and not ours."
With 202 yards on the ground, Forté becomes the first player in Tulane history to run for 200-plus yards three times in their career. The loss snapped a three-game winning streak vs. Army as the Green Wave fell to 1-4 on the year. Army, meanwhile, improves to 3-3.
Following a scoreless first quarter, Forté gave the Green Wave an early 7-0 lead, capping a 12-play, 80-yard drive with a two-yard touchdown run with 11:28 left to play in the second half.
Army responded with a 27-yard scoring strike from Carson Williams to Jeremy Trimble, but Tulane came back with a 46-yard field goal with 19 seconds remaining in the half to give Tulane a 10-7 advantage going into the locker room at halftime.
Forté gave the Green Wave a commanding 10-point lead in the third quarter with a 33-yard run, but that would be the final points Tulane would score on the day.
Army inched closer with a 36-yard field goal with 1:40 left to play, and following an unsuccessful on-side kick attempt, the Black Knights defense forced a three-and-out to get the ball back at their own 20 yard line with 29 seconds left to play.
Dunn made big plays on Army's final drive, connecting with Wright for 27 yards and with Mike Evans for another 17 before the Black Knights had their prayers answered on the tipped pass in the endzone. Sophomore quarterback Anthony Scelfo completed 16-of-25 passes for 154 yards, and Forté was his favorite target with five receptions for 45 yards.
"Like I told (the team), it's still a non-league game," Toledo said. "It doesn't affect standings. It's a very disappointing loss but it's not a loss that cost us anything league-standing wise, so now we've got to go compete in the conference. Well, we have to come back and fight. We'll see what kind of character we have. We have to come back and respond to this loss."
The Green Wave defense posted their third consecutive five-plus sack game with five Saturday night against Army, including a career-best two by sophomore defensive end Adam Kwentua. Goosby, junior cornerback Josh Lumar and sophomore linebacker David Kirksey led the Wave with eight tackles each.
The Green Wave return to action on Saturday, Oct. 13, when Tulane travels to Birmingham, Ala., to take on Conference USA foe UAB at 6 p.m. at Legion Field. The contest against the Blazers is the second of a three-game road swing for Tulane, which returns home on Oct. 29, for Homecoming 2007 against Memphis at 2 p.m. in the Louisiana Superdome.
Single-game tickets for the 2007 Green Wave season remain on sale through the Tulane Athletics Ticket Office. Tickets can be purchased in person, over the telephone at (504) 861-WAVE or via the internet at www.TulaneGreenWave.com.