2007 Tulane Green Wave

Posted Jan 21, 2008

2007 Tulane Green Wave Season Game-By-Game Recaps and More

Tulane Green Wave

Recap: There was progress in Bob Toledo's first season at Tulane, even if it wasn't always evident on the scoreboard.  The Green Wave won four games, two in the final three games, escaping the West Division cellar that appeared to be its destiny before the season began.  The season wound up being the year of Matt Forte, who rushed for 2,127 yards and 23 touchdowns in the best individual performance by a Tulane player in school history.        

Offensive Player of the Year: RB Matt Forte

Defensive Player of the Year: S Joe Goosby

Biggest Surprise: Forte.  Everyone around the program knew Forte was good, but no one could have expected him to play so well in his final year in New Orleans.  Plagued by durability issues and a lack of a supporting cast, he twice exploded for more than 300 yards in a game, and flourished in a new system that made more use of a tight end and a fullback.   

Biggest Disappointment: The Green Wave would have inched closer to the .500 mark had it not blown a game to Army on Oct. 6.  Up by a touchdown with 29 seconds left, Tulane allowed the Knights and backup QB Kevin Dunn to travel 80 yards, the last 36 on a deflected pass with no time on the clock that sent the game to overtime.

Looking Ahead: The Green Wave doesn't lose much in terms of pure numbers, but replacing Forte will be next to impossible.  Toledo's West Coast offense might lean more heavily on the pass in 2008, provided Anthony Scelfo and Kevin Moore become more consistent passers.

- 2007 Tulane Preview
2006 Tulane Season

2007 Schedule
CFN Prediction:
2007 Record:

Sept. 8 Mississippi St L 38-17
Sept. 15 Houston L 34-10
Sept. 22
SE Louisiana W 35-27
Sept. 29 LSU L 34-9
Oct. 6
at Army L 20-17 OT
Oct. 13 at UAB L 26-21
Oct. 20 at SMU W 41-34 OT
Oct. 27 Memphis L 28-27
Nov. 3 Tulsa L 49-25
Nov. 10 UTEP W 34-19
Nov. 17 at Rice W 45-31
Nov. 24 at E Carolina L 35-12

Nov. 24
East Carolina 35 ... Tulane 12
Chris Johnson ran for touchdowns from five and seven yards out, and took a pass 33 yards for a touchdown, as East Carolina ran past Tulane. Matt Forte added to his 2,000-yard season with a 120-yard day with a three-yard scoring run late in the fourth, but it wasn't nearly enough to overcome Johnson's three scores and three touchdown passes from Rob Kass.
Player of the game: East Carolina RB Chris Johnson ran 27 times for 155 yards and two touchdowns, and caught four passes for 85 yards and a score.
Stat Leaders: Tulane - Passing: Anthony Scelfo, 12-20, 133 yds
Rushing: Matt Forte, 25-120, 1 TD. Receiving: Jeremy Williams, 6-72
East Carolina - Passing: Rob Kass, 12-18, 177 yds, 3 TD
Chris Johnson, 27-155, 2 TD. Receiving: Chris Johnson, 4-85, 1 TD

Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ...
The offense showed against East Carolina just how much it needs a passing game. Matt Forte had a great game, but this wasn't the Rice defense the Green Wave were going against. The defense wasn't awful, but it didn't come up with enough key stops and didn't do anything to help out the struggling offense. The 4-8 final record might not be impressive, but the Green Wave was competitive all year long. It might not take too much tweaking to be much, much better in 2008.

Nov. 17
Tulane 45 ... Rice 31
Matt Forte ran for 194 yards with touchdown runs from 4,6, one, five, one and 13 yards out on the way to 2,000 yards The Owls rallied back with Jarett Dillard catching two scoring passes and James Casey scoring from 61 yards out and in the final minutes, from six yards away, but the last score came with just 25 seconds left. The Green Wave outgained Rice 455 yards to 376.
Player of the game: Tulane RB Matt Forte ran 39 times for 194 yards and five touchdowns, and caught a pass for 51 yards
Stat Leaders: Tulane - Passing: Kevin Moore, 6-10, 125 yds
Rushing: Matt Forte, 39-194, 5 TD. Receiving: Jeremy Williams, 4-11
Rice - Passing: Chase Clement, 35-55, 353 yds, 4 TD
Chase Clement, 8-26. Receiving: Jarett Dillard, 9-87, 2 TD

Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Matt Forte needs to start getting a little bit of Heisman consideration now that he hit the 2,000-yard mark. After blowing up on Rice, he should be able to crank out at least another 200 yards next week on East Carolina, and in the final game of his career, head coach Bob Toledo could run him into the ground. Watch out for 40 carries, but to have any hope of winning, the passing game has a little bit effective and has to take what the D is giving the QBs.

Nov. 10
Tulane 34 ... UTEP 19
Tulane got out to a 17-0 first half lead on two Jeremy Williams touchdown catches from 43 and 23 yards out, while Matt Forte ran for two short scores to become the school's all-time leading touchdown scorer. UTEP got a 59-yard Marcus Thomas touchdown run in the second quarter, two Jose Martinez field goals and a 12-yard Jeff Moturi touchdown catch, but it wasn't enough as the Green Wave was always able to stay comfortably ahead in the second half.
Player of the game: Tulane WR Jeremy Williams caught eight passes for 188 yards and two touchdowns
Stat Leaders: Tulane - Passing: Anthony Scelfo, 7-11, 167 yds, 1 TD
Rushing: Matt Forte, 38-171, 2 TD. Receiving: Jeremy Williams, 8-188, 2 TD
UTEP - Passing: Trevor Vittatoe, 28-43, 308 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Marcus Thomas, 11-124, 1 TD. Receiving: Marcus Thomas, 7-68
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Finally, Tulane got up early, ran Matt Forte, and let the formula work. UTEP struggled to get back in the game with Forte taking over in the second half, and with Anthony Scelfo not making any big mistakes. It's a stretch to call the win over the Miners a signature turnaround moment for the program under Bob Toledo, but it was a big step. Now Forte, the school's all-time leading touchdown maker, has to be even better for the Green Wave to get by Rice and East Carolina on the road.

Nov. 3
Tulsa 49 ... Tulane 25
Tulsa blew open a tight game with 28 second half points on a one-yard Paul Smith touchdown run and two scoring passes, highlighted by a 37-yard play to Trae Johnson, and an A.J. Whitmore 56-yard touchdown dash. Tulane got a touchdown pass and a scoring run from QB Anthony Scelfo, but star RB Matt Forte was held to 103 yards. The defense gave up 600 yards of Tulsa offense along with a 92-yard Roy Roberts kickoff return for a score after the Green Wave offense got a 44-yard Brian King touchdown catch. Smith finished with two rushing touchdowns and threw for three scores.

Stat Leaders: Tulsa - Passing: Paul Smith, 18-27, 319 yds, 3 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Jamad Williams, 31-153. Receiving: Trae Johnson, 4-49, 1 TD
Tulane - Passing: Anthony Scelfo, 17-28, 237 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Matt Forte, 26-103. Receiving: Jeremy Williams, 6-76

Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Tulsa's offense rolls on everyone, so there's no real need to get too upset about a lousy defensive performance, but the offense needs to start doing a better job of keeping pace. Matt Forte had a workmanlike 103 rushing yards, but he didn't control the game at all and he didn't get enough help from the passing game in the second half. Now comes the home finale against UTEP, and the defense is going to have to be far tighter against the pass to win.

Oct. 27
Memphis 28 ... Tulane 27
Duke Calhoun caught a five-yard touchdown pass with 36 seconds to play to overcome a 278-yard rushing day from Tulane's Matt Forte. The Green Wave got a Forte 51-yard touchdown dash in the second quarter, and a one-yard score in the fourth for a 27-21 lead, but the Tigers were able to go 80 yards in nine plays to get the win. Earnest Williams scored twice for the Tigers including a 47-yard pass play in the final moments of the first half.
Player of the game: Memphis QB Martin Hankins completed 25 of 38 passes for 355 yards and two touchdowns with an interception
Stat Leaders: Memphis - Passing: Martin Hankins, 25-38, 355 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Joseph Doss, 15-50. Receiving: Maurice Jones, 4-117
Tulane - Passing: Anthony Scelfo, 7-15, 84 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Matt Forte, 44-278, 2 TD. Receiving: Matt Forte, 2-15

Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Tulane ran for 350 yards on Memphis and couldn't seem to control the game. The secondary got ripped apart yet again, and unlike last week against SMU, this time it proved costly with the inability to come up with a final stop at the end of either half. The pass rush never got going, but offensively, Matt Forte got rolling with his fourth straight 200-yard game. The formula should be there for more wins, but the pass defense has to start slowing someone down. It's not going to happen against Tulsa this week.

Oct. 20
Tulane 41 ... SMU 34 OT
Matt Forte ran for 342 yards and touchdowns from 77, nine, five yards out, and then in overtime, he scored for a fourth time on a nine-yard dash. SMU's overtime possession went nowhere, as Reggie Scott sacked Justin Willis on the first play, forcing a fumble recovered by the Green Wave. Willis had a huge day, throwing for 354 yards and three touchdowns, with a seven-yard strike to Zack Sledge with eight seconds to play to force overtime. The Green Wave outgained the Mustangs 521 yards to 438.
Player of the game: Tulane RB Matt Forte ran 39 times for 342 yards and four touchdowns
Stat Leaders: SMU - Passing: Justin Willis, 28-36, 354 yds, 3 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: James Mapps, 9-34. Receiving: Columbus Givens, 10-76
Tulane - Passing: Anthony Scelfo, 8-15, 102 yds, 1 TD
Matt Forte, 38-342, 4 TD. Receiving: Jeremy Williams, 5-74, 1 TD

Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Where would Tulane be without Matt Forte? He's carrying the team over the last few weeks, and was incredible against SMU as the workhorse yet again. The defense was awful until the one big play in overtime to end the game, but this day was all about Forte. Now he needs help. Anthony Scelfo and the passing game must start pushing the ball down the field a little bit more to take advantage of the awful Conference USA secondaries.

Oct. 13
UAB 26 ... Tulane 21
Tulane took the opening kickoff 80 yard in ten plays with Matt Forte finishing it off with an eight-yard touchdown run, but UAB answered with a Frantrell Forrest kickoff return for a score. The Blazers reeled off 19 straight points starting with a fumble recovery in the end zone late in the first half, and kicking off the second half scoring with a 17-yard Joe Webb touchdown grab and two field goals. The Green Wave came back with a six-yard Jeremy Williams touchdown catch with just over two minutes to play, but couldn't get any closer.
Player of the game: UAB QB Sam Hunt completed 17 of 32 passes for 262 yards and a touchdown, and ran four times for 22 yards.
Stat Leaders: Tulane - Passing: Anthony Scelfo, 19-37, 264 yds, 2 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Matt Forte, 32-209, 1 TD. Receiving: Jeremy Williams, 6-133, 1 TD
UAB- Passing: Sam Hunt, 17-32, 262 yds, 1 TD
Rashaud Slaughter, 13-63. Receiving: Joseph Webb, 6-106, 1 TD

Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Matt Forte continues to dominate, and Anthony Scelfo threw well against UAB, but the 504 total yards of offense didn't do much with two interceptions and 12 penalties killing any momentum. UAB got the key plays when it needed them, and Tulane didn't get enough of them. Eventually, the offense will start overwhelming the average defenses, but the team needs to start taking advantage of Forte's production.

Oct. 6
Army 20 ... Tulane 17 OT
The Army comeback became complete with Owen Tolson hit a 25-yard field goal in overtime, and then Tulane's Ross Thevenot missed a 34-yard try wile left. The Green Wave dominated, outgaining Army 401 yards to 240, thanks to a huge day from Matt Forte, who outgained the Black Knights by himself with 247 total yards and touchdown runs from two and 33 yards out. But Army came back in the fourth quarter with a 36-yard Tolson field goal and a 36-yard Mike Wright touchdown catch as time ran out to force overtime.
Player of the game: In the loss, Tulane RB Matt Forte rushed for 202 yards and two touchdowns on 32 carries, adding five catches for 45 yards.
Stat Leaders: Tulane - Passing: Anthony Scelfo, 24-41, 154 yds
Rushing: Matt Forte, 32-202, 2 TDs. Receiving: Matt Forte, 5-45
Army - Passing: Carson Williams, 15-21, 113 yds, 1 TD
Patrick Mealy, 15-41. Receiving: Jeremy Trimble, 5-55, 1 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Tulane can't afford to giveaway games, especially to lousy teams like Army. The offense dominated, the defense got in the backfield all game long, and the Black Knights couldn't move the ball until the final two minutes. Everything should've been in place, but the Green Wave couldn't close. The penalties have to stop, with 11 for 101 yards turning into killers as the game went on. This isn't a good enough team to get away with too many mistakes. 

Sept. 29
LSU 34 ... Tulane 9
LSU went through the motions, but were never truly threatened as Jacob Hester ran for two short scores, Charles Scott ran for touchdown from 35 and three yards out, and Colt David connected on field goals form 36 and 33 yards out. Tulane took a 9-7 first half lead on a five-yard Andre Anderson touchdown run, but the Tigers took the lead at the end of the first half on a David field goal on the way to scoring the final 27 points of the game.
Player of the game: LSU RB Charles Scott ran six times for 53 yards and two touchdowns.
Stat Leaders: LSU - Passing: Matt Flynn, 16-29, 258 yds, 1 INT
Rushing: Charles Scott, 6-53, 2 TDs. Receiving: Brandon LaFell, 4-76
Tulane - Passing: Anthony Scelfo, 11-26, 117 yds, 1 INT
Matt Forte, 16-73. Receiving: Gabe Ratcliff, 4-55

Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... The offense wasn't able to do much against LSU, but no one has an easy time of it against this amazing D. The positive to get fired up about was the play of the defensive line that allowed just 134 rushing yards, and was in the backfield all day long. If the defensive front can generate the pressure, and the plays behind the line, against the far lesser offensive lines of Conference USA, Tulane will be in some ball games.

Sept. 22
Tulane 35 ... SE Louisiana 27
It was Matt Forte, Matt Forte, and Matt Forte, as the Tulane back ran 40 times for 303 yards with touchdown runs from 20, 21, 3, 4 and 11 yards out. SE Louisiana scored first on a blocked punt for a score from Donald Frazier, and got two Brian Babin touchdown passes including a 63-yarder to Merrick Lanaux, and a 14-yarder to Byron Ross with less than two minutes to play. Tulane got the onside kick and was able to run the clock out.
Player of the game: Tulane RB Matt Forte ran 40 times for 303 yards and five touchdowns, and caught a pass for nine yards.
Stat Leaders: Tulane - Passing: Scott Elliott, 9-24, 83 yds, 1 INT
Rushing: Matt Forte, 40-303, 5 TD. Receiving: Casey Robottom, 3-27
SE Louisiana - Passing: Brian Babin, 31-47, 278 yds, 2 TD
Jay Lucas, 17-79. Receiving: Jay Lucas, 9-77

Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... While it's great for Matt Forte to be able to carry tee workload like he did against SE Louisiana, it has to be a big concern that there wasn't any semblance of a passing game to help out. This was SE Louisiana, not LSU, who the Green Wave gets next week, but Scott Elliott only completed nine of 24 passes for 83 yards with an interception. Tulane can't afford to give away four turnovers, and it it's going to get 300 rushing yards, it has to control the time of possession better than it did on Saturday.

Sept. 15
Houston 34 ... Tulane 10
Houston had few problems blowing past Tulane, getting out to a 24-0 halftime lead on two Blake Joseph touchdown passes and a four-yard Anthony Alridge touchdown run. Alridge made it a laugher early in the third, taking a pass 49 yards for a touchdown and a 31-0 lead before the Green Wave finally got on the board with a 28-yard field goal. Houston kept Tulane out of the end zone until the final minute when Chris Dunn caught a six-yard touchdown pass.
Player of the game: Houston RB Anthony Alridge ran for 87 and a touchdown on 18 carries, and caught two passes for 49 yards and another score..
Stat Leaders: Houston - Passing: Case Keenum, 13-21, 185 yds, 1 TD, 2 INTs
Rushing: Anthony Alridge, 18-87, 1 TD. Receiving: Donnie Avery, 7-103
Tulane - Passing: Scott Elliott, 9-23, 116 yds, 2 INTs
Matt Forte, 17-85.  Receiving: Casey Robottom, 4-115
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Tulane has to get more production out of the passing game in a big hurry, or it'll be a long season. Houston didn't respect Scott Elliott enough and loaded up to slow down Matt Forte. Elliott didn't take advantage, completing just nine of 23 passes with two interceptions. Bob Toledo's offense must get more going deep in a big hurry. The defense isn't good enough to keep the decent offenses under wraps, and there will be lots and lots of shootouts. Any tuning up has to be done against SE Louisiana, because this team isn't good enough to stay within 50 of LSU two weeks from now.

Sept. 8
Mississippi State 38 ... Tulane 17
The two teams were tied at halftime as Mississippi State got a 47-yard interception return for a score and an 18-yard Michael Henig scoring grab, and Tulane got a 39-yard Matt Forte touchdown run and an eight-yard scoring pass from Scott Elliott. And then the Bulldog defense took over, shutting down the Green Wave attack, while the offense got two Anthony Dixon touchdown runs and an eight-yard Jeremy Jones scoring grab. MSU outgained Tulane 489 yards to 243.
Player of the game: Mississippi State RB Anthony Dixon ran for 131 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries.
Stat Leaders: Mississippi State
- Passing: Michael Henig, 20-31, 223 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Anthony Dixon, 27-131, 2 TDs. Receiving: Jamayel Smith, 4-53
- Passing: Scott Elliott, 15-26, 197 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Matt Forte, 14-47, 1 TD. Receiving: Matt Forte, 6-49

Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... The first game in the Bob Toledo era wasn't awful, but the offense failed to click in the second half against Mississippi State after the passing game became stagnant. Relying too much on the big play, the Green Wave failed to keep the chains moving and had a harder time with the MSU running game. Tulane isn't going to win many games when the opposition has the ball for 22:36 of the second half, and it's going to have a harder time when the running game only gains 44 yards. Balance is a must, but for now, consistently hitting on the long ball could be enough to make the Green Wave competitive in Conference USA play.



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