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With win, Tulane makes itself at home again in Dallas

By wire services
Published September 25, 2005

DALLAS - The Tulane team's sanctuary in the days after Hurricane Katrina became the site of its first victory Saturday.

Lester Ricard completed 22 of 34 passes for 213 yards and two touchdowns as the Green Wave returned to the SMU campus and beat the Mustangs 31-10.

Tulane made a temporary home in Dallas after Katrina flooded New Orleans and closed the school indefinitely. The Green Wave watched SMU's opening loss to Baylor in the same stadium. The team's home base is now at Louisiana Tech.

"Chris (Scelfo, Tulane coach) and his staff have done a wonderful job of managing a very tough situation," SMU coach Phil Bennett said of Tulane's hardships. "It was obvious to me that they have those guys playing with a cause. They were one play away from sending an SEC team (Mississippi State) into overtime and after all they have been through, they came here ready to play."

Running back Matt Forte had two 12-yard touchdown runs in the first half as Tulane built a 14-0 lead. Forte led all rushers with 87 yards on 22 carries.

Tulane kept the ball twice as long as SMU, finishing with more than 40 minutes of possession time.

"I can't say enough about our defense," Tulane coach Chris Scelfo said. "We take a lot of pride in our offense, but I feel like defensively, if we play like this all year, that will keep us in the game. When you can put pressure on a quarterback with four guys, you are going to have a tough day at the office."

Forte accounted for 30 rushing yards on a 52-yard drive to the first score, and the second scoring drive covered just 24 yards after a 47-yard punt return by Sean Lucas. Forte scored on a handoff up the middle with 1:14 left in the first half.

SMU, making its Conference USA debut, had only three first downs in the first half and had 127 yards total offense for the game.

TCU 51, BYU 50 (OT): Cory Rodgers scored on a 3-yard run in overtime, and after the play was upheld by replay, Jeff Manfredini kicked the winning extra point for the visiting Horned Frogs.

The Cougars took a 50-44 lead on John Beck's 25-yard touchdown to Todd Watkins. But Justin Luettgerodt's snap on the extra point bounced and the Frogs wrapped up kicker Jared McLaughlin.

On his overtime score Rodgers, who also had a 100-yard kickoff return, was stripped of the ball as he was crossing the goal line, but replays were inconclusive on whether he scored before fumbling and the call stood.

E. MICHIGAN 23, C. MICHIGAN 20 (OT): Andrew Wellock kicked three field goals, including the winner, for the visiting Eagles. Wellock's 19-yard kick in the final seconds capped a 19-play, 76-yard drive and forced overtime.

OHIO 35, KENT ST. 32: Kalvin McRae rushed for 200 yards and two touchdowns, both in the second quarter as the host Bobcats built a 21-9 halftime lead. Backup Jon Brown hit Pruden, who had 200 yards receiving, with an 8-yard touchdown to bring the Golden Flashes within three with 1:54 left but Ohio recovered the onside kick.

AKRON 48, N. ILLINOIS 42 (OT): Brett Biggs scored on a 1-yard touchdown run in overtime as the host Zips recovered from an NIU rally. Akron led 42-21 at the end of the third quarter, but the Huskies tied it on Phil Horvath's three touchdown passes.

COLORADO ST. 42, NEVADA 21: Kyle Bell rushed for a career-high 183 yards and his first career touchdown to lead the host Rams. Bell had more yards, 87, in the first quarter than he had in the Rams' first two games combined.

HARVARD 38, BROWN 35 (2OT): Clifton Dawson scored on a 3-yard run with 15 seconds left in regulation and Matt Schindel kicked two field goals in overtime as the host Crimson extended its unbeaten streak to 13, the longest in Division I-AA.

The Web site smumustangs.com was used in this report.

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