2007 Army look ahead: Tulane

2007 Army look ahead: Tulane

The Tulane Green Wave proved to be more like a tidal wave against Army last season. Tulane poured on the offense to the tune of a 42-28 win in New Orleans. It was one of the few bright spots for the Green Wave all season. Tulane finished 4-8 and head coach Chris Scelfo was fired after eight seasons.

With a new coach, Bob Toledo, and the fact that Tulane is still dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the program finds itself in a state of flux. Army hosts Tulane on Oct. 6. Here's hoping the tidal wave drys up this year. This is an inside look at Tulane.

Toledo, 60, who runs a West Coast offense, returned to college football after a three-year absence in 2006, accepting the offensive coordinator job at the University of New Mexico. He served under head coach Rocky Long, who was his defensive coordinator from 1996 to 1998. Toledo had his most success at UCLA (1996-2002). His 1997 team won the Pac-10 Conference and his '98 squad came within one win of playing for the national championship. Toledo went 7-5 in 2002 and was fired after a fourth consecutive loss to USC. Interim coach Ed Kezirian led the team to a win in the Las Vegas Bowl.

Good news for Army: Tulane quarterback Lester Ricard has graduated. He passed for 409 yards and three touchdowns against the Black Knights last season.

Ricard completed 33-of-43 passes and his 409 yards were the second-most in his career and fourth-most in school history. Untested Scott Elliott, a backup last season, is expected to replace Ricard. Look for Elliott to try to get the ball to sophomore wide receiver Jeremy Williams, who had 40 catches last season as a redshirt freshman.

Ricard signed a free agent deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars shortly after April's NFL draft.

"Playing in the NFL has been something I have always worked hard for and this opportunity is the reason I played football," Ricard said. "I'm excited about playing in Jacksonville. I talked to Coach (Jack) Del Rio and the rest of the coaching staff on Sunday and they seemed excited as well. I took a visit to Jacksonville initially and then the general manager and quarterbacks coach came down to New Orleans for 'Pro' day. It has been a fun ride and aggravating at the same time because I was not drafted, but not many people get this chance, so I am looking forward to playing with the Jaguars."

Bad news for Army: Running back Matt Forte, who always seems to run over the Black Knights returns. Forted rushed for 124 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries against Army last year. He also caught five passes for 54 yards. Forte, a senior, rushed for 216 yards and four all-purpose touchdowns against Army in a 45-31 win over Tulane in 2004.

Like Army, Tulane has a pretty good free safety: senior David Skehan. And Skehan has a better story to tell than our boy Jordan Murray. A walk-on, Skehan didn't even start until last year. He led Tulane with 80 tackles last year.

Tulane opens the season with four consecutive home games against Mississippi State, Houston, Southeastern Louisiana and LSU.

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