October 22, 2007
Wave ride Forte to 41-34 OT win over SMU
As he continues to break all of Tulane's all-time rushing records, Green Wave running back Matt Forte's is now on mark to break several national records as well. Forte ran for a Tulane and Conference USA-record 342 yards and four touchdowns on 39 carries in the Wave's 41-34 overtime win over SMU.
"That was an unbeleiveable performance. The guy carries the football team on his shoulders," said Tulane Coach Bob Toledo.
The Wave earned just their second win of the season and their first against a Division I-A foe.
With the victory the Wave improve to 2-5 overall and 1-2 in Conference USA play. The Mustangs and Green Wave exchanged jabs like two boxers early on in the game. SMU jumped out to a 10-0 lead, Tulane then tied the game later in the half and then the jabs turned into blows the rest of the game.
Forte has rushed for more than 200-yards in four games this season and he has rushed for more than 300-yards twice this season as well breaking the Conference USA and Tulane individual rushing game records in both of his 300-yard plus performances.
Although there were a lot of points scored in the game the Tulane defense came up with stops and big plays when they had to in order to pick up their first road win of the season.
Tulane did not record a sack in last week's 26-21 loss to UAB but the Wave turned things around against the Mustangs and posted four sacks. Tulane now has 23 total sacks on the season.
After chastising his team for their inability in not being able to finish games Toledo was proud of his team for coming through in the clutch.
"I've have been telling them that we need to finish games and they did."
The awards and honors keep piling up for Forte as he was named Walter Camp National Offensive Player of the Week. Forte previously earned Walter Camp Offensive Player of the Week honors on Sept. 23 when he initially set the school and league rushing marks with 303 yards against Southeastern Louisiana on Sept. 22 in the Louisiana Superdome.
The former Slidell Tiger becomes the first player to earn the national honor twice in a season since 2004 when both Oklahoma running back Adrian Peterson and Purdue quarterback Kyle Orton claimed the honor on a pair of occasions.
With his impressive performance against the Mustangs, Forte now has a shot to join some elite backs in college football history. He has run for at least 200 yards in three consecutive games, which is two games shy from the NCAA standard of five set by USC's Marcus Allen in 1981 and tied twice - by Oklahoma State's Barry Sanders in 1988 and by North Texas' Jamario Thomas in 2004.
Tulane returns home this week to take on the Memphis Tigers for Homecoming.
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