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Tulane's Nightmare Season Comes to an End

Green Wave, playing at its 11th different venue, falls to Southern Mississippi, 26-7.

November 27, 2005|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Tulane, playing its 11th consecutive game in as many weeks in a different stadium, lost to Southern Mississippi, 26-7, on Saturday in Hattiesburg, Miss., in a Conference USA game that was originally scheduled for early September but was pushed back because of Hurricane Katrina.

Dustin Almond threw for 276 yards and a touchdown and Darren McCaleb kicked four field goals to help Southern Mississippi become bowl eligible.

Southern Mississippi, 6-5 and 5-3 in Conference USA, extended its string of winning seasons to 12 and appears headed to its fourth consecutive bowl game.

The Golden Eagles and Green Wave (2-9, 1-7) were supposed to play Sept. 4, but that became impossible after Katrina tore through Louisiana and Mississippi the week before.

Earlier this week, the Football Writers Assn. of America gave the Tulane football team its 2005 Courage Award.

The national award, which went to a team for the first time, is given annually to someone in college football who displayed extraordinary courage in the face of adversity.

"The Courage Award is something I think the players deserve because of what they've been through and they've gone out there and competed," Coach Chris Scelfo told the Times-Picayune. Junior tight end Jerome Landry told the newspaper that his team deserved the award.

"I wish we could have had a better season to go with the award," he said.

"A couple of [more] wins and a bowl would have made it the perfect season."

Southern Mississippi was down to its last chance to qualify for a bowl and Tulane could do little to stop the Golden Eagles.

The Green Wave trailed, 23-0, before Lester Ricard threw a 23-yard touchdown pass to Damarcus Davis with 1:40 to play in the third quarter.

Almond, a senior, made his last home appearance a memorable one, completing 18 of 30 passes.

The Golden Eagles haven't had a losing season since going 3-7-1 in 1993.

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