NEW ORLEANS, La. – Sophomore FB Jared Hassin ran for 144 yards and two touchdowns to lead Army to a 41-23 win over Tulane at the Louisiana Superdome on Saturday afternoon. Hassin became the Black Knights’ first 100-yard rusher of the season.
The Black Knights (4-2) have now won all three of their road games this season and four straight games on opponents’ home fields. It is the first time since 1967 that Army has won as many as three road games in one season.
Tulane dropped to 2-3 overall and had their two-game winning streak versus Army in the Superdome stopped.
Army rushed for a season-high 312 yards and outgained the Green Wave, 343-298. The Black Knights did not throw a pass in the second half.
In addition to Hassin, sophomore QB Trent Steelman rushed for 85 yards yards and a score on 17 carries. Steelman completed three of his five passes for 31 yards and a touchdown.
Junior WR Davyd Brooks recorded his first career touchdown reception. Hassin and junior WR Austin Barr also had receptions.
The Army defense limited the Green Wave to 63 yards rushing on 23 attempts. The Black Knights were led by junior CB Antuan Aaron, who registered seven tackles, including his first career sack, and a fumble recovery. Senior DE Josh McNary recorded two sacks to push his academy-record totals to 25 career sacks and 46 tackles for loss.
The Black Knights forced three Tulane turnovers, two of them on kickoff coverage, and scored 10 points off the Tulane miscues. Army won the turnover battle, 3-1, improving its record to 8-1 in the last two seasons when holding a positive turnover margin.
Tulane quarterback Ryan Griffin completed 20 of 34 passes for 211 yards and three touchdowns. Casey Robottom was on the receiving end of six of those completions for 63 yards and two scores. Joe Kemp caught six passes for 57 yards, while D.J. Banks accounted for two catches and a score. Payten Jason led the Green Wave’s rushing attack with 38 yards on 10 carries.
Trent Mackey paced the Tulane defense with 17 tackles. Austen Jacks made two tackles behind the line of scrimmage for the Green Wave.
After the Army defense forced a three-and-out on Tulane’s opening possession, the Black Knights offense went to work on its own 40-yard line. Hassin’s nine-yard touchdown run capped an 11-play, 60-yard drive that took 5:12 off the clock. Alex Carlton’s PAT gave Army a 7-0 lead with 8:10 left in the opening quarter. Hassin ran four times for 27 yards on the drive.
The Black Knights forced another punt on the Green Wave’s next possession, but Army turned the ball right back to Tulane when Steelman fumbled on a first down from the Army 30-yard line. It was the Black Knights’ first turnover since the end of the Hawai’i game, spanning 190 minutes, four seconds of game action.
Tulane was able to capitalize on the miscue, going 27 yards on six plays for the game-tying score. Griffin hit Robottom for a six-yard scoring pass to cap the drive. The two hooked up for a 20-yard gain on 2nd-and-19 following a Green Wave holding penalty. The extra point knotted the score at 7-7 with 1:23 left in the first quarter.
After the Black Knights punted for the first time, the Army defense evened the turnover battle when Chad Littlejohn stripped wide receiver Joe Kemp. Antuan Aaron recovered the fumble to set up the Army offense at the Tulane 36-yard line.
The Black Knights were able to convert the turnover into points when Steelman hit Brooks on a fade in the corner of the end zone for an eight-yard score that converted a 3rd-and-goal. Carlton’s PAT was good to give Army a 14-7 lead with 9:37 left in the half. Army was able to overcome a false start penalty and a fumble on the eight-play drive.
On the ensuing kickoff, the Black Knights force another fumble, this one recovered by Zach Watts, to give the Army a first down at the Tulane 26-yard line. It was the fourth time this season that the Army kick coverage unit forced a turnover. Army did not pick up a first down, but Carlton drilled a 35-yard field goal with 7:29 left in the second quarter to extend the Black Knights’ advantage to 17-7.
The Army kickoff coverage unit struck again on the next kick when L.B. Brown stripped the ball and Donovan Travis recovered to give the Black Knights a first down at the Tulane 30-yard line. Army failed to convert the recovery into points. The Black Knights did not pick up a first down at Carlton’s 40-yard field goal attempt sailed wide left to give the Green Wave the ball back at their own 23-yard line.
The Army defense forced a Tulane punt after McNary registered an 11-yard loss on a sack. Army scored its third touchdown of the half when Steelman went in from one yard out to complete the five-play, 66-yard drive. Carlton’s third PAT of the game pushed Army’s lead to 24-7 with 1:59 left in the first half. Steelman ran three times for 45 yards on the drive.
Army ran for 169 yards in the first half and outgained the Green Wave 200-100 overall. Hassin led the Black Knights with 82 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries in the opening half.
Army got the ball first coming out of the locker room, but appeared to lose it on the very first play. Hassin coughed up the ball and the Green Wave recovered on the Army 30-yard line, but head coach Rich Ellerson challenged the call. The replay official overturned the call on the field and Army maintained possession.
The Black Knights took advantage of the opportunity and went on a methodical, 16-play, 76-yard touchdown drive that chewed up seven minutes, 49 seconds off the third-quarter clock. Hassin cashed in his second touchdown of the day, a seven-yard run, to finish the march. Carlton’s PAT pushed Army’s lead to 31-7 with 7:11 left in the quarter. All 16 plays of the drive were runs.
The Green Wave gave the Black Knights a taste of their own medicine on the next possession. Tulane started at its own 8-yard line and marched 92 yards in 18 plays, taking seven minutes, 56 seconds off the clock. Griffin hit D.J. Banks for a five-yard touchdown. Tulane converted a two-point play, a Griffin to Robottom pass, to cut the Army lead to 31-15 with 14:16 left in the fourth quarter.
Army answered with its second scoring drive of the half. After a 42-yard kick return by Josh Jackson, the Black Knights moved the ball 33 yards to set up Carlton’s second field goal of the game, a 33-yard boot. The kick extended Army’s lead to 34-15 with 9:46 left in the fourth.
After Army turned the ball over on downs inside Tulane territory, the Green Wave marched 64 yards in nine plays and took only one minute, 36 seconds off the clock. The drive was capped by a five-yard scoring pass from Griffin to Robottom. Darkwa scored on the two-point conversion to make it 34-23 with 2:32 left.
The Green Wave attempted an onsides kick, but senior FS Donovan Travis scooped it up and returned the ball 31 yards to the Tulane 8-yard line. Two plays later, sophomore SB Brian Cobbs went in from six yards out. Carlton’s PAT pushed Army’s lead to 41-23 with 1:42 left.
Tulane’s final drive ran out of time and the Black Knights claimed their fourth win of the season.
Army plays its second straight game away from West Point next Saturday when they take on Rutgers at the New Meadowlands Stadium. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m.
Following a bye week, the Black Knights return home to host VMI on Saturday, Oct. 30. Kickoff at Michie Stadium is slated for 12 p.m. To order tickets, call the Army Athletics box office at 1-800-TIX-ARMY or click here.