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'06 Texas week

Texas 52, Rice 7     Texas game page 2....
Reliant nightmare
Texas talent, size, speed way
too much for Owls to handle

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Celebratory moments like these were few and far between for the Owls at Reliant Stadium Saturday (PTH photo)

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Brandon King corners UT's Jamal Charles in Rice-Texas action (PTH photo)

HOUSTON (Sept. 17) – It didn’t take long for any measure of doubt to be removed from the Rice-Texas game here at Reliant Stadium Saturday.

After the Longhorns took the opening kickoff, six straight bread-and- butter running plays moved them resolutely down the field for the first of their seven touchdowns of the evening. Six times on that drive the Rice defenders were rocked back on their heels, and their opponent was able to move the x’s and o’s in any way UT offensive coordinator Greg Davis saw fit – a trend which continued all night.

Consequently, the end result was just about as bad as Owl fans had feared in their most negative moments leading up to Saturday's annual Rice-Texas bloodletting. A huge edge in native talent, size, and speed helped the Burnt Orange dominate in every phase of the game, scoring by end zone turnover, punt return, just about any which way they wanted in addition to the missionary position, en route to a 52-7 drubbing of the Feathered Flock.

This game was a far cry from the first two games of the season. In narrow losses to UH and UCLA, Rice was able to offset deficiencies in skills by employing a superior game plan and a superlative effort, thereby staying in each game virtually to the final gun.

In this game, the Owls were out of it after, oh, about 30 seconds after the opening whistle.

"We absolutely were just not ready to play," Rice head coach Todd Graham said afterwards. "Most of that was coaching. We did a poor job of preparing the team to play tonight, absolutely terrible."

"But give Texas a lot of credit; they have a very good football team. You cannot come out against a team like Texas and not be ready to play. They’re very physical; we had a very difficult time of tackling their guys. I thought they had by far had the best team we’ve seen so far, but we absolutely played the worst game we’ve played so far."

Mack:  It's what's up front that counts

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Win and the whole world wins with you; lose and you lose alone (PTH photo)

"We dominated both lines of scrimmage from the outset, and that was the difference in the ballgame," Texas coach Mack Brown said. "They couldn't run the ball, and we ran the ball pretty much at will early against a team that had played well for two weeks."

Yup, guys, we might as well put away the laptop. You’ve pretty much succinctly described everything that came down on the floor of Reliant Stadium as a the sun set Saturday.

One might add Rice’s first series of downs to the prove-up of this verdict, as well. That’s because the Texas defensive front dominated the Owl offense at least as handily and did their brethren on the offense.

Rice went three-and-out the first time the Owls got their hands on the ball. Running a banged-up Quinton Smith into the line was line smashing him into a brick wall. Running wide with either Q or Joel Armstrong was equally as frustrating because the speedy UT defenders were on the outside and penetrating into the Owl blocking scheme before the ball carrier could reach the line of scrimmage.

(The Horns had 13 stops for losses on the evening. And the Owls finished the game with negative rushing yardage for the first time in no-so-recent memory.)

And as far as the passing game was concerned, when Texas’ first unit defenders were on the field, which as a matter of fact was for most of the game, Joel Armstrong had no time at all to set up in the pocket, and not all that infrequently had to fling the ball toward the stands to avoid the sack.

"It was something that was almost uncontrollable," Joel said after the game, appearing glum but resolute. "Sometimes I was looking at the rush instead of looking at my receivers downfield. Sometimes you can be overmatched and overpowered like that."

Owls fell behind by two TDs quickly -- a familiar place

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Mike Falco once again put in his usual gut-check game, but with little in the way of stats to show for it (PTH photo)

Unable to get dug in on either side of the ball, the Owls quickly found themselves staring at a 14-0 deficit. The third time the Horns got their hands on the ball, the Rice defensive unit held them to a field goal, but in all fairness that was mostly attributable to the fact that UT was flagged five times for 35 yards in all on that drive.

Facing a second and four at the Rice 14, the Horns drew the flag three straight times before being able to run a play – false start, false start and holding – and that took them out of end-zone striking distance, but not too far away for Texas’ placekicker Greg Johnson to nail a three-pointer from 46 yards out.

Moral victory? Not really.

While generating virtually zero offense the first half, the Owls were left standing at the docks, watching the Good Ship Bevo sail farther and farther away into the distance, until 17-0 became 38-0 by the time the second quarter clocked ticked down to halftime.

Possibly the most depressing element of the first half for Rice came about after what looked as if it could mark the beginnings of a turnaround. Up 17-0, the Horns were knocking on the door at the Rice seven yard line when Ja’Corey Shepherd put the big hit on UT’s Selvin Young, and Marcus Rucker recovered Young’s fumble.

But on third and ten from that point, Joel Armstrong retreated into his own end zone, where his passing pocket quickly evaporated. Joel was smothered by several sides of UT beef, and on his way to the ground, UT defender Tim Crowder simply stripped Joel of the ball.

It looked like a safety, but the gendarmes ruled it a TD, and the rout was on.

Rice defensive scheme ineffective against sheer brute force

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John Welch goes high to attempt to block kick -- one of these days, he's going to get one (PTH photo)

One couldn’t say the Owls hadn’t a least tried to come up with an effective defensive package against the UT onslaught. The Rice defensive scheme was designed to stop the run, placing eight defenders on or near the line of scrimmage, and using the linebackers and Dbs on a number of blitz packages. But the Longhorns had an answer for every defensive move the Owls showed them.

During the first half, UT quarterback Colt McCoy was seven-for-eight passing, including two for TDs. for 124 yards and two touchdowns. After a personal foul erased a thrid-and-17 for Texas at the Rice 31, McCoy picked up a Rice blitz and hit split end Limas Sweed on the slant for a 16-yard touchdown to make it 38-0, Texas.

By half, UT had rolled to some 380 yards total offense, while the Owls had all of two first downs, one of them resulting from a penalty. The stats are even uglier than that, but we won’t waste your time here by reciting them; masochists are free to refer to the box score and play - by - play.

In the second half, Mack Brown slowly began to substitute, although the quality hardly fell off when moving from Texas’ first to its second units. That was particularly true at quarterback, where frosh Jevan Sneed looked every bit as sharp as first stringer Colt McCoy.

But to its credit, the Rice defense didn’t quit. The Texas offense was mostly silent in the third quarter, except for a 38-yard scoring pass, Colt McCoy to Jordan Shipley that made it 45-0 midway in the stanza.

Sneed led the Longhorns on their final scoring drive of the day, an 11-play, 80-yarder that ate up pretty much the first half of the fourth quarter.

The Owls thus were facing a goose-egg as the clock ticked down, moving 83 yards in seven plays – now, get this: all of them passes. This was a time in the game when Owl fans could take just a bit of solace, for at that point, Joel Armstrong, though tired and dinged-on, threw crisply seven straight times to his wideouts.

Dillard just keeps getting better and better

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Courtney Gordon chases down UT ball carrier (PTH photo)

That gave Rice soph WR Jarett Dillard nine catches for 91 yards on the day, including a six-yard TD reception. It was a personal best for Jarett for the second week in a row.

The Owls also look to have discovered themselves another major talent in the making, in true freshman wide receiver Evan Fentriss, who made a spectacular 39-yard reception of a Joel Armstrong pass to keep the Owls’ only scoring drive alive.

Todd Graham spent a longer-than usual time in the Rice dressing room before coming out to meet reporters after the game. When he did so, the Rice head man was sanguine.

"We knew what kind of battle it was going to be defensively," he said. "I think their offensive line is as good as any in the country.

Still, it was clear that Coach Graham had expected at least a bit more offensive production than that which was put forth by the Owls – especially given OC Major Applewhite’s familiarity with the UT schemes. But it wasn’t so.

"Their defense completely dominated what we were trying to do offensively," Coach Graham said, "and then we propounded that with a huge amount of mental mistakes." 

"It’s part of building a program," he concluded. "Nobody said it was going to be easy. Tonight was definitely a poor performance on our part. But we were absolutely outmatched."

"But give them credit. They whipped our tail tonight. And so now you go on to the next week."


Bad boys, bad boys. Texas was flagged for a school-record 19 penalties for 148 yards. And those didn’t include the dozens of penalties that could have been called, but weren’t. Despite the officials’ apparent indifference to all manner of offensive and defensive holding exhibited by the ‘Bellies, Texas nevertheless must have set an all time collegiate record in illegal procedure calls. At least some of that must be attributable to the movement Rice showed along the defensive front. Penalty flags nullified three Texas touchdowns — a 29-yard run by Jamal Charles, a 72-yard punt return by Aaron Ross and a 30-yard TD run by Chris Ogbonnaya. Then again, at least a couple of those wiped-out scores were aided and abetted by the infraction. Rice, by the way, set a season high for penalities, as well, committing 13 for   91 yards.

Promising Owl freshman goes down with injury. Rice freshman linebacker Jonathan Arceneaux was playing on the punt team that allowed Aaron Ross’ TD return in the third quarter. Jonathan was cut down on the runback –  one would hope not by an illegal chop block – and went down in a heap. There was a fairly obvious break in his left leg, and he had to be fitted with an air cast before being carted from the field. What a waste. We hope for a speedy and full recovery.

Bad day for Owls, all over. It was Bad Day at Black Rock for all three NCAA Division 1-A teams which bear the nickname "Owls." Besides Rice’s 52-7 loss, the Temple Owls fell 62-0 to Minnesota, and the Florida Atlantic Owls were humbled 48-8 by Oklahoma State. Let’s see, doing some quick adding here, it looks like those three Owl teams were outscored 162-15. Not a good day to be an Owl, it seems.

Seminoles fall. Just in case you harbored hopes that the Florida State Seminoles would be inclined to take these Rice Owls lightly when the Flock travels to Tallahassee this coming Saturday, you can disabuse yourself of that glimmer of light. That’s because Papa Bobby Bowden fell to son Tommy Bowden Saturday, Clemson winning out over the Seminoles 27-20 on a last-gasp TD run as time expired in the eighth annual "Bowden Bowl." Coach Bobby was popping Tums afterwards, and you can bet his ‘Criminoles’ will be armed and dangerous when the Owls take the field against them Saturday. Maybe literally.

-- Paul T. Hlavinka


Coach Graham comments on Rice-Texas game.... new.gif (908 bytes)wavsymbol.jpg (416 bytes)
Joel Armstrong's post-game remarks....new.gif (908 bytes)wavsymbol.jpg (416 bytes)
Chad Price talks about the mismatch....new.gif (908 bytes)wavsymbol.jpg (416 bytes)

Hey, Owl fans, what time is it?
Graham says of upcoming
clash with Longhorns:
'We need to go get a win'

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HOUSTON (Sept. 15) – The Rice Owls call on whistle stop number three in their September train ride through hell when they, er, "host" the University of Texas Longhorns at Houston’s Reliant Stadium Saturday; kickoff time is 5:05 p.m., and the game is being televised nationally on ESPN-2.

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While head coach Todd Graham earnestly repeats the mantra that both he and his players really and truly believe that they have the stuff and the strategy capable of pulling off the upset against Texas, most loyal Owl fans would be content with merely another strong showing against what is, at least on paper, a much, much stronger opponent.

Certainly the Owls have nothing to be ashamed of in their first two outings, although they have yet to scratch the win column. Rice is making mince-meat of the oddsmakers’ sheets this season by substantially beating the odds each time they tee it up. But it’s time to start winning some games, Coach Graham says – and in that regard, it doesn’t matter whom you’re playing.

"We’ve made a lot of progress," Coach Graham says of his team’s first two games, a 31-30 nailbiter loss to U of H and a 26-16, in-it-all-the-way loss on the road to UCLA. "But we haven’t accomplished anything. We need to go get a win."

The Owls could’ve picked a more unlikely program against which to try to break into the win column. Texas has won seven straight games over the Owls, and 35 of its last 36 against them.

``We definitely respect all of our opponents here, but this isn't the week that we're going to get caught looking in the past,'' UT tackle Justin Blalock said. ``We have all our sights set on Rice and everything they're going to do.''

Well, maybe yes, maybe no. The conventional wisdom is that Texas’ 24-7 thumping at the hands of Ohio State in DKR Texas Memorial Stadium Saturday will only serve to enrage the Steers into a frenzy of run-up-the-score-itis when they take the field against the Owls.

Could Owls turn Bevo into Chia Pet?

But it’s also possible that the big hole punched in Texas’ cowhide by the Buckeyes might lead to the germination of tiny seeds of doubt, that, with a poor showing against the Institute, could turn Bevo into one, giant Chia Pet.

For starters, UT quarterback Colt McCoy is obviously an excellent athlete and a fine young man – but Vincent Young, he isn’t. Like many Owls, Colt earned his schoolboy spurs at a small, rural high school and thus may still carry lingering ‘speed-of-the-game’ issues.

The redshirt freshman did toss for 154 yards, going 19-for-32 with an interception and a touchdown against Ohio State Saturday. He threw for 178 yards and thre TDs in the Longhorns' 56-7 win over North Texas in the season opener.

Moreover, Texas has a great, experienced offensive line and talented running backs, both of the extremely sizable and extremely speedy variety – or both..

"We’re not going to play a better offensive line, period," Coach Graham said. "I think their offensive line is as good a one as there is in the country.

"They’ve got great running backs, with great speed, and they have talented receivers that can really stretch the field," he added. "The thing that we’ve got to do is get in there and be able to slow down the run. We’ve got to get better to defense the run on early downs."

"There are a lot of things that we can do to be better; that we didn’t do against UCLA. We can be better against the run."

Such improvement will have to start with the ability to slow down a bit, if not entirely stop, Texas running back Jamal Charles, who ran circles around the Owls last year in Memorial Stadium, with a season-high 189 yards and three touchdowns in last season's 51-10 Texas win. Charles has rushed for 147 yards and a touchdown through two games this season.

Then there’s Selwyn Young, who’s got both size and speed, and big Henry Melton, who’s got, well, who’s got size, and a lot of it.

Rice’s 3-5-3 defense is designed to bend but not break in the face of such a strong running game, but in this case it’s inevitably bound to do a lot of bending over the course of four quarters of play.

The Owls dearly can make use of mistakes by the Texas offense, and the Rice defense is ready to create some turnovers of its own—just as it did four times against UCLA last week.

What may favor the Owls in that regard is if UT offensive coordinator Greg Davis decides to tinker with the offense a little on Saturday (given the obvious haplessness of the opponent).

Defensively, only UT vices are off the field

Defensively, Texas appears to have no weaknesses (well, apparently not on the field, at any rate -- ed.), Coach Graham observed. " From a defensive standpoint, they’re very talented in the back end; I think they’re very talented at cornerback," he recounted. "They’re naturally big and physical up front."

However, Coach Graham says that Texas’ personnel and its typical offensive and defensive game plans actually match up better with what the Owls are in a position to combat, than did either the situations presented by UCLA and UH.

"We’re in a better position in some ways than we were in weeks one and two," the Rice mentor allowed. "We have some matchups that I feel good about."

Despite that, though, he doesn’t want a soul to think that he has anything but reverential regard for the Big Orange Machine. "I consider them the best program in the country," he said. "So it’s not hard to get motivated to go out and play this week."

Texas head coach Mack Brown likewise had some complimentary things to say about his opponent, and this week’s coaching counterpart, in Monday’s press briefing.

"He's done a great job," Mack said, speaking of Coach Graham. "They have a one-point loss to Houston, where they were ahead 30-14 at halftime two weeks ago. In watching the UCLA game Sunday and yesterday, they played UCLA down to the end. It's a six-point game in the fourth quarter with about eight minutes left to go and it ended up being ten points. They were fighting and scraping until the end."

And of course hardly a second has gone by this week without both head coaches’ being besieged with questions about Rice’s hot-shot young offensive coordinator, one Major Applewhite, who not so long ago played a little bit of quarterback on the Forty Acres.

"I'm just so proud of him," Coach Brown gushed Monday. "I was an offensive coordinator at a very young age, and Major has head coach written all over him; it's just a matter of time. In watching their offense last night (on tape), I was really proud of him."

"He's like family and we'll pull for Rice in every game, obviously except this one. We'll be Rice fans now as we look forward."

Well, that’s certainly special. But now let’s pull out the weekly rap sheet.

University fathers have announced that top UT cornerback Tarell Brown will return to the field against the Owls after he was suspended for one game for being arrested during a traffic stop. Misdemeanor drug possession charges against Brown and backup linebacker Tyrell Gatewood were dropped Friday.

"The two young men who had their personal issues last week will rejoin our team," Coach Brown announced Monday. "There will be strict stipulations, which will be confidential and verbal with me; it will not be in writing."

"The University rule actually says you can play unless you're convicted of a felony -- that's in the student manual here. The young men have been under a lot, and we've told them that they'll have strict guidelines to continue to play. They'll have to earn their jobs back."

But one must give credit where credit is due. The UT coaching staff did suspend their stud DB in the Ohio State game, a contest where his skills were needed perhaps more urgently than in any single other game on the card.

That loss to OSU last week was not a thing of beauty. And if lightning strikes and the Owls find a way to hand UT a loss Saturday, it will have been the first time since 1978 that a ranked University of Texas team will have lost on consecutive Saturdays. Ouch.

To keep it close, and maybe even have a chance to pull off he upset, the Owls’ ‘do-list’ is lengthy: avoid turnovers, get some from Texas, contain the running game, harass McCoy, give up no long-play Tds, and make a splash early to get those seeds of doubt germinated in the Longhorns’ minds.

"We know what we’ve got to do," Coach Graham insists, "and we’re capable of doing it."

"We believe that."


Story....new.gif (908 bytes)     'The Most Thrilling Game in Rice History' (Rice - Texas 1934)....new.gif (908 bytes)

Monday's press briefing
Coach Graham talks about the
Rice-Texas game and the Owls'
upcoming tilt with Florida State
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Todd Graham, part 1new.gif (908 bytes)wavsymbol.jpg (416 bytes)
Todd Graham, part 2new.gif (908 bytes)wavsymbol.jpg (416 bytes)


Dillard, Shepherd provide Owls
offensive, defensive spark, drive

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Rice DB Ja'Corey Shepherd


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Rice WR Jarett Dillard

HOUSTON (Sept. 12) – Jarett Dillard and Ja’Corey Shepherd are like two bookends so tough that the pair of them could hold a whole library together. Close friends off the field, they hone their skills as wide receiver and cornerback, respectively, by going against each other time and time again in practice. Both are the leaders of the Rice Youth Movement at their respective positions, and the sky’s the limit for what this talented duo can accomplish on the football field during the rest of their considerable college eligibility, and perhaps beyond that, as well. On the offensive side, Jarett Dillard played in all 11 games with eight starts at wide receiver as a true freshman last year. He had 35 catches for 524 yards and five touchdowns to earn all-Conference USA freshman honors. Those 35 catches were the most by any Owl during Ken Hatfield’s 12 seasons as the Rice coach, and Jarett should well be expected to double that amount this season, now that he’s part of an offense in which his wideout threat is an integral part. That likelihood was heightened by the night Jarett had against UCLA Saturday, making seven grabs for 81 yards, a career high. The San Antonio native is a Baker college Political Science/ Managerial Studies double major. His counterpart on the other side of the ball started last year at cornerback as a true freshman. In 2005 he played in all 11 games with six starts with 46 tackles and two interceptions on the year, including a spectacular one against Texas. The Lufkin High graduate2004 graduate of Lufkin is a cousin of former Texas A&M quarterback Reggie McNeal (along with several other college and pro athletes). But whereas it could said that McNeal peaked early in his college career, Ja’Corey is showing solid improvement each time he takes the field. Perhaps it’s just in the blood, but Ja’Corey has exhibited pure ‘star’ quality in his first two outings this year against U of H and UCLA. The Martel College member is a political science major. Both Jarett and Ja’Corey offered their takes of the UCLA and Texas games Monday.

Jarett Dillard interview....new.gif (908 bytes)wavsymbol.jpg (416 bytes)

Ja'Corey Shepherd interview....
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Same Song, Next Verse?
Or RIP, 'Louie, Louie'?

By Mark Anderson

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Joel Armstrong rides back of UCLA defender like a bucking bronc (Mark Anderson photo)

HOUSTON (Sept. 14) -- OK, Owl fans, it’s time for a quiz.  After an 0-2 start, do you believe the Owls are:

A:  a vastly improved team despite their record;

B:  possibly improved, but hard to tell; or

C:  same song, next verse on  South Main?

If your answer is C, then you have obviously not been paying closed attention to what’s been happening on the gridiron this fall.  The correct answer—and only answer—is A—a vastly improved team.

The proof of this is “in the pudding,” so to speak.  Let me give you some statistical comparisons from the two opponents from last year and this year to back this   statement up.

In 2005, the Owls opened with UCLA, and lost by a nightmarish score of 63-21.  The Owls fumbled the ball twice in that game—losing possession of the ball both times.   They did not have an interception in the game.   Also, the Bruins scored seven touchdowns inside the Owl 20, while the Owls scored three times inside the 20. 

At Robertson Stadium in 2005, the Owls committed six costly turnovers—three fumbles and three interceptions, while only getting one of each.  They lost by a score of 35-18.

Oh, yes, one more thing:  the most sacks the Owls had in a game by a player was one.   The total number of sacks for the entire season was 12.5 sacks.

Now, why do I say the Owls are vastly improved?  While the Owls got no turnovers against UH, they did record four sacks in that game.  Against UCLA, they recorded four turnovers and four sacks.  And the margin of total number of points in those losses is only eleven points—not fifty-nine, as in 2005.

I’m not going to ramble on here forever.  But I hope my point has been made.  This team is one that is vastly improved in 2006.   If you are thinking the Owls are playing the same old record from last year, think again—better yet, look again!  The proof is there for all to see that this is a much improved team.

Maybe, then, it's finally time for the MOB to retire 'Louie, Louie.'   This team is playing a different song altogether.


Another underrated Owl team
once gave UT champions fits
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(Houston Press archive)

03ut62progtn.jpg (55034 bytes)HOUSTON (Sept. 13) – There was once another Rice Owl team, in another day, another time, that met the Texas Longhorns in Houston, this time the season before the Longhorns won a national championship. It was in the 1962 season, one in which the Owls were destined to win only two games, despite playing team after team right down to the wire.

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This game came at the waning moments of a time in which the Institute Boys gave the University fits, year after year – especially on those occasions when the Longhorns came to play in Rice Stadium.

The Longhorns had last eked out a win at Rice in 1952. Thereafter, every other year for 10 years, when the Horns came a’calling, they got their seats handed to them by the upstart Owls.

In 1954, behind the running prowess of Dickie Moegle, the Owls whipped Texas, 13-7 (yes, a score that low nevertheless could be considered a whipping in those days).

In 1956, a 4-6 Owl team defeated Texas, 28-7 before a packed crowd in Rice Stadium. In truth, that ‘56 UT likely constituted the nadir of UT football, as it was that Ed Price - coached team that went 1-9 and suffered the ignominy of being the first Longhorn team to lose to the Texas Aggies in Memorial Stadium.

Then in 1958, the Owls, led by all-American end Buddy Dial, won 34-7 over a Texas team that was being coached by a new, young, redheaded fellow by the name of Darrell Royal.

In 1960, Rufus King, Johnny Burrell and Bobby Lively led the Owls to a 7-0 victory over the Longhorns – a win that put the Flock over the top for an invitation to the Sugar Bowl.

Then in 1962, a strong Texas team, ranked number one in the nation going into the game, appeared on Saturday night, October 27, before a Rice Stadium sellout crowd of 73,000. (Believe it or not, they had to install temporary bleachers along the end zone walkways in order to accommodate the extra demand for tickets.)

Rice had tied a highly-ranked and favored LSU team the first game of the ‘62 campaign, and they’d battled Penn State to within 11, losing 18-7 in Happy Valley. But they were winless, nonetheless, going into this game with Texas.

The game was one of the social events of the season for Houston citizens, many of whom thronged to Rice Stadium that evening despite affiliations with other SWC schools. No room for kids at this game, though. (The writer, as a 12-year-old, begged to be taken to the game to no avail.)

The game was a typical see-saw battle that saw both teams play for field position. But down 14-7 with the clock ticking down, and mired at midfield, the Owls gave the ball to running back Paul Piper, who outran UT All-American Duke Carlisle to the goal line, and so the game ended a 14-14 tie.

That run was often referred to as "the run that cost Texas a national championship."

Perhaps the admonition of then-U.S. President John F. Kennedy had still been ringing in the ears of the Owl players, for only a couple of weeks earlier he had delivered his speech announcing the U.S. program to reach the moon by the end of the decade before a large crowd in that self-same Rice Stadium. Rice alums, however, tend to remember that address as President Kennedy’s "Why does Rice play Texas?" speech.

That 1962 Rice team had some familiar faces on it, including a number that are still closely associated with Rice football. One of the quarterbacks was a guy named "Walt" McReynolds, who became Walter along with his medical agree and is now a major supporter and team physician. (The other two Owl Qbs were Randy Kerbow and Billy Cox.)

A guard on that team was local banker Alvin Early. Billy Hale played halfback. Check out the three-deep roster posted elsewhere and see how many of those Owl players you know.

The Owls have managed to defeat Texas only twice in the intervening years – 1965, in Austin, and of course the time we pretty much all remember, 1994 in Rice Stadium, when the Owls prevailed 19-17.

But probably there never was a Rice team as downtrodden, and a Texas team so exalted, as there was in 1962, when the two-win Owls managed a tie with Texas which likely kept them from winning the national championship, which, of course, they managed to pull out the following year, in 1963.


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Called 'The run that cost Texas a national championship", this 1962 touchdown dash by Paul
Piper pulled out a 14-14 tie for the Owls and knocked UT from the ranks of the undefeated
(Houston Press archive)

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