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  Last update
08/27/07 09:23 PM

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Joyce's '06 columns...

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STAR.gif (898 bytes)Pro Day snapshots...

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STAR.gif (898 bytes)More Rice-
Troy pix...

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STAR.gif (898 bytes)Hiring press confer- ence photos....

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STAR.gif (898 bytes)New Orleans bowl faces...

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STAR.gif (898 bytes)Buh-bye...

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STAR.gif (898 bytes)Rice-Troy photo gallery....

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STAR.gif (898 bytes)Rice-SMU photos..

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STAR.gif (898 bytes)Rice-ECU photos...

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STAR.gif (898 bytes)Rice-Tulsa photos...

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STAR.gif (898 bytes)Rice-UTEP photos....

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STAR.gif (898 bytes)Rice-UCF photos...

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STAR.gif (898 bytes)Rice recruiting '07
prospects list...

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STAR.gif (898 bytes)Rice-UAB photos...

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STAR.gif (898 bytes)Tulane photos...

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STAR.gif (898 bytes)Rice-Army photos...

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STAR.gif (898 bytes)Rice-FSU photo gallery...

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STAR.gif (898 bytes)Rice-Texas photo gallery...

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STAR.gif (898 bytes)Rice-UCLA photo

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STAR.gif (898 bytes)Rice-UH photo gallery...

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STAR.gif (898 bytes)Interviews:wavsymbol.jpg (416 bytes)
Mike Falco...
Quinton Smith...

Jarett Dillard...
David Perkins...
Andray Downs...
Rolf Krueger...
Chad Price...
Major Applewhite...

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STAR.gif (898 bytes)Rice Athletic Summit..
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Chronically biased?

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STAR.gif (898 bytes)Alumni smash anti-athletics faculty...

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The smallest university in
Division 1A football, and 
arguably the finest --
embodying the ideal
of the Student Athlete.

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A look at the Rice Owls,
both '02 and prior years:
the coaches, the players,
records and stats
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Your center for Rice and
NCAA  football  links on
the web, both inside and
outside the hedges.

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Notes, comments and correspondence from the editor's desk.
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A walk back through the
years:  some Rice
traditions, foibles and

Preferred text size:

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The 2006 season (back to home page....)

Rice 31, SMU 27
Bowl bound!
Owls upend Ponies,
secure bowl berth
with fantastic finish

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Owl chorus line queues up to run down SMU quarterback Willis    (Mark Anderson photo)

By Bob Reinhold

HOUSTON (Nov. 25) – Win one for the Gipper? No. Win seven for Dale Lloyd? Absolutely.

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Senior slotback Mike Falco virtually guaranteed victory, a la Joe Namath, earlier this week -- and he and his teammates came through.  It ain't braggin' if you can do it (Mark Anderson photo)

The Rice Owls pledged their season to Lloyd's memory after Dale's tragic passing, and made good on their promise with a come- from-behind, heart- stopping 31-27 victory Saturday, a win that propelled the Owls into a bowl game for the first time since 1961, while frustrating SMU’s efforts to get to one themselves.

This Senior Day victory was the sixth consecutive win for Rice after a virtual Bataan Death March early-season schedule, and the untimely loss of one of the Owl bretheren.

Jarett Dillard once again proved why he is a Biletnikoff Award finalist, as he hauled in six passes for 145 yards and three TDs, all of the spectacular variety. But none shall be destined to rank so spetacularly among Rice football lore as the 25-yarder he brought in for the winning touchdown with 4:05 left to play.

It was another one of those command performances, apparently. That is, Jarett commanded Joel Armstrong to throw him the ball, Joel delivered it, and JD made his usual, leaping, impossible catch to provide the margin of victory.

"I just feel it in my soul," the San Antonio sophomore said of his insistence that the ball be hoisted his way. "It's something you just feel to do. When the game’s on the line, I'll take the blame if we miss it. Just throw it up there, and let's go get it."
Rice-SMU game page...

Rice 18, East Carolina 17

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Frosh kicker nails last-second field goal
to cap stunning, improbable Rice victory

Fourth-quarter comeback keeps Owls on road to bowl

Was it, or wasn't it?
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Sure, ECU defender Pierre Parker has ball at the end of the play, but was Rice's Jarett Dillard in possession of the football when his knee touched the end zone turf?  (PTH photo)

HOUSTON (Nov. 19) -- When Clark Fangmeier trotted out onto the Rice Stadium turf with the Owls down to East Carolina, 17-15, with seven ticks left on the scoreboard clock Saturday, it turns out he was probably the least nervous person in the ball park.

And why not, when he'd picked up good vibes resulting from the support of his coaches and teammates. Rice receiving ace Jarett Dillard said he was fully confident that the offense had set the table quite nicely in moving the ball as far as the ECU 23 yard line and setting it up in the middle of the field for the Owls' youthful kicker.

"We definitely were in field goal range," JD said. "And we’d all seen Clark knock down field goals in practice. So I felt perfectly calm after we went out."

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Jarett Dillard skies high to haul in Chase Clement for Owls' first TD of the game.   This touchdown catch marked the 13th straight game in which the Rice receiving phenom has hauled in a scoring catch (PTH photo)

It was a matter of putting faith in one’s players, Rice head coach Todd Graham said afterwards. "There's no question but that you've got to trust the kids," he said. "And I told Fangmeier right there at the end, I said 'there is no doubt.' He asked, 'Are you going with me?' And I said, 'No doubt.' We put that kind of belief and faith in them. Anyway, Clark is going to make -- inside that 45-yard range, he's going to 10 out of 11 field goals. He's that accurate."

Despite being iced by two timeouts called by ECU head coach Skip Holtz, the the freshman walkon 2006 graduate of Northland Christian School in suburban north Houston, gave a youthful grin and said he'd welcomed the opportunity.

"I was hoping I'd get that chance to make the kick for the win," he insisted. "Coach Graham and Coach Beaty have done a good job conditioning me for a quick move -- they call it a 'NASCAR run' – onto the field. They're good at putting in pressure situations at practice. So I was prepared."

Yeah, but he had to wait out there in front of all 12,669 attendees at Rice Stadium and God and everybody, with several minutes to mull over the enormity of his task. What went through his mind?

"To be honest, I couldn't tell you what I was thinking about. It was one of those, 'just make the play, and then think about it afterwards. Keep my head down, and let the audience tell me if it went through.'"

They told him, alright.

The Homecoming crowd, which made up in enthusiasm what it lacked in numbers, let forth with a mighty roar as Clark Fangmeier's effort rode high and true through the uprights. An interminable three seconds on the clock later, after ECU had gone through a Chinese fire drill of sorts on the ensuing kickoff, the game was over, and the Owls had won their fifth contest in a row, rendering them bowl eligible for the first time since 2001 -- and this time in a conference where it means something.

In so doing, the Owls defied defeat when victory repeatedly seemed to have eluded their grasps.
Rice-ECU game page....

Rice 41, Tulsa 38 (2OT)
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Jubilant Owls hoot it up in locker room after Rice's stirring  double overtime victory over Tulsa
(PTH photo)    If your web browser did not auto-play audio clip, click here to help make sense
out of the following story lead-in...

Cardiac Owls re- fuse to lose; nip Tulsa in double overtime

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Joel Armstrong skies high to haul in pass from Chase Clement (PTH photo)

TULSA (Nov. 12) It almost did take 'til judgment day.

Staring down defeat in double overtime, the Rice Owls pulled a rabbit out of a hat in the person of none other than Jarett Dillard, the Owls' vaunted receiver and occasional team magician, who lept and twisted in bringing down Chase Clement's 25-yard touchdown pass, to rock and sock the Tulsa Golden Hurricane, 41-38, as the sky darkened over the Tall Grass Prairie.

It was a lusciously sweet ending to Rice head coach Todd Graham's homecoming to face a team he had coached for three years, helping elevate them from bargain-basement level to Conference USA and Liberty Bowl championships before taking his act to South Main.

But whichever team wound up on the short end of this one would have been completely justified in what-iffing the ways this game should have been won, but was lost.

Fortunately for Rice fans, it was the home contingent that would up walking away from Skelly Stadium muttering to themselves. And mutter they did.

Tulsa roared out of the blocks with a long, initial touchdown drive and appeared to be well in control of the game, early. But the aggressive Rice defense started playing takeaway, elevating the Owls to a two-touchdown halftime lead, a mere step or two from being in a position to put the game in the bag.

In the third quarter, the Rice offense was prevented from taking that single step by a skilled and aroused Tulsa defensive unit, but the Owl defense, though outmanned, was able to hold its ground. But not forever, as in the fourth quarter, the Hurricane mounted two consecutive touchdown drives to take control of the game.

But the Owls took back the momentum, and the lead.

And then they lost it again, and the game went to overtime.

Rice seemingly had the game won in the first overtime period, but let Tulsa literally sneak back in to a tie to send the game to a second. Finally in the second overtime period, the Rice defense stood up, holding Tulsa to a 39-yard field goal. The Rice offense, in return, played for the all the marbles, and indeed turned out winning them all.

How the Owls got from that initial seven-point deficit to victory in sudden death is a long story. We'll try and hit a few of the high spots. That being insufficient fully to convey the heights and depths of emotions wrought by this game, we're constrained to say: you just should've been there.

Bailiff era begins next Monday
as Owls report for spring drills

readmore5.jpg (832 bytes)   Interview, part 1:  Coach Bailiff on spring drills....wavsymbol.jpg (416 bytes)
Interview, part 2:  The Rice coach answers some pending questions...
new.gif (908 bytes) wavsymbol.jpg (416 bytes)   Interview, part 3:  "We're going to have a blue-collar work ethic out there..."new.gif (908 bytes)wavsymbol.jpg (416 bytes)

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readmore5.jpg (832 bytes)    Rice AD Chris Del Conte's introduction of Coach Bailiff....wavsymbol.jpg (416 bytes)      Coach Bailiff's opening remarks at press conference....wavsymbol.jpg (416 bytes)     Media Q&A session with Coach Bailiff, press conference....wavsymbol.jpg (416 bytes)

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Public invited to Rice April 14 football banquet
( -- Mar. 1)

Rice baseball spotlight shines on our intrepid columnist
( -- Feb. 26)

Owls' '07 schedule kicks off Sept. 1 against Nichols State
( -- Feb. 26)

Rice national reputation depends on low tuition
(The Rice Thresher -- Feb. 23)

Owls open spring drills March 12
( -- Feb. 22)

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A whole sports section full of  Rice football links


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This season

New Orleans Bowl page...
Rice-SMU game page...
Rice-ECU game page....

Rice-Tulsa game page....
Rice-UTEP game page....
Rice-UCF game page....
Rice-UAB game page....
Rice-Tulane game page....
Rice-Army game page....
Rice-Florida St. game page....
Rice-Texas game page....
Rice-UCLA game page....
Rice-UH game page....
Rice 2006 media guide...

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Rice recruiting....

Spring Game interviews...
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'We've had a lot of fun; we've gotten better every day...'
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John Shepherd, Chase Clement, Marcus Knox, Andrew Sendejo, Rob Heos, George Chukwu

Monday (4/9) interviews...
07spring12 dbtn12.jpg (19213 bytes) Coach Bailiff:wavsymbol.jpg (416 bytes)
'Today was probably our best practice...'
07spring12georgetn12.jpg (15934 bytes) George Chukwu:wavsymbol.jpg (416 bytes)'Everybody on the team is more comfort- able with the 4-2-5'

Post-scrimmage interviews...

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"They're getting better; they're doing what I'm asking them to do..."
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'We're getting a lot of reps and we're seeing improvements in every practice...'
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"I thought our 'one's came out with purpose, and played with enthu- siasm and passion..."
07springcoachbailifftn12b.jpg (18384 bytes) Last word -- Coach Bailiff:wavsymbol.jpg (416 bytes)
"They're still learning... but you see us making strides..."

A matter of priorities
Achieve order,

forge program
By Mark Anderson

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Deja vu?

HOUSTON (Mar. 13) —When David Bailiff took the head coaching job at Rice in late January, he walked into a situation that had gone through considerable upheaval the week before he ar- rived. All of the former coaching staff, with three exceptions, had taken jobs at Tulsa. Because of that, recruiting was up in the air. It seemed to present a difficult ordeal for anyone who came to Rice as the head coach.

That was the situation when Rice Athletic Director Chris DelConte stepped to the microphone and introduced David Bailiff as the new head coach on January 19. Our publication’s headline at the time proclaimed "Order in the Court." It turned out there was more truth to that headline than we could have realized that day.
readmore5.jpg (1055 bytes)   Coach Bailiff, up close (part 3)....wavsymbol.jpg (416 bytes)     David Bailiff, up close (part 2)....wavsymbol.jpg (416 bytes) A conversation with Coach Bailiff (part 1)....wavsymbol.jpg (416 bytes)

Coach Bailiff's pre-spring
drills interview...
07sprdbmug1.jpg (17788 bytes) Part 1:wavsymbol.jpg (416 bytes) 'Every one of those guys out there is going to be an important piece of the puzzle...'
07sprdbtn2.jpg (17863 bytes) Part 2:wavsymbol.jpg (416 bytes) "Misalignments, missed assignments get you beat faster than mismatches..."
07sprDBtn3.jpg (18225 bytes) Part 3:wavsymbol.jpg (416 bytes)   ''We're going to have a blue-collar work ethic out there..."

Recent Thresher

STAR.gif (898 bytes)Bobby T: 'I felt an obligation and an opportunity....'
STAR.gif (898 bytes)Football announces 22 new recruits....
STAR.gif (898 bytes)Texas State coach replaces Graham....
STAR.gif (898 bytes)Bailiff brings new defensive scheme...
STAR.gif (898 bytes)Athletic renaissance puts Rice in vanguard...
Capsule comments from
Bailiff press conference
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'I'm here to increase the build on what those players accomplished...'
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'If you guys want to be part of a winner, come on...'
07coachcdctn3x1.jpg (15642 bytes) Chris Del Conte:wavsymbol.jpg (416 bytes)
'We hired a better man, than we did a football coach...'
07coachgeorgectn1.jpg (13524 bytes) George Chukwu:wavsymbol.jpg (416 bytes)
'He's going to bring a lot of energy and focus to playing defense...'
07coachlutebtn1.jpg (14318 bytes) Lute Barber:wavsymbol.jpg (416 bytes)
'We think he's going to be a real player's coach...'
07coachbuckyatn1.jpg (13705 bytes) Bucky Allshouse:wavsymbol.jpg (416 bytes)
'When David came in the second day, he just blew us away...'

Interview:  Chase Clement
'We'll see him next year out here on this field'
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HOUSTON (Jan. 12) -- Rice sophomore quarterback Chase Clement, who was generally recognized as the chief engineer of Rice's offensive attack this past season, was present at the press conference called by Athletic Director Chris Del Conte Friday morning, and, having been asked to stick around afterwards and answer reporters' questions, turned candid in a hurry. Here's the substance of his press interview.

Q: How bad a setback to the team is Coach Graham's sudden departure?

No -- it isn't one. There are a bunch of guys on this team that are really looking forward to next year, and the chance to win a conference championship. Our goals haven't changed. We're going to work to accomplish that.

Q: In this day and time, is it just that athletes have to get used to this kind of uncertainty with their coaches?

Well, of course if you get recruited by a guy and you don't necessarily know whether that guy is going to be there when you're a senior, that's part of the landscape of college football nowadays.
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07coachdleebrontn1.jpg (15941 bytes) David Leebron:wavsymbol.jpg (416 bytes)
'This is how I live my life, every single day...'

Recent interviewswavsymbol.jpg (416 bytes)
Major Applewhite:
'We've got to eliminate administrative penalties...'
06ecujoela1.jpg (17744 bytes) Joel Armstrong: 'Against an aggressive team, you have to play smart...'
06bowljdvx1.jpg (12649 bytes) Jarett Dillard:
'All the hard work is starting to pay off...'

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Coach Bailiff on Monday's (3/26) practice....wavsymbol.jpg (416 bytes)
QuickQuips:  Marcus Knox, C. J. Ugokwe....wavsymbol.jpg (416 bytes)

More  interviewswavsymbol.jpg (416 bytes)
06bowlrolftn1.jpg (15812 bytes) Friday's Short Takes:
Rolf Krueger: "It's all fun..."/ Jared Scruggs:   "We're ready..."
06bowldraytn1.jpg (18506 bytes) Andray Downs:   "You don't really know how much you can touch somebody, playing this game of football...."
SMU post-game audiowavsymbol.jpg (416 bytes)
06ecudray1.jpg (16870 bytes) Andray Downs: "This is for all of our alumni...I'm just elated."
06ecujoela1.jpg (17744 bytes) Joel Armstrong: "As long as they put me in some position, I'll just keep trying to make the plays...."
falcotn1.jpg (28969 bytes) Mike Falco:   "It's really all about everybody who came before us...."
06ucf81tn.jpg (17810 bytes) Jarett Dillard:  "To think that not so long ago, they were talking about shutting down.."
06ecuq1.jpg (14327 bytes) Quinton Smith:   "We just had that confidence, and we knew we were going to pull it off...."
06ucf31tn.jpg (22307 bytes) Brian Raines: "We said, 'We need to finish this. Forty-five years, it all comes down to this...'"

buttheadtn1.jpg (15488 bytes) Barry Warner:
'...the only reason they went there was because the Toilet Bowl and the Salad Bowl weren't yet in existence...'

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