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sammyjalopy118.jpg (3978 bytes) Next game:

Reliant Stadium
Houston, Texas
Kickoff time TBA
Saturday, Sept. 4

Last update
03/13/10 07:18 PM

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

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

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STAR.gif (898 bytes)Thanks, Dale...

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STAR.gif (898 bytes)More Tulane photos...
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STAR.gif (898 bytes)Homecoming scenes...

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STAR.gif (898 bytes)Owls mauled...

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STAR.gif (898 bytes)First SMU pix...

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STAR.gif (898 bytes)50 more UCF photos...

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

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

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STAR.gif (898 bytes)Tulsa photos...updated.gif (971 bytes)

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

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

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

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

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STAR.gif (898 bytes)The '09 preseason....

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STAR.gif (898 bytes)A season to remember...look.gif (907 bytes)

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STAR.gif (898 bytes)The '07 season...

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STAR.gif (898 bytes)The '06 season....

One to forget .... the '09 season

Back for more next year
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Patrick Randolph returns next year to lead the Owl receiving corps; here, he leaps to pull in Dillard-esque TD catch, pulling Flock even with SMU,  a team they outplayed and should've beaten (PTH photo)

It's not about one game, it's about rest of your life

Joyce Hardy's
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From the Distaff End of the Bench

HOUSTON (Nov. 30) -- This last column should be happy, contented, fulfilled, and proud. Well, no one is happy, contented, or fulfilled this season, but nothing can diminish our pride in these young men, who they are and whom they will become. That will not diminish because of one game or one season. I have not been singing “blue, grey, in the sky—Rice fight, never die” for 60 years to quit singing it now.  

I have lived through worse years than this, but the old fight never died. Some of Sunday’s pundits who wrote about Rice Football as if it were dead, see only black and white,  the good and bad of the moment. There is no gauge to measure the power of heart when it comes to winning. or they wouldn’t have the gall to say “quit now because you will never have the talent the big boys have.”

How quickly they have forgotten last year and our two All-Americans, Dillard and Casey, one of which was a two time All-America. Both are playing in the Pros as rookies. Sportswriters are like Weathermen who get to keep their jobs in spite of being wrong half the time. 

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Ever-ready Rice special teams gave up 99-yard kickoff return to UH's Tyron Carrier first play of the game; for all practical purposes, that was it (Mark Anderson photo)

Another former KU  assistant on board for Owls
( -- Feb. 2)
Baylor will face Owls in Houston Sept. 25
( -- Jan. 28)
Signing day , 2010 -- another commitment?
(Houston Chronicle -- Jan. 26)

Academics lure football commitments
(Houston Chronicle -- Jan. 21)
Beaty returns to Rice as offensive coordinator
(Houston Chronicle -- Jan. 21)
Much speculated rumors became reality
(OwlSportsWatch -- Jan. 21)
Some additional insights on Owl OC David Beaty
(Rice <MK> -- Jan. 21)

Owls begin search for AD
(Houston CHronicle -- Jan. 13)
Owls kicking special teams into higher gear
(Owl Sports Watch/Rivals -- Dec. 15)
Thor says he's 'always recruiting' for Rice
( -- Dec. 15)

Rice recruiting total stands at eight
( <MK> -- Dec. 14)
Defense gaining equal footing
(Owl Sports Watch/Rivals -- Dec. 11)
Talent and depth boost 2010 Rice defense
(Owl Sports Watch/Rivals -- Dec. 10)
Rice among few graduating better than 90%
( -- Dec. 10)

Mitchell, Solomon make second team All-C-USA
( -- Dec. 8)
Ross, McDonald, Gaddis on all-frosh team
(Houston Chronicle -- Dec. 8)

Bluer skies ahead for Owl offense
(Owl Sports Watch/Rivals -- Dec. 7)
Owls mauled by Cougars to end season
(The Rice Thresher -- Dec. 10)
DB:  'As I sit here right now, there will be no changes'
(Houston Chronicle -- Dec. 3)
Crucial offseason looms, with spots to shore up
( <MK> -- Dec. 1)
UH renaissance a sight to behold
(Houston Chronicle -- Nov. 30)
Coogs roll over Rice, get ready for title game
(Houston Press -- Nov. 30)

Rice faces questions after Bayou Bucket rout
(Houston Chronicle -- Nov. 29)
The numbers were as ugly as they were staggering
( -- Nov. 29)
Houston blows out Rice to win C-USA West crown
( -- Nov. 29)

Sumlin kept wanting to talk about the next game
(Houston Chronicle -- Nov. 29)
UH routs Rice, clinches West
(Houston Chronicle -- Nov. 28)
No. 25 Houston beats Rice to win C-USA West
(Associated Press -- Nov. 28)
Owls fall behind early and can't rally
( <MK> -- Nov. 28)
Houston football reclaims Bayou Bucket
(Westside Story -- Nov. 28)

Now, let's shift focus to Ben Braun and basketball
(Houston Chronicle <JM> -- Nov. 28)

A battle for respect
One year removed from high water mark, different circumstances face Owls in this year's tilt with UH

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Owls hoist Bayou Bucket after last year's whipping of the Coogs (PTH photo)

HOUSTON (Nov. 27) – Seems like only yesterday when a noisy, impressively- sized throng occupied Rice Stadium to watch the Owls extend their 2008 season record to 9-3 with a convincing win over the Houston Cougars and a reclaim of the Bayou Bucket trophy.

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That was exactly a year ago, though, and the waters that have flowed under the South Main Street bridge since then haven’t been exactly clear and pure.

The Rice team that won a half-century high-water-mark 10 games last season was expected to have some growing pains this season, but not nearly to the extent that they have, what with losses to graduation, injuries, ill-fated personnel decisions, and troublesome scheduling.

We ran into former Rice quarterback-dad Craig Clement at the UTEP game, and his remark about this season compared to last was to the point. "Well, it sure proves that Chase was not just a ‘system quarterback,’ like they said he was," he said, with more than a touch of irony.
Story continues....
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(Videos of each of Rice's scoring drives, plus defensive plays including big turnovers and the Owls' fourth-quarter defensive stand)

STAR.gif (898 bytes)Flashback:  Videos of Rice's 2008 56-42 win over UH...
Four Owl wins on birthday weekend is icing on cake

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Two Rice stalwarts of the defensive line, Scott Solomon (R) and Cheta Ozougwu, share a joyful moment on the sideline as the clock ticks down on Owls' win over UTEP (PTH photo)


HOUSTON (Nov. 23)-- RICE-30, UTEP-29  RICE-30, UTEP-29  RICE-30, UTEP-29. 

That game was as sweet as the icing on my birthday cake tonight. It was the last of the Extra Point Club’s football dinners, which always honor our Seniors. So I got lots of hugs and one huge surprise. A rousing chorus of “Happy Birthday” and a beautiful birthday cake with one candle on it. Of course, I wished for a victory over Houston Saturday, blew out the candle and everyone cheered.  

Joyce Hardy's
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From the Distaff End of the Bench

What a weekend that was! the Lady Owls were hosting the Conference USA Volleyball Tournament at Tudor Field House, and our Owls were seeded #4 out of 8.  I had hoped we would make a good showing, and we did, beating #5 seed Marshall on Friday. Saturday’s match was against #1 Seed Southern Mississippi —scheduled to start right in the middle of the football game. 

My heart was trying to be in two places at one time. Rushing from the Stadium and parking illegally in front of the gym, we arrived in time to see Rice win the last game and beat the best in the league 3 out of 4 games. We made the Championship bracket against No #2 seed, Tulsa (our nemesis) to be played at 1 pm on Sunday. Rice won that match and the CUSA Championship, which means an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament

Rice 30, UTEP 29
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Owl reception committee welcomes nation's second-leading rusher  Donald Buckram to the turf; Flock wrested two fourth-quarter fumbles from the UTEP running back (PTH photo)

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'Nobody messes with my 'lil brother,' big Davon Allen appears to be thinking as he escorts Tyler Smith downfield for first down yardage (Mark Anderson photo)

HOUSTON (Nov. 22) – The Rice Owls rode the exploits of their defensive unit in a way unseen in many a contest here, as they turned six forced turnovers into a 30-29, come-from- behind win over a stunned UTEP team Saturday under a steady, misting drizzle that held down the home crowd’s size but not its enthusiasm.

Once again, for the second week in a row, the Institute Boys spotted their opponent a two-touchdown lead; and once again, for the second consecutive week, they found a way to climb out of their self-created hole and scratch out a win.

This time, they did so with about as meagre a statistical offensive output in victory as might have been obtained since the days of Jess Neely – somebody ought to check the record books. In this case, Rice quarterback Nick Fanuzzi put the ball in the air only 17 times all day, completing eight for but 55 yards.

Yet, when the Owls needed the offensive production, they got it, scoring each and every of the five times they penetrated the red zone, garnering four touchdowns – all picked up on the ground – and a field goal.
Story continues...

Cheta: 'Some players tend to rise to the occasion'
(Houston Chronicle -- Nov. 28)
Carrier: 'I ain't been able to walk through Rice Village'
(Houston Chronicle -- Nov. 28)
Bayou Bucket:  the game
(Owl Sports Watch/Rivals -- Nov. 27)
Owls will have hands full in dealing with Coogs
( <MK> -- Nov. 27)
Bayou Bucket on both coaches' lists
(Houston Chronicle -- Nov. 27)
Last practice photo gallery
( -- Nov. 27)
UH title hopes hinge on win over Rice
( -- Nov. 27)
Cougars set to pounce on Owls
(Seattle Post-Intelligencer/The Sports Network -- Nov. 26)
'The Rob' -- sweetest home in all of C-USA
(Houston Chronicle -- Nov. 26)
Bayou Bucket Luncheon report
(Parliament message board thread -- Nov. 26)
Rice bringing 'confident bunch' to Jeppesen
(Houston Chronicle -- Nov. 25)
Coog seniors don't want any tears in the Bucket
(Houston Chronicle -- Nov. 25)
Houston needs one more to win West division title
(Dallas Morning News -- Nov. 24)
Sumlin believes rivalry itself enough to motivate team
(The Daily Cougar -- Nov. 24)
Cougars look to defeat rival Rice
(The Daily Cougar -- Nov. 24)
Houston, you (may) have a problem
(Houston Chronicle -- Nov. 24)
Catching up with former Owl Jonathan Cary
(Palestine, TX, Herald -- Nov. 24)
Delusions of grandeur intact, Coogs face Owlslook.gif (907 bytes)
( <MK> -- Nov. 23)
Houston's only focus said Bayou Bucket
( -- Nov. 23)
Bradshaw wins league Player of Week honors
(Houston Chronicle -- Nov. 23)
Owls take one from Miners
(Owl Sports Watch/Rivals -- Nov. 22)
To Dale Lloyd:  Thanks for everything -- the Rice Owls
( <MK> -- Nov. 22)
Price:  'It looked like we were playing Texas'
( -- Nov. 22)
Buckram sets milestones,lays egg
(El Paso Times -- Nov. 22)

Owls had only recovered 7 fumbles all season
(Houston Chronicle -- Nov. 21)
Rice defense drives one-point win over UTEP
(Houston Chronicle -- Nov. 21)
Fallen friend's memory spurs Owls
( <MK> -- Nov. 21)

Rice takes advantage of turnovers in come-from-behind win
( -- Nov. 21)
Owls overcome fourth-quarter deficit
(Charlotte Observer/The Sports Network -- Nov. 21)
Owls overcome 29-17 deficit to win in fourth quarter
(El Paso Times -- Nov. 21)
Rice-UTEP live blog replay
(Houston Chronicle <JM> -- Nov. 21)
Buckram sets single-season rushing record in loss to Rice
( -- Nov. 21)

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Owls aim to keep heading upward

Win over UTEP would help bolster off-season attitudes

HOUSTON (Nov. 19) - The first question that comes to mind after your team snaps a season winless streak is... what next? What do we do next to build on the win?

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And the obvious answer?  Win another!  When the Owls take on a 3-7 UTEP team at Rice Stadium Saturday afternoon, 2:30 pm, Rice has a chance to build a two-game winning streak - a good chance, as Atticus Finch would say, fist pounding into hand. But you know what happened to Tom Robinson.

Both teams come into the game on the heels of a disappointing won-loss record, but authorities from both schools just this past week have given votes of confidence for the coaching regime installed in their respective operations.

Both Mike Price in El Paso and David Bailiff in Houston have been given the Underwriters Laboratories seal of approval for continuing on into next year’s campaign without rewiring, so improvement within the existing system appears to be the order of the day for both squads.
Story continues....

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(Videos of each of Rice's four touchdowns, plus big defensive plays including Justin Hill's blocked punt  and the Owls' second-half defensive stand....)

Homecoming, big win left Owls happy, proud... full

HOUSTON (Nov. 17) -- It was some good old- fashioned home cooking for Rice’s Homecoming Game, and for all the Alums who were hungry for a win, the victory sent them home with a warm and fuzzy feeling on a beautiful Saturday afternoon

Joyce Hardy's
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From the Distaff End of the Bench

The weekend was busy, starting Thursday with the Lady Owls Volleyball Team, playing their last home game. It was Senior Day and Rice won, so it was a great preamble for the Conference USA Tournament this coming weekend at Rice. That was just the beginning. Friday was full of activities, alums filling the campus, wandering around the beautiful grounds. I was ready for the first game of the Men’s Basketball Tournament at Tudor Field House. Naturally, with Frankie B. providing dinner, and the team winning an exciting game for Rice...

Saturday started at 8 am with a Past President’s breakfast, game festivities began at Noon in huge Alumni Tents outside the stadium before the football game with ten thousand of my closest friends eating Goode Co. Barbeque with me. Then the Rice-Tulane football game in all its glory (Praise be for the victory!), followed by the second game of the basketball tourney with a Frankie B. dinner before the game—again. That was #3 for the day and another victory.

Rice 28, Tulane 20

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Owls dig big hole, climb right out
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Owls finally get to celebrate a win (PTH photo)

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Charles Ross ran hard against Green Wave (PTH photo)

HOUSTON (Nov. 14) --  Venerable Rice grads can put on their old, grey bonnet with the blue ribbon it and hitch Old Sammy to the shay -- for the Owls are winless no more!

The Boys from the Institute teased a Homecoming Day audience by spotting the visiting Tulane Green Wave a 14-0 first-quarter lead, but then roared back to dominate the rest of the way in a satisfying, gratifying, heave-a-sigh-of-relief, 28-20 win.

"Better than any other win I’ve ever had," was the way the outcome was described by Rice head coach David Bailiff, whose sense of self-haunting had approached Bob Cratchitt levels with each passing week this fall as his team amassed one loss after another.

But that losing streak is now history, and the Coach, his staff, Owl fans, and above all, this formerly beleaguered Rice club (we now bury the term), can concentrate on the task ahead – to close out the season on a strong, if not further victorious note, in preparation for what promises to be more prosperous times, commencing with the 2010 season.
Story continues...updated.gif (971 bytes)

WR Dixon will be remembered for haircuts, effort
(Houston Chronicle -- Nov. 21)
Miners have motivation vs. Rice
(El Paso Times -- Nov. 21)
Fanuzzi's looked the part of late
( <MK> -- Nov. 20)
Rice-UTEP:  Five things to watch
( <MK> -- Nov. 20)

Owls enjoy boost from first win of '09
(El Paso Times -- Nov. 20)
Tulane falls prey to Owls' hunt for first win
(The Rice Thresher -- Nov. 20)
Sayler says DB still 'perfect guy' for Rice
(Houston Chronicle -- Nov. 19)
Miners not lacking for any motivation
(El Paso Times -- Nov. 19)
Bucket luncheon set for Nov. 25
(Houston Chronicle -- Nov. 18)
Attention will be on Buckram
(Dallas Morning News/AP -- Nov. 18)
Last two Miners games won't be auditions
(El Paso Times -- Nov. 18)
Big load headed Rice's way after first win of season
(Houston Chronicle -- Nov. 17)
Are Owls turning corner defensively?
( <MK> -- Nov. 17)

UTEP to rally around Buckram
(El Paso Times -- Nov. 17)

A lot of parity in this league
(Hattiesburg American -- Nov. 17)
Whatever happens at Rice, Price to return to UTEP
( -- Nov. 17)
Price:  'We'd anticipated a better won-loss record'
( -- Nov. 16)
Toledo: 'It's a real credit to David and his staff'
( <MK> -- Nov. 16)
Muffed PAT signaled impending victory
( <MK> -- Nov. 16)
UTEP's Buckram closes in on national rushing lead
(El Paso Times -- Nov. 16)
For Tulane, what could go wrong, went wrong
(New Orleans Times-Picayune -- Nov. 15)
Sweet relief; Owls win
(OwlSportsWatch/Rivals -- Nov. 15)
Dixon goes 7-for-158, 3 TDs
( -- Nov. 15)
No more contemplation of winless season
(Houston Chronicle <JM> -- Nov. 15)
Rice snaps skid with victory over Tulane
(Houston Chronicle -- Nov. 14)
Fate finally smiles on Owls
( <MK> -- Nov. 14)
Tulane effort not enough as Green Wave falls to Owls
( -- Nov. 14)

Wave falls to Conference USA foe Rice, 28-20
( -- Nov. 14)
Four TD passes pace Rice
(The Sports Network/Idaho Statesman -- Nov. 14)

Future looks bright for Rice football, seriously
(Houston Chronicle <JM> -- Nov. 14)

Sammy is a warm host to the Green Wave...
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Owls hope to convert SMU gains to win over Tulane

usethetrainvx3.jpg (69656 bytes)HOUSTON (Nov. 12) -- Now that the pain and frustration has had a chance to subside, what with giving up three blocked kicks to lose a game that otherwise would have been won, perhaps it's time to talk about some positives that emerged from Rice's narrow 31-28 loss to SMU Saturday – looking toward this week’s Homecoming bout with Tulane, that is.

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It's difficult to center on any one factor in analyzing the Rice offense’s increased output against the Ponies. Really, it was a combination of improved quarterbacking by Nick Fanuzzi, improved blocking by a reconstituted offensive line, improved running, often with tandem backs with newly installed play sets, and just plain old renewed intestinal fortitude on the part of the receiving corps.

All of that put together simply comprises a team effort -- and that's what took place on the floor of Gerald Ford Stadium last Saturday afternoon.

"Offensively, we played as well as we have this year," Rice head coach David Bailiff told press.
Story continues....

09smuvidsa150dn.jpg (49949 bytes)Rice-SMU video highlights
(Videos of each of Rice's four touchdowns and three set-up long drives, plus big defensive plays and the late first half drive ending in a blocked field goal attempt -- on which our videographer bailed out in disgust...)

Clicking on all cylinders -- but what happened to our win?

HOUSTON (Nov. 9) -- When the Rice-SMU game was over, I felt as if I had a seat belt on. I couldn’t  get out of my chair. We were so close, I didn’t want the game to end. This day we had the will and the way to win. We matched them point for point until the end when our four-leaf clover lost a leaf. We pulled off some great marches down field and turned them into points this time. We did not die in the red zone, we turned those marches into touchdowns.

Joyce Hardy's
joyce167.jpg (3700 bytes)

From the Distaff End of the Bench

Coach Z’s offensive plan was a good mix of plays and it was working. Even the Wildcat had SMU puzzled. Missed blocks and tackles were down to a minimum. Fanuzzi was firing that ball on target and our ends were catching it. We were clicking on all cylinders. Look at the score. I could already see it on the scoreboard: 23 to14. RICE! at the Half.  But No. It wasn’t to be. A blocked field goal was left uncovered and SMU ran it all the way back for a touchdown, erasing the heady score I had imagined.

I’m tired of saying “so close.” I didn’t make 1’s in Math 100 at Rice, (Rice graded 1,2,3,4,5 dating back to the Stone Age, and didn’t change to A,B,C,D,F until the 1960’s,) but 1+3+3= a win over SMU. Those points were givens. Clark , our “Mister Automatic” (as the Texans called Brown until he missed that tying field goal Sunday) didn’t miss those kicks, no, the unthinkable happened: block, block, block.

SMU 31, Rice 28
Another way to lose
Owls completely outplay SMU, but three blocked place-kicks award game to frats

DALLAS (Nov. 7) -- Allow one blocked place kick, and chances are one of your men missed an assignment.

Give up two blocked place kick tries, and it's pretty much got to be the case that you have alignment problems.

But concede to the other side three blocked place kick attempts in a single game, one of them returned for a touchdown, and you've got -- and we mean this purely hypothetically and conjecturally, mind you -- well, you've got yourself a horse of a different color.

Speaking of horses, the SMU Mustangs managed to drag just enough of them out of the stable to hold off the yet-winless Rice Owls, 31-28, here Saturday – not the least of them being Estonian immigrant Margus Hunt, who pounded to the turf two of those three blocked kicks that the Owls, indeed, allowed on this sun-dappled fall afternoon.
Story continues....updated.gif (971 bytes)

Rice-Tulane:  Five things to watch
( <MK> -- Nov. 13)
Owls' young DL continues to show improvement
( <MK> -- Nov. 13)
Wave looks ahead to Rice
(Tulane Hullaballoo -- Nov. 13)
Tulane hopes to string together consecutive wins
( -- Nov. 13)

Tulane's Burks on upcoming Rice game
(New Orleans Times-Picayune -- Nov. 12)
Team shows improvement, consistent play
(The Rice Thresher -- Nov. 12)
Tulane out to build on recent momentum
(New Orleans Times-Picayune -- Nov. 11)
Rice was close last week
( -- Nov. 11)
Sendejo named Wuerfel Trophy finalist
( -- Nov. 11)

Tulane bowl hopes still alive
(Baton Rouge Advocate -- Nov. 11)

Owls hope finally to break into win column
( Sports Network -- Nov. 11)
Toledo:   'We won our first playoff game'
(New Orleans Times-Picayune -- Nov. 10)
UTEP hit new low against Tulane
(El Paso Times -- Nov. 10)

Mustangs rely on special teams in narrow escape over Rice
(SMU Daily Campus -- Nov. 9)
Mustangs didn't  particularly impress
(Dallas Morning News -- Nov. 9)
Tulane rewarded for keeping the faith
(New Orleans Times-Picayune -- Nov. 8)

Ponies throw block party to defeat Rice
(OwlSportsWatch/Rivals -- Nov. 8)
It's Hunting season:  blocked kicks (food allusion) Rice
( -- Nov. 8)
'We're not used to winning around here'
(Dallas Morning News -- Nov. 8)
Hunt is on for blocked kicks
(Dallas Morning News -- Nov. 8)
Shouldn't be leaving Dallas without a victory
(Houston Chronicle -- Nov. 8)
Tulane beats UTEP in OT
(Tulsa World/AP -- Nov. 8)
First win eludes Rice again in close loss at SMU
(Houston Chronicle -- Nov. 7)
Just the sort of kick in the gut Rice did not need
( <MK> -- Nov. 7)
Every game a block party for SMU's Hunt
(Dallas Morning News -- Nov. 7)
Rice edged out by SMU
( -- Nov. 7)

Special teams help SMU hold off Rice
( -- Nov. 7)

Successful offense starts with clicking OL, Coach Bailiff says

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Rice OL was last intact during OSU game, eons ago -- but is back together for SMU (MA photo)

HOUSTON (Nov. 5) – It all starts with the offensive line, Rice head coach David Bailiff insisted to gathered scribes at his Monday media luncheon this week.

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Hmm, and it just so happens, coincidentally, that the last time the Rice brain trust had its season-opening OL lineup intact was the Oklahoma State game, when quarterback candidate Nick Fanuzzi found his sea legs behind a stout OL push, leading the Flock to three straight second-half touchdowns and putting a scare into the high-flying hosts.

That, however, is when line stalwart Taylor Hicks went down with an injury, followed week by week with a succession of wounded OL warriors that resulted in a makeshift, shifted-around set of line personnel that never jelled and never really provided much in the way of protection for the beleaguered Owl quarterback corps (and how many times have we used that word this season?)

With the bye week, though, Jake Hicks is back from the Red Cross squad, the Rice OL alignment is back to where it was against OSU, and Coach Bailiff insists that this is going to have nothing but a positive effect on the offensive fortunes of his team, currently ranked 111th in total offense among 120 Division 1a teams, and third-to-last last in scoring.
Story continues....

Next up: SMU
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It's not true, guys, it just isn't true - we're still here

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Time to buck up--four winnable games remain on the schedule.  Yes, four

NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 26) --This column will be short, not because of the game, but because I was in Florida for my granddaughter's wedding over the weekend. And for the fact that I am at a loss of words for a change.The wedding was a pure joy--my granddaughter is a dear one AND she is marrying a soon-to-be PhD graduate of Rice. Life is good. I am not so sure about Rice football.

Joyce Hardy's
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From the Distaff End of the Bench

Truthfully, tucked away in the quaint little town of New Smyrna Beach, my mind and my heart were far from Rice. The wedding was on the beach facing the Atlantic Ocean, and it was a beautiful ceremony. Everyone was dressed formally, but all the young ones were barefoot, including the mothers of the bride and groom. It was at sunset, Saturday, and not once did I think about Rice vs Central Florida. Usually, no matter where I am, my mind ticks off the hours of our away games and I hold my breath until I know the score. But not this weekend.

However, when I opened my door Sunday morning, there was the New Smyrna Beach Gazette lying on the carpet with a full writeup about Central Florida beating Rice 49-7. It ruined my breakfast. Since the article was mostly about Central Florida 's victory, it was full of the Golden Knights' prowess. All seven of the touchdowns were described in full-color words. The few sentences about Rice described the seven fumbles, three of which they "pounced on" and the nine turnovers which they "caused." They even had the stats, which I could have done without.


UCF 49, Rice 7

Owls uncompetitive
in one-sided loss

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Rice's Willie Garley draws bead on UCF ball carrier in Saturday's action (Mark Anderson photo)

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Charles Ross is finally pulled down after 54-yard run -- which was followed by penalty, sack, fumble, no points (Mark Anderson photo)

HOUSTON (Oct. 24) -- In scanning the Rice bench during the waning moments of the Owls' 49-7 home loss to Central Florida Saturday, one noticed generally no great degree of angst, or dismay, or shame among the players.

In fact, when a winless team  gives up a 76-yard touchdown pass-and-run on the first play of the game, there's only one reasonable response, and that is to say, "oh, futz, here we go again."

These Rice players are intelligent, rational creatures, and they knew, with that first SNAFU play of the day, that they very likely were poised for another beat-down.

So what the hell -- time to "Save the Equipment."   Look, guys, we've got the week off next week.  Anybody going to the beach Sunday? 

You know what?  A day off at the beach doesn't sound like a bad idea at all for this beleaguered crew. Obviously, each loss compounds the emotions brought about by the one before.  If there were some way the collective recollectkion of this team for the last nine weeks could be completely erased, and it could go back to, oh, say, December 30, 2008, that would be just swell.

And maybe, just maybe, then, some of the talent of this bunch could actually emerge from the dark place where it's been hiding all season.
Story continues...

With Hicks back, Owl OL hopes to roll
( <MK> -- Nov. 6)
Thor's post-arthroscopy rookie diary
( -- Nov. 6)
Improving SMU still wary of Rice
( -- Nov. 6)

Thursday thoughts at Rice Stadium
(Houston Chronicle <JM> -- Nov. 6)

Mustangs look to beat winless Rice
(SMU Daily Campus -- Nov. 5)
Mustangs closing in on bowl bid
(SMU Daily Campus -- Nov. 5)

Another original food-allusion headline from SMU SID
( -- Nov. 5)
Mustangs look to stay in CUSA race contention
(Dallas Morning News -- Nov. 4)

SMU concentrates on bowl breakthrough
(Dallas Morning News -- Nov. 3)

Can Owls reprise offense's performance at Stillwater?
( <MK> -- Nov. 3)
Rice football:  'Groundhog Day'?
(Houston Chronicle <JM> -- Nov. 3)
Owls preach confidence on defense
(Houston Chronicle -- Nov. 3)
Weary Owls look to break
(The Rice Thresher -- Oct. 30)
Kyle Martens on Ray Guy award list
( -- Oct. 30)
Garley works way into starting lineup
(Victoria Advocate -- Oct. 29)
Rice's Jared Williams gaining experience
(Huntsville Item -- Oct. 27)
Five questions with Chris del Conte
( <MK> -- Oct. 26)

Rice football 2009:  a perfect storm?
(OwlSportsWatch/Rivals -- Oct. 26)
SHSU AD mentioned for Rice job
(Huntsville Item -- Oct. 26)

UCF offense hits on all cylinders against Rice
(Central Florida Future -- Oct. 26)
Belaboring Owls' regression would be pointless
( <MK> -- Oct. 25)
Orlando scribes all ga-ga over UCF's lopsided win
(Orlando Sentinel -- Oct. 25)
UCF clips Owls in 49-7 victory
(Central Florida Future -- Oct. 24)
O'Leary's post-game comments
(Orlando Sentinel -- Oct. 24)

Fanuzzi was on his back more than his toes
( -- Oct. 24)

(Insert food cliche here)
( -- Oct. 24)
Rice falls to 0-8 in lopsided loss
(Houston Chronicle -- Oct. 24)
Early strikes lead UCF over Rice
( -- Oct. 24)
Central Florida has no trouble with Rice
(Associated Press -- Oct. 24)

Ball State even won Saturday
(Houston Chronicle <JM> -- Oct. 24)

Knights make school history in rout over Rice
(Orland Sentinel -- Oct. 24)
Sir Sammy's ready to take on the Golden Knights....
09ucfsirsammy471.jpg (145147 bytes)

STAR.gif (898 bytes)Flashback 2006:  Rice 40, UCF 29....look.gif (907 bytes)
Despite litany of woes,
hope for future persists

HOUSTON (Oct. 23) – Well, let’s see...athletic director’s gone, football team is 0-7, injured players are dropping like flies; and speaking of flies, we're in danger of reaching the point where we can’t even draw many of those to our home games.

03sammytnsmall.jpg (3540 bytes)

What else? Giving up 44 points a game, claimed "worst football team in Division 1A," the butt of nitwit sportswriters’ jokes and illiterate cretin message board posters’ derision, from sea to shining sea.

Less than ten months’ removed from Rice’s completion of its first ten-win football season since 1949, it appears that athletic fortunes on South Main have sunk to the point of, well, let’s put it this way: for the Blue and Grey, it’s December 8, 1941... October 30, 1929... September 12, 2001.

December 22, 2012, anybody?
Story continues....

Well appears to have run dry, but Joyce still thirsty for win

HOUSTON (Oct. 20) -- I guess I can quit saving my money for a Bowl Game. I’ve run out of “Oh, Well’s” because the wells have gone dry for now. That doesn’t keep me from being thirsty for a win. Believe me, that won’t be quenched until our first victory, and that will come. I am still an irrepressible hoper.

Joyce Hardy's
joyce167.jpg (3700 bytes)

From the Distaff End of the Bench

No sense going over the game; I’m sure you listened to it, too, and are now living not with anger and frustration but puzzlement. Coach says he sees the team execute in practice, but it fails to materialize on Saturday. My observation on Thursdays is that they are focused, indeed running perfect routes with receptions, keepers and slants and pitch-outs easily making it through the holes, defense blocking just like the x’s and o’s show on paper, virtual tackles knocking opponents off their feet. But in practice they don’t have rabid players in purple or green or red coming at them with fire in their eyes.

They could have made those needed yards if two tacklers hadn’t been hanging onto their shirts; that receiver could have caught that perfect pass if he weren’t sandwiched between two defenders; they could have made that first down if  the  referees hadn’t been blind and flag-happy again; they could have stopped that 92 yard run if they had practiced spotting a gazelle running for the goal line while getting knocked off their feet.

ECU 49, Rice 13
Another lopsided defeat
yields no answers for Rice
09ecuo7retun472.jpg (153196 bytes)

Kevin Gaddis gives Owls some short-lived early game excitement with kickoff return (PTH photo)

09ecu84catchvx45.jpg (118823 bytes)
Taylor Wardlow hauls in pass for 14-yard gain on Owls' first possession of the game (PTH photo)

GREENVILLE, N.C. (Oct. 18) – A minute into the fourth quarter of Saturday’s Rice- East Carolina game, the Owls were trailing, but by a surmountable 28-13 score. They had the ball, and were driving at midfield.

At that point, the game easily could have been quite a bit tighter.

Second quarter, after the Owls had drawn within 21-10 via an 80-yard pass-and-run from Nick Fanuzzi to Toren Dixon, the Flock gave the points right back with a breakdown in coverage on the kickoff return.

Before that, down 7-3, the Owls’ Ronnie Lillard stepped in front of a Patrick Pinckney pass to intercept on second and goal from the Rice 12. Seeing all that bright green real estate in front of him, the redshirt freshman’s eyes grew large, and he took off in a spring for the opposite goal line, some 90 yards away. But at that moment, the dreaded failure of "ball security" reared its ugly head, as ECU’s Alex Taylor caught up with him and managed to strip the ball away. Moments later, ECU scored to go ahead 14-3.

Next time Rice got the ball, the Owls drove as far as their 48 yard line before stalling. Kyle Martens’ pooch punt was perfectly executed, however, and ECU’s Travis Simmons promptly mishandled it at his own 19 yard line. Four pairs of Rice hands were in position to make the recovery, deep in Pirate territory, but the ball bounced crazily and wound up in the breadbasket of ECU’s Duane Blacknall.

So figure the breaks. Early in the fourth quarter, Rice easily could have been in a dead heat with ECU rather than struggling mightily and on the verge of getting right back in it.

But a split second later, all of that didn’t matter. ECU’s Dustin Lineback stepped in front of a quick out that Owl quarterback Nick Fanuzzi wished then as he wishes now never to have thrown.
Story continues....updated.gif (971 bytes)

Unfortunate circumstances, great opportunity for Xavier Webb
( <MK> -- Oct. 23)
Interim Rice AD to 'keep looking forward'
(Houston Chronicle -- Oct. 23)
Rice-UCF:  5 things to watch
( <MK> -- Oct. 23)

UCF not writing off struggling Rice team
(Orlando Sentinental -- Oct. 23)
Leebron to assemble AD search committee
( <MK> -- Oct. 23)

Knights focused on Owls

(Florida Today -- Oct. 23)

Central Florida looking to do some hootin' and hollerin'
(Bleacher Report -- Oct. 23)

UCF DE expects to play despite hard hit
(Orlando Sentinel -- Oct. 23)

UCF AD says he has faith in O'Leary
(Orlando Sentinel -- Oct. 23)

Owl midterm grade report
(The Rice Thresher -- Oct. 23)
Del Conte leaves Rice for TCU
(The Rice Thresher -- Oct. 23)
Shot at first victory plundered by Pirates
(The Rice Thresher -- Oct. 23)
Del Conte's departure to hamper athletics' future
(The Rice Thresher -- Oct. 23)

UCF QB to play despite bruised elbow
(Orlando Sentinel -- Oct. 22)
Knights can't take anything for granted
( -- Oct. 22)
Onus is on RIce to locate suitable AD successor
( <MK> -- Oct. 22)
Academically, Rice is a supermodel; TCU still losng weight
(Houston Chronicle -- Oct. 22)
Del Conte TCU press conference video
(Houston Chronicle -- Oct. 22)
'A lot of places I've been...there's not a true community-based program'
(Fort Worth Star-Telegram -- Oct. 22)
Happy trails to you, CDC
( <MK> -- Oct. 22)
Next AD will face pros, cons
(Houston Chronicle -- Oct. 22)
Texas Christian hires away Rice's slick-suit
(Houston  Chronicle -- Oct. 21)
Sayler named Rice interim AD
( -- Oct. 21)
Report Del Conte to TCU
(Fort Worth Star-Telegram -- Oct. 21)
Mark Berman at 26:  TCU names Del Conte
(Fox26Houson -- Oct. 21)
DB says expectations are still high
(Orlando Sentinel -- Oct. 20)
Owls seem to have cure for UCF's Miami hangover
(Orlando Sentinel -- Oct. 20)

Rice team is fragile after 0-7 start
(Orlando Sentinel -- Oct. 20)

For Rice, 2008 seems a long time ago
(Houston Chronicle -- Oct. 19)
O'Leary on Rice:  'They've played some good competition'
(The  Bleacher Report -- Oct. 19)

Missed opportunities doom Knights again
(Central Florida Future -- Oct. 19)

Knights couldn't ask for better foe than 0-7 Rice
(Orlando Sentinel -- Oct. 19)
If the Owls are to rise like a phoenix...
( <MK> -- Oct. 19)
Looking ahead to next season's defensive unit
( <MK> -- Oct. 19)
One blown opportunity proved to be the difference
( -- Oct. 19)
14 fast facts in middle of football season
(UCF Today Blog -- Oct. 19)
Knights were balanced against U:  couldn't run, pass
( -- Oct. 19)
Pirates rob wind from Rice sails
(Owl Sports Watch/Rivals -- Oct. 18)
Things tend to snowball in seasons like this
(Houston Chronicle <JM> -- Oct. 18)
Big-play Harris helps Pirates cruise to win
(Winston-Salem Journal -- Oct. 18)
ECU finally finds right formula for offensive success
(Fayetteville Observer -- Oct. 18)
Offense gets a boost
( -- Oct. 18)
Alumni, offense return to ECU
(Washington Daily News -- Oct. 18)

Harris sparks ECU victory
(Washington Daily News -- Oct. 18)
Loss number seven was filled with familiar themes
(Houston Chronicle -- Oct. 17)
Owls close gap but can't complete comeback
( <MK> -- Oct. 17)
Pinckney leads Pirates in 49-13 rout
(News and Observer -- Oct. 17)
Hapless Owls made Pirates looks like Homecoming Kings
(News and Observer -- Oct. 17)

Harris scores three times for ECU, including 92-yard KOR
(Associated Press -- Oct. 17)

ECU's Harris adds to highlight reel
(Greenville Reflector -- Oct.. 17)_
Heading home:   last plane trip of the season
(Twitpic <MK> -- Oct. 17)

Flashback 2006:  Rice 18, ECU 17look.gif (907 bytes)
Owls seek U-turn on road with ECU

09nvo7n71passvx4.jpg (64803 bytes)
Rice QB Nick Fanuzzi gave props to his makeshift, inexper- ienced offensive linemen as having made big strides in the past couple of week; here, big Davon Allen holds the line for Nick (PTH photo)

HOUSTON (Oct. 15) – Now,  deny -- or not -- that in the deepest recesses of your thoughts, you never even contemplated the possibility that we’d be where we are at the mid-point of this damnable 2009 Rice football season.

03sammytnsmall.jpg (3540 bytes)

The season- opener, a league game on the road against a team with a hot-shot senior quarterback, was a dice throw no matter how it was sliced. And the next five games – six, actually, counting the one coming up with East Carolina -- could easily have gone down as uphill battles even under the most favorable of circumstances, with a healthy Rice team and a jaunty steed of a quarterback.

But when the ill-advised quarterback shuffle failed to produce anything but September confusion, and when QB Nick Fanuzzi, and then one offensive linemen after another, following by a profusion of key players on both sides of the ball, all went down with injuries, well, it was Katy bar the door.

A deeper cause for concern at this stage in the season lies not merely in the fact that the Owls are 0-6 and the butt of sportswriters’ jokes, but rather, in the fact that this Rice team has simply not been particularly competitive in any game it has played.
Story continues....

Might as well be optimistic

Just looked for the Midshipman who was running the fastest toward the Rice goal line

HOUSTON (Oct. 13) -- Well, what can I say? ” We took a licking and kept on ticking.” And I know we will.  If that game was frustrating for me, I can’t even imagine how frustrating it was for the team.  As I watched the players being interviewed after the game, all I could do was think how cruel that was. It would be like asking me how I feel right after my house burned down. How they must dread being drilled right after losing a game, much less number six. 

Joyce Hardy's
joyce167.jpg (3700 bytes)

From the Distaff End of the Bench

As for Coach Bailiff, it’s too bad he can’t just say he’s sick and go home. If you’re looking for answers, so is he. Quit sticking a microphone in his face right after the last whistle is blown and complaining that his answers sound canned. He’s angry and embarrassed and disappointed. What else can he say that he hasn’t already said?  

I was bemoaning the fact that the triple option never worked that well for us when Coach Hatfield was the triple option guru at Rice; and Larry said "yes, it did. Don’t you remember that one year we were number two in the nation in offense?" Of course, I didn’t, but my son who has a very young working memory did, so I quit gritching. I guess there were a lot of teams in the NCAA "back in those days," who didn’t know how to defend against the triple option either. 

Navy 63, Rice 14

A beat-down of epic proportions
09nvo23kor472.jpg (122952 bytes)
Owl special teams execute perfectly on opening kickoff as Shane Turner returns kick 52 yards... but after that....pffft!  (PTH photo)
Rice no match for Navy as Middies' offense scores virtually at will, defense keeps Owl attack at bay

09nvo28barredvx4.jpg (86621 bytes)
'Halt! Who goes there?' challenges Mid sentry as Charles Ross attempts to head downfield (PTH photo)

HOUSTON (Oct. 11) – Let’s look on the bright side of things. With all the shooting wars this country seems to be getting in this day and age, it’s a good deal we have these Navy boys on the front lines for us.

Resorting to unvarnished realism: if there’s as much of a talent differential between Rice and Navy as seemed to be indicated on the Rice Stadium scoreboard Saturday, we might as well bulldoze the place and use the land to build assisted living units for aging baby boomers.

Anyone who had the misfortune to view Saturday’s one-sided skirmish between Rice and the Naval Academy can form his or her opinion about the depth to which Rice’s football fortunes have fallen since seeming to be on top of the world just this past 30th day of December’s after its tenth win of the '08 season in the Texas Bowl.

It’s maddening enough for the even casual fan. Imagine what it must be like for head coach David Bailiff and his not-so-merry men.
Story continues....

Fang looks for repeat against ECU
(Houston Chronicle -- Oct. 17)
Hotard, Kitchens waiting patiently
( <MK> -- Oct. 17)
Rice-ECU:  Five things to watch
( <MK> -- Oct. 17)
Winless Owls travel to East Carolina
(Greenville Daily Reflector -- Oct. 17
Nothing so welcoming but ominous as 0-6 opponent
(Greenville Daily Reflector -- Oct. 17)
Owls to keep seeking first win
(The Rice Thresher -- Oct. 16)
Randolph making impact at Rice
(Tuscaloosa News -- Oct. 16)
ECU-Rice: Keys to the game
( -- Oct. 16)
Rice-East Carolina preview capsule
( -- Oct. 16)

Gameweek preview:  East Carolina defense
(Owls Sports Watch/Rivals -- Oct. 16)
DB to host AF squadron at ECU
(Houston Chronicle <JM> -- Oct. 15)
Holtz piloting Pirates through choppy seas
( -- Oct. 15)
Grading the Pirates at midway point
(Washington, NC, Daily News -- Oct. 15)

Putting it all on Lindsay's shoulders
(Greenville Daily Reflector -- Oct. 15)

Nowhere to go but up
( <MK> -- Oct. 14)
Gameweek preview:  East Carolina offense
(Owl Sports Watch/Rivals -- Oct. 14)
ECU's Whitley sees first action
(New Bern NC Sun-Journal -- Oct. 14)
ECU looking to keep Rice winless
(The East Carolinian -- Oct. 14)

ECU's Thompson unfazed by start
(Greenville Daily Reflector -- Oct. 14)
Pirates regrouping after tough week
(The Daily Southerner -- Oct. 14)
Sitting at 0-6, Rice feeling sting of inexperience
(Houston Chronicle -- Oct. 13)
'I have to get us out of the quicksand'
(Houston Chronicle <JM> -- Oct. 13)
Depleted ECU scales back practices
(Winston-Salem Journal -- Oct. 13)
Pirates focus on eliminating mistakes
(Kinston Free Press -- Oct. 13)
Pirates in search of big plays
(Greenville Reflector -- Oct. 13)
Skip's stock has dropped after passing on Syracuse job
(WSTM Syracuse/AP -- Oct. 13)

Fangmeier chasing Rice kicking records
(Klein Sun -- Oct. 15)
Differentiating between facts and excuses
( <MK> -- Oct. 12)
Ricky Dobbs had more touchdowns than passes
(Navy Times -- Oct. 12)
Naval Academy puts on an option football clinic
(Owl Sports Watch/Rivals -- Oct. 12)
Experience not evident for ECU
( -- Oct. 12)

Even the little mistakes are bigger in Texas
(Greenville Reflector -- Oct. 12)
Navy pours it on in rout over Rice
(Annapolis Capital -- Oct. 11)
Navy runs all over Rice
(WBAL Baltimore -- Oct. 11)
Mid has nose for defense
(Annapolis Capital -- Oct. 11)
Navy scores TDs on 9 of 11 possessions
(Baltimore Sun -- Oct. 11)
Navy runs wild, dominating Owls 63-14
( <MK> -- Oct. 10)
Navy keeps Rice winless with 63-14 pounding
(Houston Chronicle -- Oct. 10)
Owls sink to low point at mid-point in season
( <MK> -- Oct. 10)
Owls aren't affected by losing, nearly enough
(Houston Chronicle <JM> -- Oct. 10)
Navy routs Rice with rushing onslaught
(Annapolis Capital -- Oct. 10)
Dobbs, Navy run all over Rice
(WABC-9 Washington -- Oct. 10)
Navy rushes 79 times, runs all over Rice
( -- Oct. 10)

09navycartoon471.jpg (178743 bytes)

Owls will have to figure out
way to wrest game from Navy

Bellino.jpg (55704 bytes)
Navy's 1960 Heisman winner Joe Bellino will be the subject of a pre-game award presentation at Saturday's game

HOUSTON (Oct. 8) -- The first couple of things for Rice aficionados to bear in mind going into Saturday's home tilt with the U. S. Naval Academy are (a) Service Academies NEVER "Coog" a game; and (b) sore-armed quarterbacks can't be expected to soar and break records on their first day back on the job.

03sammytnsmall.jpg (3540 bytes)

Nope, the Owls are going to have to figure out some other way to pull in their first win of the season Saturday, because the Middies aren't going to hand over a victory, gift-wrapped with turnovers, gaffes, and lackadaisical play.

And Rice quarterback Nick Fanuzzi can't be expected to post Case Keenum- type rushing and passing numbers (speaking of "Coogin' it") amid the hoopla and high expectations generated by his return from bruised-shoulder land -- not, in any event, with a decimated Rice offensive line that displays more patchwork than those quilt ladies who'll be holding their convention at the George R. Brown this weekend.

That's what Rice head coach David Bailiff has been saying all along to anyone within earshot -- don't blame the Owls' lack of offensive production on the previously untested quarterbacks that he's had to throw to the wolves the last couple or three weeks.
Story continues...

09tsovidclip125.jpg (39451 bytes)Rice-Tulsa video highlights
(Two extended clips including big plays on offense, defense)

Who'll be the Glue we need?
Someone is going to step up

HOUSTON (Oct. 6) -- I wish it had kept on raining. It was the great equalizer in the first half, at least the score was tied, 10-10—again. Then we just sort of fizzled out like the rain. The weather was yucky and so was the outcome of the game.

Let's boost up Ryan!
joyce167.jpg (3700 bytes)

From the Distaff End of the Bench

There were about ten guys down on the field in front of me wearing blue warm- ups—Rice’s walking wounded—and there probably wasn’t one of them who wasn’t thinking, “Man, if only I were out there….” And in the second half, there were probably a lot of guys on the field who were wishing they were out there, too.

I saw Ryan upended, flipped, squashed, knocked down, and piled on, until I heard myself yelling "Oh, no! don’t hurt him!" over and over again. It just seemed as if every time we got a little momentum going, something burst the bubble. We certainly should have had a couple more touchdowns IF, on those rare occasions the passes that should have been caught were caught, or would have been caught were they catchable or not intercepted. Our running backs ran through brick walls to grind out some tough yardage. Why do I feel as if a little black cloud is following us around—and I don’t mean rain.

Tulsa 27, Rice 10
'What-if's' in the rain 09tso84tdcatch471.jpg (102234 bytes)
As the rain comes down, Taylor Wardlow skies high in the end zone to pull down 29-yard Ryan Lewis TD pass to pull Owls even, 7-7, in second quarter (PTH photo)

Owls forge halftime tie, but suffer another third quarter breakdown as offense falters, defense wears down, and Flock falls to 0-5

09tso12rollsoutvx4.jpg (91474 bytes)
Ryan Lewis bravely stood in, but found himself on the run from Tulsa defenders all night (PTH photo)

HOUSTON (Oct. 4) – Call it Ground Hog Day; call it Deja Vu All Over Again, but for the second week in a row, the Rice Owls managed a 10-10 first half tie, but then failed to register a single third-quarter first down, fading in the stretch and seeing its winless stretch unbroken, this time by a 27-10 count against Todd Graham’s Tulsa Golden Hurricane.

The references are somewhat illusory, however, in that this week’s sweepstakes entry had the right numbers early, the Owl defense helping set up their offense in a way that easily might have led to as much as a 21-7 Rice first-half lead, instead of a halftime tie, which would have had a slightly different effect on how the second half was played out; maybe even the final result, don’cha think?

Far from being fortunate to still be in the game at the halfway point, this time around the Owls were only a dropped ball and a bad call or two from being two touchdowns ahead.

After surrendering an 80-yard touchdown drive on Tulsa’s first possession, the Rice defense got stingy. For the remainder of the first half, Owl defenders allowed the vaunted Tulsa scoring machine only 38 yards’ total offense, while the Rice offense managed to move the ball in fits and starts.
Story continues....

Fanuzzi's return brings hope to Rice
(Houston Chronicle -- Oct. 10)
At service academies, football is the easy part
(Houston Chronicle -- Oct. 10)

Mids in a rush to run at Rice
(Annapolis Capital -- Oct. 10)

Mid's Murray ready to carry bigger load
(Washington Times -- Oct. 10)

For Navy's Green, it's all about preparation
(Baltimore Sun -- Oct. 10)

Respect in ample supply at Rice
(Annapolis Capital -- Oct. 10)
Owls-Middies:  Five things to watch
( <MK> -- Oct. 9)

Can Nick pick up where he left off?
( <MK> -- Oct. 9)

Mids' Tuani about more than just numbers
(Baltimore Sun -- Oct. 9)
Tuani makes his mark on field
(Baltimore Sun -- Oct. 9)

Latest installment of Thor's NFL rookie diary
( -- Oct. 9)

Navy preaching preparation on defense
(Washington Post -- Oct. 9)
Service academies focus of big college sports weekend
(Houston Examiner -- Oct. 9)
Rice seniors aim to stay positive
(Houston Chronicle -- Oct. 9)
Opportunities for wins are dwindling
(The Rice Thresher -- Oct. 9)
Kennedy family giving Rice moon rock honoring JFK
(Houston Chronicle -- Oct. 9)
Gameday:   Navy vs. Rice
( -- Oct. 8)
AFA's alignment kept Mids on inside track
(Annapolis Capital -- Oct. 8)
Navy can't look past Rice
(Washington Post -- Oct. 8)
Navy's Murray likely to carry load at fullback
(Baltimore Sun -- Oct. 8)

Navy's Buckley takes winning FG in stride
(Baltimore Sun -- Oct. 8)

Glass is half full
(The Rice Thresher -- Oct. 8)
Navy beat writers discuss upcoming game with Rice
(Annapolis Capital -- Oct. 7)

Will Fanuzzi's return be enough to jump-start Owls?
( <MK> -- Oct. 7)
Naval attack deployment:  triple option
(Owl Sports Watch/Rivals -- Oct. 7)
Solomon won't be sneaking up on anybody anytime soon
(Houston Chronicle -- Oct. 7)

Owls to host military supply drive during Navy game
( -- Oct. 7)
Navy thin at nose guard spot
(Annapolis Capital -- Oct. 7)

Texas trip aids Middies' recruiting
(Annapolis Capital -- Oct. 7)

Houston homecoming for Navy's Teich
(Annapolis Capital -- Oct. 7)

Odds and ends on Fanuzzi, Gaines
(Houston Chronicle <JM> -- Oct. 7)

Reaggravation of injury caused Smiter to seek med redshirt
( <MK> -- Oct. 6)
The Briefing Room:  Navy at Rice
( -- Oct. 6)
DB says OL depletions cause of trimmed-down playbook
( -- Oct 7)

Owls set to tackle Navy triple option
(Houston Chronicle -- Oct. 6)
NASA set to honor Rice with moon rock at Navy halftime
( -- Oct. 6)

Navy's Teich doubtful for Rice game
(Annapolis Capital -- Oct. 6)
Fanuzzi:  'You've got to wait until you're 100 per cent'look.gif (907 bytes)
( <MK> -- Oct. 5)
Stuck between today and tommorrowlook.gif (907 bytes)
( <MK> -- Oct. 5)
Monday with the Owls:  and it's spectacular
(Houston Chronicle <JM> -- Oct. 5)

Navy win is redemption for Buckley
( -- Oct. 5)
Navy, Rice rekindle series Saturday in Houston
( -- Oct. 5)
Navy streak over Air Force still kicking
(Annapolis Capitol -- Oct. 5)
You don't worry about these kids quitting
(Houston Chronicle -- Oct. 4)
Owls good...for a half
(Owl Sports Watch/Rivals -- Oct. 4)
Surge in second half saves Hurricane
(Tulsa World -- Oct. 4)
No openly unflattering and vulgar references
(Tulsa World -- Oct. 4)
Hurricane holds Rice to season-low 191 yards
(Tulsa World -- Oct. 4)
Tulsa offense rates 'C', defense 'A'
(Tulsa World -- Oct. 4)
Johnson gives TU a lift
(Tulsa World -- Oct. 4)

Owls still winless after falling to Tulsa, 27-10
( -- Oct. 3)
More of the same for Owls
(Houston Chronicle -- Oct. 3)
Tulsa beats Rice with big second half
(Tulsa World -- Oct. 3)
Tulsa breezes past Rice, 27-10
(Associated Press -- Oct. 3)
Nine yards on nine plays in the third quarter
( <MK> -- Oct. 3)

08tulsacartoon.jpg (32100 bytes)
09vuslwidecongr474a.jpg (69481 bytes)

Owls bloodied but unbowed
as Tulsa grudge match looms

08tulo12leapsxx373.jpg (88859 bytes)
NAW, WE DON'T MISS THIS GUY -- Rice man mountain James Casey vaults over a Tulsa defender in last year's game; who will assume such role in this year's matchup? (Mark Anderson photo)

HOUSTON (Oct. 1) – It’s Tulsa Time this Saturday for the Rice Owls, as the Institute’s next attempt to break into the winning column lies against its former coach and latter-day nemesis, Tulsa University head coach Todd Graham.

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Only a few months ago, that notion would have raised the hackles of Rice fans young and old, what with the circum- stances in which the former Rice mentor got the heck out of Dodge, crocodile tears, false pretenses, moneybags at the ready and all.

But funny how the ups and downs of college football fortunes have a way of dulling the pain of even recent memories, especially when one wins. Just a few months ago, the Owls, for instance, were ten game winners, sitting on top of the world, and hostile thoughts toward anyone, be they ex-coaches, or ex-wives, for that matter, were a dim memory.

But it’s a short flight of stairs from the penthouse to the outhouse, as David Bailiff’s Owls have found out this forgettable September, as an 0-4 start has relegated the Feathered Flock not just to the Bottom 10, but according to at least one tongue-in-cheek football prognosticator, the Bottom Five among major college football non-powers.
Story continues....

09vuo28scores2a471a120sq.jpg (37327 bytes)Rice-Vanderbilt video highlightsupdated.gif (971 bytes)look.gif (907 bytes)
Charles Ross' 49-yard TD run; Rice's 58-yard second-quarter FG drive; defensive highlights;   fourth-quarter touchdown drive)

The taste lingers
This season seems to have taken on qualities of the nightmarish

HOUSTON (Sept. 29) -- It’s hard to be happy even today. I have tried. I had hoped that I would mellow after a few days and be able to be a little more objective about the game. But that didn’t work. I did not mellow.

Time for a win
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From the Distaff End of the Bench

I should have been at peace by Sunday, but the game just wouldn’t go away. That night I had an exhausting nightmare that I was scrambling around behind the line of scrimmage and I couldn’t find anyone to take the ball. Finally, the quarter ended and they carried me off the field.

That has absolutely nothing to do with anything, except the frustration of not being able to move the ball for more first downs and keep some momentum going. Four interceptions will stop a drive dead in its tracks. We did have two exciting touchdowns -- one explosive run by Ross and one Dillard-like catch by Toren in the endzone, and one dead-center field goal by Clark when we finally got down close enough to kick one. Of course, there were some great runs  in the middle of that beleaguered game plan, but they were usually overwhelmed  by what followed.

Bradshaw tried to stop Vanderbilt all by himself; and there were others out there, Jammer, Gaines, Sendejo, Nordstrom, working to plug holes that wouldn’t stay plugged. The fact that our defense held a solid Commodore line with a solid quarterback calling the shots to only 10 points in the first half showed what our defense can do when it’s not tired and riddled with  injuries.
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Vanderbilt 36, Rice 17
Owls stay winless, done in by second half collapse
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Freshman running back Charles Ross huffs and puffs for the goal line on his 49-yard TD run to tie the game at 7, one of the few offensive highlights of the night for the Owls (Mark Anderson photo)

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Scott Solomon hustles to get around his blocker and get to the quarterback (PTH photo)

HOUSTON (Sept. 27) – There are at least a couple of ways one could view Rice's 36-17 loss to Vanderbilt here Saturday night.

Viewpoint A: Given the absence of its starting quarterback, Rice's 17-point effort against a stout Vandy defense that surrendered only 23 points at LSU and 15 to Mississippi State wasn't all that shabby. The aggressiveness and verve shown by Owl defenders until finally worn down by too much time on the field bodes well for defensive efforts against upcoming smaller, slower Conference USA teams. All is not lost.

Viewpoint B: Rice's alarming inability to produce anything resembling a significant offensive threat against a perennial SEC bottom-dweller raises huge red flags. Surrendering 36 points to a team that couldn't even find the end zone at home its last outing indicates the Rice defense continues to be seriously outmanned and/or ill-prepared, and it will only get worse against the high-powered offenses seen in Conference USA. All is lost.

May we have a show of hands, please? (30-second pause)

Hoo boy, are we in trouble -- looks like Coach Zaunbrecher has just texted in his vote for "B."
Story continues.... updated.gif (971 bytes)       Box score, statistics....

Randolphs play father-son game
(Tulsa World -- Oct. 3)
Graham's return stirs some bad memories
(Houston Chronicle -- Oct. 3)

Tulsa must not play down to its competition
(Tulsa World -- Oct. 3)
Margin of error slim for Tulsa
(Tulsa World -- Oct. 3)
Owl OLs play musical chairs
( <MK> -- Oct. 2)
Game week preview:  Tulsa defense
(Owl Sports Watch/Rivals -- Oct. 2
Rough start, fantastic finish?
(Houston Chronicle -- Oct. 2)
Tulsa's young talent filling in
(Tulsa World -- Oct. 2)

'We need to get the lucky stone in our pocket'
(The Rice Thresher -- Oct. 2)

Game week preview:  Tulsa offense
(Owl Sports Watch/Rivals -- Oct. 1)
Marcus Knox:  'Rice has helped open that door'
( <MK> -- Oct. 1)
Trae Johnson gets more looks for Tulsa
(Tulsa World -- Oct. 1)
One goal for Tulsa:  win league crown
(Tulsa World -- Oct. 1)

Still waiting on Fanuzzi
(Houston Chronicle -- Oct. 1)

Fanuzzi status still a mystery
( <MK> -- Sept. 30)
Coach says Rice still improving
(Tulsa World -- Sept. 30)
Graham always on winning side in Rice-Tulsa matches
(Tulsa World -- Sept. 30)

Rice still looking for first win of season
(The News-Tribune/The Sports Network -- Sept. 30)

Rice in search of Owls' 'perfect punt'
(Houston Chronicle -- Sept. 30)
As losses go, this one wasn't too bad
(The Rice Thresher -- Sept. 30)
Tulsa opens as 16-point favorite
(Houston Chronicle -- Sept. 30)
It's wait-and-see on Fanuzzi
(Houston Chronicle -- Sept. 30)
Bailiff keeping things in perspective at Rice
(Houston Chronicle -- Sept. 29)
Graham:   'We're going to be in the national spotlight'
(Tulsa World -- Sept. 29)
TG says Tulsa facing most important week of season
( -- Sept. 29)
'One thing is to not point any fingers'
( <MK> -- Sept. 28)
Graham Monday:  Busy month awaits TU
(Tulsa World -- Sept. 28)
TU focus shifts to Rice
(Tulsa World -- Sept. 28)
Tulsa's offensive line gets better
(Tulsa World -- Sept. 28)

Johnson says Vandy is kicking too much
(Easton, PA, Express-Times/AP -- Sept. 28)
Vandy's passing game gets off  the ground
(The Bleacher Report -- Sept. 28)
Vanderbilt knew it missed chances at Rice
(Nashville Tennessean -- Sept. 28)
Others wins a boon for Tulsa
(Tulsa World -- Sept. 28)

Hurricane still has much to accomplish
(Tulsa World -- Sept. 27)
JD attended Vandy game; Thor wore Rice t-shirt apres Texans- Jags
( <MK> -- Sept. 27)
A slew of problems, starting with receiver depth
( <MK> -- Sept. 27)
Bailiff can't seem to catch a break
(Houston Chronicle <JM> -- Sept. 27)
Rice defense wears down in Vandy win
(Rice Rivals -- Sept. 27)
Freshmen come through for Vanderbilt
(Vanderbilt Hustler -- Sept. 27)
VU gets Jared Hawkins back on field
(Nashville Tennessean -- Sept. 27)
Vanderbilt's big plays bring home victory
(Nashville Tennessean -- Sept. 27)
Winless Rice comes up short against Vandy
(Houston Chronicle -- Sept. 26)
Defense hangs on as long as possible
( <MK> -- Sept. 26)
Vanderbilt finds offense in win over Rice
(Nashville Tennessean -- Sept. 26)
Offensive explosion as Vanderbilt defeats Rice
(Vanderbilt Hustler -- Sept. 26

Commodores handle Owls, 36-17
( Sports Network -- Sept. 26)

Vanderbilt runs past Rice for easy win
(Associated Press -- Sept. 26)

Sammy Sez:  Welcome to Houston, thou Pretender
vandy54prog471d.jpg (206688 bytes)

Battle of the real students
Owls, Commodores match brains, brawn;
both teams desperately in need of win

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Expectations are for the defenses to dominate   Saturday -- so it'll probably be a shootout (PTH photo)

HOUSTON (Sept. 24) -- So it seems US News & World Report has got Rice and Vanderbilt all knotted up at number 17 among the greatest top-of-the-line national universities in the country. Fair enough, though we beg to differ; our predominant view being that of Vandy as a Rice "safety school," a fine enough alternative for those who can't quite score high enough to make the matriculation cut at the Institute.

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(Of course VU denizens probably view us in the same way, but instead seeing Ricies as being among those who lack the social acumen to make it at such a tony place as Vanderbilt.)

To each his own, but as it is, being tied for number 17 in the nation academically by the most generally recognized authority, it seems we also have a little football game scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Saturday at our historic old ball ground.

What a perfect opportunity to duke it out and settle the matter of superiority once and for all -- having tied in the brains category, we can award the blue ribbon to the school that out-brawns the other.
Story continues....      One thing we know VU knows how to do well....

Up Close:  Matt Nordstrom
'Effort can make up for talent; it can make up for a lot of things'

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Walk-on engineerng major Matt Nordstrom turned heads with his gutty performance at starting linebacker Saturday against OSU (PTH photos)

HOUSTON (Sept. 22) – A walk-on football player at Rice University so often epitomizes the ideal student-athlete. The number of young men who can qualify academically at the institution while at the same time devoting what turns out the equivalent of a full-time job working out with the football team are few and rare indeed.

Emerging from their ranks after graduation, doctors, lawyers, engineers are a dime a dozen. But every once in a while there also appears a walk-on Rice football player who literally comes out of nowhere to render some serious fanny-whooping on the football field, as well.

That brings us to Matthew Nordstrom.

The Michigan native played some pretty rugged high school ball up north, earning all-conference honors and team MVP at Rochester Hills High, while lettering in tennis and wrestling as well. But those were just extracurricular pursuits. Matt also found time to graduate valedictorian of his high school senior class, posting a 3.97 on a 4.0-scale GPA. An engineering career loomed and enrollment at an academically potent university beckoned.
Story continues....

Maybe Owls didn't secure win, but game gave cause for cheer
And now, finally, we'll see two brainy schools bang helmets

HOUSTON (Sept. 20) -- Now those are the fighting Rice Owls I know and love!  This was not the same team that played Texas Tech and UAB. And it certainly wasn’t because the quality of the opposition was not present -- number 16 was there as adver- tised. The fans were there, 53,000 of them, plus their football team and a myopic Big 12 officiating crew. 

Lots of pluses
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From the Distaff End of the Bench

Rice was changing before our eyes—or rather my ears. If the second half had been the first half, who knows but that the Cowboys would have checked the schedule to see if the wrong team showed up. No doubt they were angry after UH wopped them, and out to prove how great they were to their roaring fans and themselves.

And for the first half, they did just that with some luckless mistakes and some gimme touchdowns from the Owls wrapped up and given to a team that didn’t need any help from us. 
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osuma1videoblank.jpg (39513 bytes)Rice-OSU video highlights
(The videos are field level and only
so-so, but we have clips of all three Rice touchdowns and several other big plays, to boot; plus indication of the atmosphere and noise level)

Oklahoma State 41, Rice 24
Progress, but no 'W'
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-- True freshman running back Charles Ross bulls for the first of his three touchdowns against the Oklahoma Aggies Saturday (Mark Anderson photo)

Fanuzzi takes command at QB, Owls outgain OSU,
but Cowboys use gift points, big plays to prevail

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Toren Dixon comes down with one of his nine receptions on the night against OSU (PTH photo)

STILLWATER, Okla. (Sept. 19) -- One should have surmised that this Rice Owl team would finally come in from the cold, once every hillbilly hack sportswriter in the former Indian Territory proclaimed Rice 'cooked in five minutes,' or some similar sentiments, earlier this week. 

In fact, it was the Feathered Flock that did a little cooking of its own in matching blow for blow a talented,  but not particularly well-put-together, Oklahoma State team, eventually falling 41-24 here Saturday.

The math is simple:  take away a muffed snap on a field goal attempt that cost the Owls three points and gave the home team seven on the return.  Add in a fifteen-yard chip shot touchdown drive occasioned by a long Cowboy interception return via fluke tipped ball.

Let's see...subtract 3, carry the 7, add seven more....alright, that gives the Oklaggies 27 points, and the, they have 27, too.

It gets more exasperating.  For one thing, the Owls dominated OSU in first downs, yardage and time of possession.  Even  allowing for the gift-wrapped first-half points, the Owls were right in the thick of the game after Nick Fanuzzi led the Institute on three, third-quarter touchdown drives, each culminating in a bulldozer touchdown plunge by true freshman Charles Ross.

But on that third TD march, as Nick broke loose and dived for the pylon, he landed on his shoulder.  It wasn't a blowout, but the resultant leaky tire was enough to put the dinged- up Owl signal caller on the bench for the duration of the game.

Talk about rotten luck.  No sooner than we land us our quarterback, he gets relegated to the pine.
Story continues....updated.gif (971 bytes)

Owl heads high for final tuneup
(Houston Chronicle -- Sept. 26)
Vanderbilt defense faces test in Rice
(Nashville Tennessean -- Sept. 26)
Vanderbilt hoping to bounce back against Rice
(Vanderbilt -- Sept. 26)

Vanderbilt-Rice:  Gut check time
(Nashville Tennessean -- Sept. 26)

'2 to the fourth power-the square root of 156.3'
(Philadelphia Inquirer -- Sept. 26)
Loser gets to call itself “THE” academic institution of the South
(Lafayette Advertiser -- Sept. 26)
Time for key reserves to step up, play role
( <MK> -- Sept. 25)
Owls stumble against another Big 12 foe
(The Rice Thresher -- Sept. 25)
Season ain't over yet
(The Rice Thresher -- Sept. 25)
Vanderbilt sees injuries pile up
(Nashville Tennessean -- Sept. 25)

Rice preview with Warren Belin
( -- Sept. 25)

No-huddle no good
(Vanderbilt Hustler -- Sept. 25)

Nick's Commodore keys:  Rice
(Vandymania -- Sept. 24)
The oddsmakers are killing my Commodores
(Crossville Chronicle -- Sept. 24)

Vandy just might make good on last year's winning season
(Nashville Scene -- Sept. 24)

Vanderbilt-Rice preview capsule
(Victoria Advocate -- Sept. 24)

Vanderbilt knows it needs to beat Rice
(The Bleacher Report -- Sept. 24)

Foot injuries plague Vanderbilt
(Nashville Tennessean -- Sept. 24)

Injuries:  To report or not report?
( <MK> -- Sept. 24)
Vanderbilt duo hones pass routes
(Nashville Tennessean -- Sept. 24)

Head-to-head:    Vanderbilt vs. Ricelook.gif (907 bytes)
( -- Sept. 23)
Vandy's no-huddle is off to slow start
(Nashville Tennessean -- Sept. 23)
Vanderbilt's focus is on runnlng game
(Nashville Tennessean -- Sept. 23)
An ugly drive chart for Vanderbilt
(TeamSpeedKills -- Sept. 23)
Bobby Johnson's Wednesday teleconference
(SEC Blog -- Sept. 23)
VU coach looking for short-yardage backs
(Nashville City Paper -- Sept. 23)
Rice takes lessons from losses as seeks first win
(Houston Chronicle -- Sept. 22)
Frosh take steps toward becoming key competitors
( <MK> -- Sept. 22)

VU players soak up spotlight with eye black
(Nashville Tennessean -- Sept. 22)
Bobby Johnson defends play-calling
(Nashville Tennessean -- Sept. 22)
Vandy could join QB switcheroo
(Nashville Tennessean -- Sept. 22)
Vanderbilt's Vierling the voice of reason
(The Bleacher Report -- Sept. 22)
Rice could offer get-well tonic for 'Dores
( -- Sept. 21)
The Gifted and the Grinder
( <MK> -- Sept. 21)
Okies' excuse?  They were 'beat up'
(OSU Rivals/Baylor Rivals -- Sept. 21)
Progress for Owls at the quarter pole
( <MK> -- Sept. 21)

Couldn't be better time for Vandy 'O' to meet up with Rice 'D'
(Nashville Tennessean -- Sept. 21)
OSU, Robinson have historic night against Owls
(The Daily O'Collegian -- Sept. 21)
Tulsa, OSU need to shape up
(Tulsa World -- Sept. 21)

Vanderbilt home loss hurts bowl hopes
(Nashville Tennessean -- Sept. 21)

OSU special teams are all-or-nothing
(Stillwater News-Press -- Sept. 21)

VU offense:  'We just need to do better'
(Vanderbilt Hustler -- Sept. 20)
Offensive meltdown:  Bulldogs humble VU
( -- Sept. 20)

Six officials' calls that swayed day for Oklahoma A
(Parliament discussion thread)
Owls' late push not enough to hold off Cowboys
(Houston Chronicle -- Sept. 20)
Owls take step in right direction
( <MK> -- Sept. 20)
Owls find improvement in loss to Cowboys
(Rice Rivals -- Sept. 20)
OSU leaves room for improvement in victory
(Tulsa World -- Sept. 20)
Backups struggle against lowly Rice 'D'
(Tulsa World -- Sept. 20)
OSU offense, defense both earn 'D's' for this stinker
(Tulsa World -- Sept. 20)
When are Cowboys finally going to drill somebody?
( -- Sept. 20)
Rice's final numbers are misleading
( -- Sept. 20)

OSU played better against the 'other' school from Houston
(Tulsa World -- Sept. 20)

Reception gave Owls offense confidence
( -- Sept. 20)

Cowboys need to get ball to Dez -- often
( -- Sept. 20)

Video highlights of Vandy-Mississippi Statelook.gif (907 bytes)
( -- Sept. 19)
OSU survives Rice scare
(Muskogee Phoenix/AP -- Sept. 19)

Bryant helps Oklahoma State down Rice
(The Sports Network -- Sept. 19)

Sammy Sez:  "Y'all call that 'a BRIGHTER shade of orange'???"
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009techvidmarker.jpg (41840 bytes)Rice-Tech video clips
(Not much excitement here, but there is a clip of Rice's touchdown and a handful of other plays, plus some video of the stadium, crowd and band)

Lopsided loss to Texas Tech
no evidence of team's effort

HOUSTON (Sept. 14) -- At 6:30 PM this Sunday evening, I finally got to listen to the Rice-Texas Tech football game. I pushed the Start button on my old tape recorder and voila! There I was in beautiful Lubbock on a very windy day with my Rice Owls and hope in my heart.

Hang in there; it's still early
joyce167.jpg (3700 bytes)

From the Distaff End of the Bench

To arrive at this point, I had to revert back to some 20 year old equipment, an old black boxy tape recorder (that I finally found in the bottom of a drawer in the toy room,) two 90 minute tapes, my $100 transistor radio, and my very nice son, Mike, who ran upstairs to turn the tape over every 45 minutes.

I was at a couples shower for one of my granddaughters and her husband-to-be, and believe me, Grandmother had to be THERE. The problem was that I couldn’t find a single person in this highly technical world, not a computer geek, I-phone addict, or radio guru who could tell me how to save a radio broadcast. Finally, in desperation, I did it the old-fashioned way with the radio standing next to the tape recorder in an upstairs closet while the party raged on below.

Texas Tech 55, Rice 10
      Tech post-game press conference video....
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Bleeding continues
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Tyler Smith tries the middle of the Tech line to little avail; Tyler, however, was the leading Owl rusher on the day (PTH photo)
Owls hang on for a half, but wear down
after third-quarter gamble falls short

tt09o88catch2vx4.jpg (115469 bytes)
Vance McDonald makes catch, bulls ahead, and Tech defender loses his helmet in the bargain (PTH photo)

LUBBOCK (Sept. 12) – The situation was this: Rice trailed Texas Tech 14-3, in the opening moments of the second half Saturday. The Owls had taken the kickoff, and they were driving. A quick six would put the Rice team right back in the thick of the game. After Nick Fanuzzi hit Toren Dixon coming across for 9, the Owls were camped at the Tech 47, third and one. There, the defense stiffened. Tyler Smith rushed for no gain. Now the Owls were facing fourth and one. Faking the halfback dive, Fanuzzi rolled left; his primary receiver, Luke Willson, camped out on the sideline, eight yards past the line of scrimmage. It appeared the Rice signal caller could take his pick: run for the first down, or make the toss to his receiver. Nick reared up to throw. The crowd roared.

Permit us, at this point, to engage in a bit of idle speculation which accomplishes nothing. We promise to never do this again, ever. But allow it just this one time – we’ve got to get it out of our system, once and for all.

Imagine that this season’s Rice team had two former players still out there suited up for them. Oh, imagine, just for the purpose of speculation, that those two players were Chase Clement, at quarterback, and Jarett Dillard, at wide receiver. Imagine that it was actually Chase out there rolling left, JD camped out at the sideline.

One could easily foresee a couple of outcomes at that juncture. The first would have Chase faking to JD and drawing in every defensive back in the county, for such was the level of respect that the record-breaking Rice wideout drew. From there, it would have been easy for Chase to tuck it under and gain first down yardage and more, perhaps even getting it all the way to the end zone, as he not infrequently did.
Story continues....updated.gif (971 bytes)    Box score, game summary....  

Owls-Cowboys:  Five things to watch
( <MK> -- Sept. 19)
Bryant makes OSU even more formidable
(Houston Chronicle -- Sept. 19)
OSU defense flunking against spread offenses
(Stillwater News-Press -- Sept. 19)
Scoring a lot of points would lift Cowboy offense out of the doldrums
( -- Sept. 19)
Cowboys look to restore swagger
(Tulsa World --  Sept. 19)
Not sure reps against Rice actually count for much
( -- Sept. 18)
OSU tries to bounce back vs. Rice
(Tulsa World -- Sept. 18)
No. 16 Cowboys face deja vu against Rice
(Hendersonville News/AP -- Sept. 18)

Time to stop a terrible team that should be stopped
( -- Sept. 18)
Behind enemy lines:   Rice
( -- Sept. 18)
'We'll have to be perfect in every respect...'
(The Rice Thresher -- Sept. 18)
Bryant best player Owls will see all year
(Houston Chronicle <JM> -- Sept. 17)
Gameweek preview:  Oklahoma State offense
(Rice Rivals -- Sept. 17)
Gundy:   Dez Bryant could be better team player
(The Sporting News -- Sept. 17)
Cowboys' defense moves past meltdown
(Tulsa World -- Sept. 17)

'We're going to try and get it started'
(Altus, OK, Times/AP -- Sept. 17)
First meeting between Rice and Oklahoma State since 1923
( -- Sept. 17)
Re-educated Cowboyts look to return to form
(The Bleacher Report -- Sept. 17)

OSU defense fallling behind in sacks
(The Daily Oklahoman -- Sept. 17)
Cowboys might be beaten but aren't broken yet
(The Daily O'Collegian -- Sept. 17)

Time for Zac, OSU offense to have fun
(The Stillwater News-Press -- Sept. 16)

Slow starts, few answers for Cowboys
(The Stillwater News-Press -- Sept. 16)
TD says big game for offense is around the corner
(Houston Chronicle <JM> -- Sept. 16)
Rice RB Smith back on his feet
(Houston Chronicle -- Sept. 16)
Gameweek preview:  Oklahoma State offense
(Rice Rivals -- Sept. 16)

Backup tailbacks fill in nicely for OSU
(The Daily Oklahoman -- Sept. 16)
Offense sluggish for no. 16 Oklahoma State
(El Paso Times -- Sept. 16)
Cowboys set to get back in the saddle against Owls
(The News Tribune/Sports Network -- Sept. 16)
Up close:  OSU's Keith Toston
(Tulsa World -- Sept. 16)
Know the foe:  Rice Owls
(Tulsa World -- Sept. 16)
Bailiff sees good future despite quarterback uncertainty
(Houston Chronicle -- Sept. 15)
OSU football:  out of rhythm
(The Daily Oklahoman -- Sept. 15)
Cowboys' stint as national darlings was short-lived
( -- Sept. 15)
'Houston was in the right place at the right time'
(FoxSports -- Sept. 15)
Gundy, Cowboys visit with media
( -- Sept. 14)
Through the fire:  An eye on Stillwater
( <MK> -- Sept. 14)
Hunter's injury shouldn't cripple OSU's ground game
( -- Sept. 14)
Reality check delivered:  No. 5 OSU falls to Houston
(The Bleacher Report -- Sept. 14)
OSU seeks more aggressive defense
(Dallas Morning News -- Sept. 14)
Gundy:  OSU to redouble efforts this week
(Tulsa World -- Sept. 14)
Turnovers, penalties also to blame for Houston’s 45-point day
(The Daily Oklahoman -- Sept. 14)
OSU's Hunter doubtful for Rice
(Tulsa World -- Sept. 14)
The day after:  Texas Tech
(Houston Chronicle <JM> -- Sept. 13)

Owls-Red Raiders:  The audacity of hope
( <MK> -- Sept. 13)

OSU regroups after Houston loss
(KOCO 5 Oklahoma City -- Sept. 13)

Defense responds early in loss to Tech
(Rice Rivals -- Sept. 13)
Tech runs away from Rice as Potts throws for seven
(The Daily Toreador -- Sept. 13)
Young Owl secondary learns harsh lesson
(Lubbock Avalanche-Journal -- Sept. 13)
No relief in sight for opposing QBs, Tech ends
(Lubbock Avalanche-Journal -- Sept. 13)

Leong emerges; Swindall finds way back
(Lubbock Avalanche-Journal -- Sept. 13)

After sluggish first half, Raiders get cooking against Rice
(Lubbock Avalanche-Journal -- Sept. 13)
Potts' 7 TD passes have Tech ready  for Texas
(Fort Worth Star-Telegram -- Sept. 13)

'From that point on, it didn't look like we were the same team'
(Houston Chronicle -- Sept. 13)
Big third quarter boosts Raiders in runaway win
( <MK> -- Sept. 12)
Potts throws 7 TDs as Tech downs Rice
(Associated Press -- Sept. 12)
Tech steadily stomped Owls
(Lubbock Avalanche-Journal -- Sept. 12)

Sammy sez:  Hey, never mind us, we'll just
roll over -- best be thinking about Texas!!
07techpgm466.jpg (63069 bytes)

'Test of toughness' looms for Owls,
as Tech offensive machine is next

Toren Dixon says team is not about mailing this one in

09uab2catchvx375.jpg (107129 bytes)
Toren Dixon is one to reach high, to accomplish his goals (PTH photo)

By Mark Anderson

HOUSTON (Sept. 10) -- Toren Dixon wasn't about to let Rice's disheartening loss to UAB last week derail his freight train or do anything to deter the goals of his teammates, insofar as he had anything to do about it. The putative leader of the Owls offense, if not the team, ascended to that position because of the hard-driving attitude he displays week in and week out.

03sammytnsmall.jpg (3540 bytes)

That includes this week, as the Owls get set to face Texas Tech's prolific offensive machine.

Toren said he recognizes that going into Lubbock will not be an easy task. "Texas Tech is known for putting a lot of points on the board," he told us . "And they have a defense, too – they're well coached and aggressive."

Toren has a lot of respect for the Red Raiders, and it shows. But is there any trepidation, on his part, of what might happen on the field, Saturday?
Story (908 bytes)

A bad case of arrhythmia

The difference between being at the top of Page 1 and winding up at bottom of Page 6

HOUSTON (Sept. 8) -- “EEETIE ICHIBAN.”  I’m pretty sure that‘s not how you spell it, but my Doctor husband said that was what the South Koreans used to say to him when he was treating a wound.  “IT HURTS.”  And somehow it just felt good to say that!

Hang in there, it's early
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From the Distaff End of the Bench

I had to sit through a sermon on forgiveness Sunday before I could even think about that game against UAB Saturday. I was thinking some pretty untoward thoughts there for awhile, and though they were true, I certainly wasn’t qualified to pin point the problem. I just wasn’t ready to let go of our winning streak

I was mad at Comcast, too, Saturday because the televised game was pretty exclusive, not even the sports bars had it. Naturally, I have U-Verse. Everybody I know who has Comcast was always mad at it, until the Rice-UAB game showed up.  I had to go to my son’s house to watch it and somewhere along the line I found myself wishing I had just listened on the radio.
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UAB 44, Rice 24
Rice post-game interviews....look.gif (907 bytes)
Inauspicious inaugural

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-- Owl defenders Travis Bradshaw (top), Chris Jones grasp at thin air in futile attempt to track down UAB quarterback Joe Webb in Saturday's action (PTH photo)
First half swoon dooms  Owls in season opener

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Rice's Andrew Sendejo led all Owl tacklers on the night; as it turned out, he had scant competition (PTH photo)

BIRMINGHAM, AL (Sept. 5) -- OK, then, was 2008 just a dream or something?

The Rice Owls started out as if in a dream, themselves,  on both sides of the ball as Joe Webb and his UAB Blazers calmly dissected the Feathered Flock, running out to a 27-3 halftime advantage and never looking back in a 44-24 runaway win under rainy skies here Saturday evening.

Despite penetrating the UAB 10-yard line their first two possessions, the Owls came away with zero points to show for their efforts, and that fact proved the by-word for the game, as it seemed to invigorate a UAB offense that thereafter was able to stage big play after big play against a tentative Rice defense.

The three-touchdown loss brought the Owls (and needless to say, their fans as well) down to earth with a thump after their off-season bask in the glow of 2008's ten-win campaign, and served to point out just how thin a line there is between winning and losing. That’s the good news, according to Rice head coach David Bailiff – Rice didn’t get "outpersonneled" out there Saturday, except perhaps on the sidelines.
Story continues....updated.gif (971 bytes)          Box score, game summary....

It's more of the same for Tech
(Houston Chronicle -- Sept. 12)
Leach:   Hard to judge a team by its first game
(Lubbock Avalanche-Journal -- Sept. 12)

'Once that first snap went, I was all good'
( <MK> -- Sept. 12)
Owls-Red Raiders:  Five things to watch
( <MK> -- Sept. 12)

Former Rice QB Bates doesn't dwell on the past
(Denver Post -- Sept. 12)

Tech to play Rice in tuneup for UT
( -- Sept. 12)

Tech DE Sharpe turns trials into triumph
(Lubbock Avalanche-Journal -- Sept. 11)
Bring back good ol' SWC days
( -- Sept. 11)

Rice must rebound quickly, focus on Tech
(Houston Chronicle -- Sept. 11)
Tech to play Rice in final tuneup before UT
(Dallas Morning News -- Sept. 11)

Raiders usually suit up 70 for home games as well
(Lubbock Avalanche-Journal -- Sept. 11)

Owls fall to UAB as new crop continues adjustment
(The Rice Thresher -- Sept. 11)

Old SWC foes renew rivalry
(The Bleacher Report -- Sept. 11)
Tech welcomes Rice team still looking for identity
(The Daily Toreador -- Sept. 11)
Disastrous UAB performance still on Owls' minds
(The Daily Toreador/Guest Column -- Sept. 11)
Five reasons why Tech will win
(Double T Nation -- Sept. 10)
Game week preview:  Texas Tech defense
(Rice Rivals -- Sept. 10)
Owls' task this week:  slowing the unstoppable
( <MK> -- Sept. 10)
Tech running game looks to rebound with Rice
(The Daily Toreador -- Sept. 10)

Five reasons why Tech will lose to Rice
(Double T Nation -- Sept. 9)
All jokes aside, Owls' Carrington making an impact
(Houston Chronicle -- Sept. 9)

How Potts compares with other Tech first-game QBs
( -- Sept. 9)

SA's Dillard setting sights on long NFL career
(San Antonio Express -- Sept. 9)

Red Raiders say minds on Rice, not Longhorns
(Lubbock Avalanche-Journal -- Sept. 9)

Tech not looking past Rice
( -- Sept. 9)

Position matchups:  Rice vs. Texas Tech
(Double T Nation -- Sept. 9)

Game week preview:  Texas Tech offense
(Rice Rivals -- Sept. 8)

Raiders preparing for clash with Rice
( -- Sept. 8)
Leach likes the balance of Tech offense
(Double T Nation -- Sept. 8)
Rice QB situation still not settled; Fanuzzi to start
(Houston Chronicle -- Sept. 8)
'Put his drops in there, and he's at 70 per cent'
(Houston Chronicle <JM> -- Sept. 8)
Joe Webb is best football player I've never seen
( -- Sept. 8)
Fanuzzi to start but Rice will still use two QBs
( -- Sept. 8)

Tech, Potts quick to correct mistakes before Rice matchup
(The Daily Toreador -- Sept. 7)
Tech's Potts pretty good in debut
(Fort Worth Star-Telegram -- Sept. 7)
Transitioning from Birmingham to Lubbock
( <MK> -- Sept. 7)
Crunching the numbers:  Owls vs. Raiders
(Double T Nation -- Sept. 7)
Red Raiders' run game due for tuneup
(Lubbock Avalanche-Journal -- Sept. 7)
Tomorrow's leaders:  Terrance Garmon
( -- Sept. 7)
It wasn't perfect start Red Raiders hoped for
(The Daily Toreador -- Sept. 7)

It's a win for Raiders, albeit an ugly one
(Double T Nation -- Sept. 7)

Now comes Rice -- good timing
(The Williams and Hyatt Showblog -- Sept. 7)

Such is the albatross of success
(The  Broadcast Booth -- Sept. 6)

Raiders' win over this ND draws mixed reviews
(Lubbock Avalanche-Journal -- Sept. 6)
thedayafter1.jpg (22691 bytes)Rice-UAB:   The Day After
(Houston Chronicle <JM> -- Sept. 6)
Defensive line is a hit in UAB's win
( -- Sept. 6)
Owls unravel against Blazers in season opener
(Houston Chronicle -- Sept. 6)
Owls get tangled in Webb
(Rice Rivals -- Sept. 6)

The numbers are too glaring to ignore
( <MK> -- Sept. 6)
Is this guy good or what?
( -- Sept. 6)
Webb's legs, arm drive  Blazers win
( -- Sept. 6)

QB had a Joe Webb kind of day
( -- Sept. 6)

Callaway happy, but knows there's work ahead
(Blazer  -- Sept. 6)

Recap:  UAB vs. Rice
(The Sports Network -- Sept. 6)
Strong first half leads UAB in season opener
(Houston Chronicle -- Sept. 6)

Shame and woe are the emotions du jour
( <MK> -- Sept. 5)

Four tackles for Solly, playing as a DT
( <MK> -- Sept. 5)
The difference?  It was Joe Webb
(Houston Chronicle <JM> -- Sept. 5)
UAB rolls past Rice, 44-24
(KTRK ABC13/AP -- Sept. 5)
Webb accounts for game's first 4 touchdowns
(ABC13 Huntsville -- Sept. 5)
UAB crushes Rice, 44-24, in opener
(Blazer Sports Report -- Sept. 5)
Blazers get big season-opening win over Rice
( -- Sept. 6)

STAR.gif (898 bytes) EPC dinners ongoing; click here to join....   look.gif (907 bytes)
Sammy sez: HE's the one who'll be breathing fire this Saturday....09uabcartoon471x.jpg (200446 bytes)

Having been around block,
Shep stands at the ready

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John Thomas Shepherd:  'My mindset was that I was going to be the starting quarterback...'

HOUSTON (Aug. 31) –John Thomas Shepherd stood a bit tentatively at the podium, a somewhat unfamiliar point of view for the Rice fifth-year signal caller, as he gamely took on questions from all comers, the man of the hour as he prepares to lead his Owl team in its season opener at UAB Saturday.

Almost always the bridesmaid, seldom the bride, the articulate but  soft-spoken senior reminded his questioners that this doesn’t mark the first time he’s been figuratively thrown to the wolves.  “I started at UCLA as a redshirt freshman,” he pointed out, “if you want to talk about being thrown out on the field and having to be ready to go.”

He was speaking of a game in 2006 in which both first-string quarterback Chase Clement and backup Joel Armstrong were hobbled going into Rice’s second game of the season, this one at the Rose Bowl before a hostile crowd and a long way from home, after Chase got his thumb jammed in a narrow, 31-30 loss to UH in the home season opener.
Story continues....
new.gif (908 bytes) Rice two-deep depth chart.... look.gif (907 bytes) UAB two- deep depth chart....look.gif (907 bytes)

Owls open with uninspiring foe
but need inspired play to win

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The UAB offense starts and finishes with 6-4, 200-pound senior QB Joe Webb (UAB file photo)

HOUSTON (Aug. 28) – The irony is inescapable in the fact that the 2009 Rice Owls open their season in as crucial a ‘must-win’ league game as they have faced in many a year.

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Or at least since last year, anyway, when the Flock opened at home against SMU and achieved liftoff for a ten-win campaign with a convincing victory.

Yet at the same time, the Flock stands to commence the defense of its heart-pounding 2008 campaign on the road against a team which, well, let’s say, doesn’t quicken the pulse of old time Owl fans the way Texas, Houston, or even for that matter SMU would.

In opening their season Saturday, Sept. 5, the Owls travel to the land of kudzu and rusted out Bessemer Converters as they take on the University of Alabama-Birmingham Blazers, a team that, as recently as 1990, wasn’t even playing the game of football, at any level.
Story continues....

Shep to start against UAB
(Fox 26 Sports -- Sept. 4)
Fanuzzi makes his return to Bama
( -- Sept. 4)

Frosh kicker gets call for UAB
( -- Sept. 4)

Owls-Blazers:  Five things to watch
( <MK> -- Sept. 4)
Guess who's coming to pregame?
( <MK> -- Sept. 4)

In search of repeat, Owls bring plethora of questions
(The Rice Thresher -- Sept. 4)
Thresher staff predictions range from 4-8 to....
(The Rice Thresher -- Sept. 4)

Leadership role falls on Sendejo's shoulders
(The Rice Thresher -- Sept. 4)

A closer look:  scouting the schedule
(The Rice Thresher -- Sept. 4)

James Casey talks about his NFL debut
(The Rice Thresher -- Sept. 4)

Owl special teams gain potency
(Rice Rivals -- Sept. 3)
Sendejo named Lowe's award candidate
( -- Sept. 3)
Game time almost here for UAB
( -- Sept. 3)
'Excited would be an understatement'
(Fox Sports -- Sept. 3)

McGuffie not talking about Michigan's problems
(Houston Chronicle -- Sept. 3)

The grand experiment at QB
(Rice <MK> -- Sept. 2)
UAB looks for help for Webb
( -- Sept. 2)
Difficult to get read on 2009 season
( <MK> -- Sept. 2)

UAB a 5 1/2 point favorite over Owls
(KHOU 11/Associated Press -- Sept. 2)
Blazers greeted by football weather at Wednesday practice
( -- Sept. 2)

League opponent in opener not good for young Owls
(Houston Chronicle -- Sept. 2)
Journeyman Slaughter 'can't wait' for Rice


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Greenspan's the man (Mar. 12); Thor at school, practice notes (Mar. 11); 26's Berman with a new list of AD prospects; Practice note, Day 1  (Mar. 9); Cook a transfer QB to watch (Mar. 3) searchGoogle
UH postgamewavsymbol.jpg (726 bytes)
09ucfdbsnap2tn1.jpg (18532 bytes)Coach Bailiff
‘They were ready to go and we weren’t. So much of football is attitude, and we got on our heels and never recovered. As prepared as I thought we had them, I didn’t’
09vupgtbmug1.jpg (19532 bytes)Travis Bradshaw
‘They were executing and we weren’t. We’ve got something to use for motivation next year at least’
09tnpstgamecrossmug3xx.jpg (17082 bytes)Charles Ross
‘We just never got a rhythm going in the first hal. It’s added pressure when you’re down by so much because you’re trying too hard’
UH weekwavsymbol.jpg (726 bytes)look.gif (907 bytes)
Monday press luncheon
09uhwkdbmug5xxx.jpg (19335 bytes)Coach Bailiff
‘It will be even more emotional this week at Houston when those seniors realize they’re not going to put on that Rice Owl jersey and compete any more for this great university’
09uhwksmitchellmug2xxx.jpg (18833 bytes)Scott Mitchell
‘This game is everything for us right now; we have a two game win streak; we’re trying to get three; it’s the Bayout Bucket, a cross town rivalry...'
09uhwksollymug2xxx.jpg (18949 bytes)Scott Solomon
‘It’s always fun to play these guys, we look forward to it each year because we feel like we always play them well; we’re always ready to go for them, so I think we’ll be ready to go this week’
UTEP postgamewavsymbol.jpg (726 bytes)
09epdbm4xxx.jpg (17621 bytes)Coach Bailiff
'That was one of the more exciting games I’ve ever been a part of...with the six takeaways this defense came alive tonight...we just finally outlasted them'
09epdtsm1xxx.jpg (16426 bytes)Tyler Smith
'It’s good to take advantage of the oppor- tunities the defense gives us...being able to get that first down; it was a redemption, especially playing UTEP since that’s when I was injured'
09epdjhm1xxx.jpg (17151 bytes)Justin Hill
'We talked about being the second half, we just came out on fire with that attitude, just like last week, saying "enough is enough"'
09epdtbm2xxx.jpg (17581 bytes)Travis Bradshaw
'We could tell after that first drive that he really wasn’t securing the ball too well; we talked about it on the sideline'
09epdtgm1xxx.jpg (17326 bytes)Terrance Garmon
'People always say it’s not how you start, it’s how you long as you play with emotion and passion and bring all you have'
UTEP weekwavsymbol.jpg (726 bytes)look.gif (907 bytes)
Monday press luncheon
09utepwkdbm3xx.jpg (17055 bytes)Coach Bailiff
"You could tell that we were going to come back the second half and play wiht great enthusiasm and passion...we had some things happen; we had guys execute..."
09utepwktorenm2xx.jpg (18338 bytes)Toren Dixon
"Just having the coaches believing in me and this offense, to take a shot on fourth down, instead of possibly kicking a field goal – that was a great feeling"
09utepwkchetam1xx.jpg (17091 bytes)Cheta Ozougwu
"The young guys are playing’s all about your attitude; it’s all about saying, ‘I’m not going to let this guy in front of me beat me...’"
Tulane postgamewavsymbol.jpg (726 bytes)look.gif (907 bytes)
09tnpstgamedbmug2x.jpg (17174 bytes)Coach Bailiff
"My coffee’s going to taste good in the morning...just proud of those young men for hanging together; that takes special people in a season like this"
09tnpstgamenickfmug2xx.jpg (16410 bytes)Nick Fanuzzi
"We’ve gotten to the point where on third down, fourth down, we’re confident we can get it done; so I’m always excited when we get those opportunities"
09tnpstgamentorendmug3xx.jpg (16393 bytes)Toren Dixon
"Any time when it’s third down, you want the ball... Being that open, and the ball being in the air...that’s the hardest catch in football"
09tnpstgamentravisbmug2xx.jpg (17445 bytes)Travis Bradshaw
"Just having that taste in our mouths last week – we knew we should have won, and we weren’t going to let it happen again this week"
09tnpstgamecrossmug3xx.jpg (17082 bytes)Charles Ross
"We came in this week with a plan to run the ball; we thought just being physical with them and running the ball would set up some things in the passing game"
justinhillmug1xx.jpg (16175 bytes)Justin Hill
"We had a huge monkey on our backs, and it feels good finally to just get the win; we’ve worked hard and it was time for things to turn our way"
Tulane weekwavsymbol.jpg (726 bytes)look.gif (907 bytes)
Monday press luncheon
09tluanewkdb2tn.jpg (21185 bytes)Coach  Bailiff
'It's hard to come back from a loss like this, but I expect this team to come back like they have all year...'
09tluanewknickf2tn.jpg (18639 bytes)Nick Fanuzzi
'We moved the ball throughout the game...when we get things going fast, we operate well...'
09tluanewkscotts1tn.jpg (17807 bytes)Scott Solomon
'I think the main thing we get out of this, is that our confidence has come back...we really played together well as a D Line'
SMU postgamewavsymbol.jpg (726 bytes)
09smujakeh3tn1.jpg (18126 bytes)Jake Hicks
'They just kind of hung back for the pass...I don't think they respected us at all, and I hope it's like that next week...'
09smutravb2tn1.jpg (16680 bytes)Travis Bradshaw
'Their crowd was getting into it, their players were talking trash, and we didn’t want to go to halftime...'
09smunickf1tn1.jpg (18223 bytes)Nick Fanuzzi
'I felt like we were in control of the game, it felt like we were the better team, but it comes down to finishing everything... we need to finish'
SMU weekwavsymbol.jpg (726 bytes)look.gif (907 bytes)
Monday press luncheon
09smuwkdb2mug1.jpg (18684 bytes)Coach Bailiff
'You’ll find this football team is refrshed, refo- cused....SMU was young a year ago, took its lumps, got better...'
09smuwkjg3mug1.jpg (18292 bytes)Jeramy Goodson
We got three extra practices in; that helped us get our focus back for SMU...we’re still hungry; we want to win'
09smuwkco1mug1.jpg (17624 bytes)Cheta Ozougwu
You never want to lose, but the one thing we’re not going to do is give up, throw in the towel...'
UCF postgamewavsymbol.jpg (726 bytes)
09ucfdbsnap2tn1.jpg (18532 bytes)Coach Bailiff
'Obviously we weren't ready to play; it's like we're stuck in a circle... those guys practiced too  hard to look that unprepared'
09ucfjeramysnap4tn1.jpg (16496 bytes)Jeramy Goodson
'It's practice we come out and pay attention to detail, but in the game it just doesn't carry over...'
09ucftravbsnap4tn1.jpg (18027 bytes)Travis Bradshaw
'We're not playing like we can; we're not us right now... it's frustrating...we need the off week to evaluate everything''


DB hoped CDC would've changed mind over move
09navycdctn1.jpg (25701 bytes)HOUSTON (Oct. 22) – Sometimes, a person’s past comes knocking. In Coach David Bailiff’s recent days, however, it came ringing, with a phone call from a familiar voice from David's coaching days in Fort Worth -- the TCU chancellor.

"I hope this is not what I think it’s about," Bailiff said to him.
Story continues....

UCF weekwavsymbol.jpg (726 bytes)look.gif (907 bytes)
Monday press luncheon
09ucfwkdbmug1x.jpg (18700 bytes)Coach Bailiff
‘When something bad happens in football, you cannot forget your techniques and your fundamentals, and that’s what we’ve been doing; we’ve got to get that out of them’
09ucfwksollymug4x.jpg (20853 bytes)Scott Solomon
‘We’re too worried about making mistakes, and we just need to focus on making plays... morale’s still pretty good, mainly because we’re such a close-knit team’
09ucfwktdmug3x.jpg (20615 bytes)Toren Dixon
‘We shot ourselves in the foot numerous times... but we’re not going to fold the tent; we’re just going to play hard – there’s not quitting around here, no pointing fingers’
ECU postgamewavsymbol.jpg (726 bytes)
09ecudbpg.jpg (14831 bytes)Coach  Bailiff
‘We’ve got to learn after we have a big play how to finish... that’s when we’ve got to be at our best...'
09ecucheta3.jpg (14984 bytes)Cheta Ozougwu
‘We had a great game plan; it just comes down to the guys making the plays. But the last thing you want to do is play the blame game'
09ecupgnick.jpg (14764 bytes)Nick Fanuzzi
‘Every game is a lesson learned... but the truth of the matter is you want to be learning mistakes out of wins, not losses'
ECU weekwavsymbol.jpg (726 bytes)look.gif (907 bytes)
Monday press luncheon
09ecuwkdbmug1tn.jpg (19503 bytes)Coach Bailiff
'Losing’s not who we are; it’s not what we are about... We’re going to do everything we can do to get into conference play and not only be competitive but win our share...'
09ecuwktravb2mug1tn.jpg (18638 bytes)Travis Bradshaw
'This last game, we’ve just got to erase it from our memories... we know in our hearts that every game we’ve still got on the schedule is winnable'
Navy postgamewavsymbol.jpg (726 bytes)
09navypgdbmug1.jpg (18997 bytes)Coach Bailiff
It’s not lack of effort; at times when something go bad you start pressing really hard to make things work, and the harder you press, the worse it gets; we have to get where we’re not pressing...'
09navypgandrew2mug1.jpg (17825 bytes)Andrew Sendejo
The option is a whole different beast; we tried out best to get ready for it, but it just didn’t turn out the way we wanted it to...'
09navypgnickfmug1.jpg (18301 bytes)Nick Fanuzzi
I felt great after this week of practice, I was confident with what I could do with my arm; I’m not putting it on my shoulder being hurt; that was not the case today'
Navy weekwavsymbol.jpg (726 bytes)look.gif (907 bytes)
Monday press luncheon
09navwksmitchellmug1x.jpg (20217 bytes)Scott Mitchell
'It was lot of little things adding up...I plan on staying after practice and work with the younger guys working on some of the fundamentals so they do not add up this week'
09navwkssolomonmug1x.jpg (19834 bytes)Scott Solomon
'We threw in some new play calls that really helped; the inside stunts opened things up for Cheta and me...I think we’re starting to get our identity back'
Tulsa postgamewavsymbol.jpg (726 bytes)
009tulsapgdbmug2 tn1.jpg (17441 bytes)Coach Bailiff
'I thought the defense played exceptionally well; it was about 40 points better than a year ago...I’ve got to get those kids in a position where they can be successful'
009tulsapgrlewismug5tn1.jpg (18802 bytes)Ryan Lewis
'Everybody’s giving all they have out there...I understand I should’ve maybe protected myself better; that’s the quarterback’s responsibility'
009tulsapgsollymug1tn1.jpg (18728 bytes)Scott Solomon
'Coach D will be the first one to say that he feels like out defense is the best that it’s been since he’s been here, and I definitely see that'
Tulsa weekwavsymbol.jpg (726 bytes)look.gif (907 bytes)
Monday press luncheon
09tulsawkasendejomug1.jpg (27132 bytes)Andrew Sendejo
‘I just go out there and play and just try and do my job; the honors and accolades I get while I’m here, that’s great, but honestly, I just care about winning’
09tulsawktdixonmug1.jpg (26027 bytes)Toren Dixon
‘We had a lot of positives, especially on the defensive side – those guysy left it all on the field. But the offense didn’t move the chains, and kept the defense out there too long’
Vanderbilt Postgamewavsymbol.jpg (726 bytes)
09vupgdbmug1.jpg (18189 bytes)Coach Bailiff
'I thought our players played extremely hard; we just have to continue to work hard, coach some point, we just have to bow up and make plays'
09vupgsmug1.jpg (19737 bytes)Scott Mitchell
'We had a very good idea of what was going on, our coaches prepared us very well for the game...we knew what we had to do, we just didn’t get it done'
09vupgjtmug2.jpg (19670 bytes)John Thomas Shepherd
'The offensive line played well considering the young guys we had in there...its on the quarter- backs to get us in the right protection'
09vupgtbmug1.jpg (19532 bytes)Travis Bradshaw
'We’re playing hard; I think we showed that in the first half. Unfortu- nately we were on the field a lot and we wore down toward the end'
Vanderbilt week
Monday press luncheon
09vuweekchetamug1.jpg (23206 bytes)Cheta Ozougwuwavsymbol.jpg (726 bytes)'
‘The most important thing is that we made it fun... We just haven’t closed that gap from potential to performance’
09vuweeknickfmug1.jpg (24391 bytes)Nick Fanuzziwavsymbol.jpg (726 bytes)
'It was great to just get out there and play football... I felt like there was a change in attitude from, 'we can hang with these guys' to 'we can pull this thing out'
09vuweekmattn5a375tn1.jpg (24575 bytes)Matt Nordstrom
wavsymbol.jpg (726 bytes)
  'I just kept my nose down and working hard and kept grinding... I tried to be  ready for when I did get the chance to play...'
OSU Postgame
09osunickfmug1.jpg (17397 bytes)Nick Fanuzziwavsymbol.jpg (726 bytes)look.gif (907 bytes)'Putting yourself in the right situations – it enables you to make plays. And I think tonight I made some decisions that made us some plays'
09osudbmug1.jpg (18302 bytes)Coach  Bailiffwavsymbol.jpg (726 bytes)
'I am very proud of this football team; these young men have played a challenging schedule and I’m very excited they have, because it’s going to help us in conference'
09osugtorenmug1.jpg (15816 bytes)Toren Dixonwavsymbol.jpg (726 bytes)
'Despite the score and statistics – and tonight we went blow for blow with the sixteenth-ranked team in the country'
09osuchetamug1.jpg (16436 bytes)Cheta Ozougwuwavsymbol.jpg (726 bytes)
'We really emphasized playing for your teammates, your brother next to you -- and just have fun when you do it'
09osucrossmug1.jpg (17622 bytes)Charles Rosswavsymbol.jpg (726 bytes)
'Three touchdowns? It hasn’t really hit me yet because of the loss but I’m sure I’ll be excited once things settle. Having Marcus out there makes it a lot easier for me...'
OSU week
Monday press luncheon
09osuwktbradshawmug1.jpg (22084 bytes)Travis Bradshawwavsymbol.jpg (726 bytes)new.gif (908 bytes)
‘We’re almost there; once we make that next step, things will go a lot better for us...we know we can make plays, and we know we can play with confidence...’
09osuwktsmithmug1.jpg (20008 bytes)Tyler Smithwavsymbol.jpg (726 bytes)new.gif (908 bytes)‘The doctor was telling me I had a chance to come back, so I tried to stay focused; I tried to stay positive... Dr. Clanton said it was my decision’
Tech Postgame
09ttpostgamermug1a224.jpg (39451 bytes)
Tech post-game press conference video....
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Tech week
Monday press luncheon
09techwkdbmug1in.jpg (20274 bytes)Coach Bailiffwavsymbol.jpg (726 bytes)
‘When you play defense you have to play like your hair’s on fire, not like you’re taking a chemistry test...’
09techwktorendmug1in.jpg (21064 bytes)Toren Dixonwavsymbol.jpg (726 bytes)
‘With the schedule, it will help us grow up...we’re not going to use youth as an excuse; we have to grow up quickly...’
UAB postgame
09uabdbmug3x222.jpg (34396 bytes)
Post-game press conference:  Coach Bailiff, John Thomas, Nick Fanuzzi,  Andrew Sendejo...wavsymbol.jpg (726 bytes)
UAB Week
Monday press luncheon

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Andrew Sendejo...wavsymbol.jpg (726 bytes)

‘It's my last year; I'm a senior, so I'm going to have fun with it; I'm going to go all out...'

09augnickmug1xy.jpg (41346 bytes)Nick Fanuzzi...wavsymbol.jpg (726 bytes)‘They've got some playmakers over there; this is going to be a good test for us'

shepmug2.jpg (18093 bytes)John Thomas Shepherd...wavsymbol.jpg (726 bytes)
'They’re just going to be going out there glad to  be able to show what they can do'

Aug. 22 scrimmage
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STAR.gif (898 bytes)John Thomas Shepherd
STAR.gif (898 bytes)Andrew Sendejo, Travis Bradshaw
STAR.gif (898 bytes)Vance McDonald

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Coach Bailiff commentswavsymbol.jpg (726 bytes)
Post scrimmage:
Quarterbacks talk about it
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Ryan Lewiswavsymbol.jpg (726 bytes)
J T Shepherdwavsymbol.jpg (726 bytes)
Nick Fanuzziwavsymbol.jpg (726 bytes)
More Media Day '09 videowavsymbol.jpg (726 bytes)

09mdaychetaomug1.jpg (25411 bytes)Cheta Ozougwu
'The most important thing is going to be able to take each game one at a time -- and get the win'


09mdayshanetmug1.jpg (25233 bytes)Shane Turner
'This year the running backs are going to have to step up and put up some yardage... this team is going to surprise a lot of people'

09mdaycsmitermug1.JPG (21203 bytes)Corbin Smiter
'When your brother makes a play, you're happy for him... we're a family; we haven't had any issues'


09mdaysmitchellmug1.JPG (25091 bytes)Scott Mitchell
'These two-a- days are going to be crucial for us... it doesn't matter who's the quarterback if we can't protect him'


09mdaytsmithmug1.jpg (24899 bytes)Tyler Smith
'We'll be able to spread things out and have even distribution of the ball...a bigger role for the running game'

09mdayssolomonmug1.jpg (24642 bytes)Scott Solomon
'We had a good off-season; a good summer; we're confident as a defense and ready to go this season'


09mdaytgarmonmug1.jpg (27729 bytes)Terrance Garmon
'We're been in this same defense for going on three years now; I expect us to be a lot more comfortable out there this fall'

Media Day '09 video
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09mdaydbmug1.jpg (26870 bytes)Coach Bailiff:look.gif (907 bytes)

"The defense is going to have to get us going early as the offense improves -- and it will improve"

09mdaysendejomug1.jpg (27051 bytes)Andrew Sendejo:
'We've got a tough sched- ule ahead of us, but we feel confident, and we're ready to get started'

09mdaytdixonmug1.jpg (27903 bytes)Toren Dixon:
'We're back, starting a new journey -- but it actually started in January, in the offseason'   |  Chronicle  |  RiceRivals  |  Rice Forum  |  CUSA  forum
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