curvedcorner2a.jpg (545 bytes)
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sammyjalopy118.jpg (3978 bytes) Next game:

DKR Memorial Stadium
Austin, Texas.
Time TBA
Saturday, Sept. 3, 2011

Last update
02/08/11 07:31 PM

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STAR.gif (898 bytes)Signing day (908 bytes)

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STAR.gif (898 bytes)Eddington's TD run...

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

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STAR.gif (898 bytes)QB battle irrelevant if D doesn't show up...

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STAR.gif (898 bytes)More Tulsa photos....

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

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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)More SMU photos...

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

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

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

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

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STAR.gif (898 bytes)The 2010 off-season...

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STAR.gif (898 bytes)The '09 season:
let's move on...

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STAR.gif (898 bytes)'08: A season to remember...
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The '07 season...

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The '06 season....

Signing Day 2011
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'One of the first things you look at is their feet -- and do they shave'
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Rice head coach David Bailiff announces his 2011 signees at Wednesday afternoon press conference (PTH photo)

HOUSTON (Feb. 2) – It seems there is life after assistant coaches’ defections, after all.

David Bailiff and his Rice Owls’ coaching staff adeptly played a round of Texas Hold 'Em as they reeled in each and every one of their verbal pledges from their anticipated 2011 class of schoolboy stars, as announced on signing day today.

Though a goodly portion of this year’s class was initially recruited by the departed offensive coordinator David Beaty and the sayonara’ed defensive  guru Craig Naivar, each of those recruits made it clear they were attracted to Rice, the institution, and not any particular coaching personality, as they followed up their verbal pledges with letters of intent to come pursue their degrees and play a little ball on South Main.

"Nobody changed his mind last night," Coach Bailiff exulted, as he proclaimed this year's crop of 19 future Rice Men his best harvest in the five years since he's been on South Main.
Continues... look.gif (907 bytes)   Rice 2011 Signing Day Central....    Complete list of C-USA signees....

Former UH interim HC may join Owls
(MyFoxHouston -- Feb. 8)
Young Surrey athletes choose their futures
( -- Feb. 8)

Coaching staff taking shape
(Houston Chronicle -- Feb. 8)

Owls get new offensive coordinator
(MyFoxHouston -- Feb. 6)

Owls filled areas of need
(Houston Sports Examiner -- Feb. 5)
Covington goes to Rice
(PeaceArchNews -- Feb. 4)
Weather a factor, but Owls get their guys
(FoxSportsHouston <MK> -- Feb. 2)
Signing Day -- That's a wrap

( -- Feb. 2)
Rice bolsters offensive line, fills holes on D
(Houston Chronicle -- Feb. 2)
Many feel this could be most impactful class ever
(Owl Sports Watch -- Feb. 2)
Defensive staff gets help at corner position
(FoxSporsHouston <MK> -- Feb. 2)
Grover Covington's son to join Rice Owls
(Vancouver Sun -- Feb. 1)

This year, city of Houston belongs to the Rice Owls
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Whose Bucket??? OUR Bucket!!! 
John Gioffre leads his teammates in raucous celebration at midfield as Owls received Bayou Bucket trophy -- again -- after 34-31 win over UH Oct. 16 (PTH photo)

10uabo16run2tn124.jpg (31248 bytes)Rice-UAB video highlights
Video clips of all four touchdown drives, including the entire 19-play drive, plus game-ending defensive stop

Rice 28, UAB 23
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Owl seniors bow out with a win as two late, long, time-consuming drives provide margin of victory; frosh Eddington scores winner
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The sensational Jeremy Eddington exhults as he crosses goal line untouched, the culmination of his 22-yard TD run that provided margin of victory for  Owls (PTH photo)

HOUSTON (Nov. 28) -- It wasn't a bowl win; it wasn't a championship game, but it surely was an upbeat way to end a season.

After a mid-schedule swoon that had dedicated fans questioning the leadership and future direction of their football program, the Rice Owls finished off a closing, two-game win streak with a thrilling, immensely satisfying, 28-23 win over a solid UAB Blazer team here Saturday.

It took a 22-yard dash from, who else, super freshman Jeremy Eddington, to put the Owls in command with 44 seconds left in the game. Even then, the outcome remained in doubt, for the Blazer offense still had time for a handful of heaves downfield, any one of which might have spelled the undoing of the artillery-vulnerable Owls -- remember the Tulane game.

In fact, this time, on third and ten and with a dozen ticks left, UAB quarterback Bryan Ellis barely overthrew his deep receiver who'd separated from the Rice secondary, but a miss is as good as a mile, and, when on fourth down, next play, Chris Jones nailed Blazer receiver Patrick Hearn seven yards short of the first down marker, the comeback celebration could begin in earnest.

Owls end season with a win streak
(Houston Press -- Nov. 29)
Blazers crumbled with game on the line
(Birmingham News -- Nov. 29)
Snapping up players like Eddington key for Owls
(Fox Sports Houston <MK> -- Nov. 28)
Rice scores with 44 seconds left to beat UAB
(Fox Sports Houston <MK> -- Nov. 28)
Rice ends season with dramatic win over UAB
(Houston Chronicle -- Nov. 28)
Owls finish 2010 strong with win
(Owl Sports Watch -- Nov. 28)
Disappointing season has predictable ending for UAB
(Birmingham News -- Nov. 28)

Now we'll see if Callaway gets another year
(Birmingham News -- Nov. 28)
Eddington scores twice to lead Rice over UAB
(Macon Telegraph/TSN -- Nov. 27)
Rice rallies in 4th to edge UAB
( -- Nov. 27)
Diminished Rice offensive output good enough for win
( -- Nov. 27)
UAB played competitively, but couldn't hold on
(Blazer Sports Report -- Nov. 27)
Rice ekes out 28-23 win in final seconds
(SB Nation Houston -- Nov. 27)
Rice scores with 44 seconds left to beat UAB
( -- Nov. 27)

Fourth-quarter rally gives Rice win over UAB
(Birjmingham News/AP -- Nov. 27)


10ecuvideotn2.jpg (38313 bytes)Rice-East Carolina drive-by-drive Owl scoring highlights
(All nine scoring drives, play by play by play -- an offensive tour de force)
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What a difference a week makes
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Rice junior defensive back Travis Bradshaw, whom we saw last week in the slough of despond watching the Owls give up a hard-earned lead in the final seconds at Tulane, is all smiles Saturday -- and he's got good reason for it, because, in addition to picking up an interception in a key defensive role in Rice's 62-38 shellacking of East Carolina, this week he was also named a Second Team Academic All - American as a Chemical Engineering major (PTH photo)

STAR.gif (898 bytes)Ten-minute video of Rice scoring, defensive highlights vs. ECU....look.gif (907 bytes)
Rice 62, East Carolina 38
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Owl offense a well-oiled machine as running game, passing attack both click against befuddled ECU defense; Eddington, McHargue, McDonald, McGuffie all shine in Rice rout
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Sensational freshman Jeremy Eddington scores the last of his four touchdowns on the day against ECU; this one was from one yard out; another went for 88 (Mark Anderson photo)

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Vance McDonald leaps high to snag TD pass from Taylor McHargue, putting Owls up 14-7 over ECU (PTH photo)

HOUSTON (Nov. 21) -- Down from the heather-dappled Scottish Highlands they rode; their names were McHargue, McDonald, McGuffie and Eddington. Individually, they were brave lads, proud and strong. When finally they coalesced as if one, they became Clan Braveheart. And woe be to any invaders or usurpers who stood in their way.

As it was, this band of Scotsmen rode rough-shod over a scurvy gang of Pirates, robbing them of their own plunder and driving them back into the inhospitable sand spits of the Carolina shore.

When the battle was won, the result was carnage on the East Carolina side. A possible division crown, an upper tier bowl game, in all probability any bowl game at all, were all laid waste.

Aye, and the young Bravehearts insisted they had done only what they, themselves had expected.
Continues....    Video of Jeremy Eddington's 88-yard TD run....

Seniors leaving with fond memories
(Houston Chronicle -- Nov. 27)
Owls vs. Blazers:  Five things to watch
(Fox Sports Houston <MK> -- Nov. 27)
Owls try to end season on winning note
( -- Nov. 27)
Eddington may provide biggest challenge
(Birmingham News -- Nov. 27)
UAB can't let Rice running game carve up defense
(Birmingham News -- Nov. 27)
Chase will be last Owl to play at Rosenblatt
(Omaha World Herald -- Nov. 26)
Last dance for DB's first class

(Fox Sports Houston <MK> -- Nov. 26)
UAB admin reviews mixed on Callaway
(Birmingham News -- Nov. 26)
Callaway:  'They have caught fire offensively'
( -- Nov. 24)
Owls hope to go out in a 'Blazer' of glory
(Houston Press -- Nov. 25)
Rice, UAB both aim to finish with two straight wins
(Austin American Statesman/AP -- Nov. 24)
A senior season that never comes
(Houston Chronicle -- Nov. 24)
What are you thankful for, Rice fans?
(Houston Chronicle <JD> --Nov. 23)
Bradshaw second-team Academic All-America
( -- Nov. 23)
Blazers preparing for season finale at Rice
( -- Nov. 23)
Playing the football blame game
(UAB Kaleidoscope -- Nov. 23)
McHargue makes good use of his time
(Houston Chronicle -- Nov. 23)
Blazers exult over 'Bones win
(Birmingham News -- Nov. 23)
This week:  UAB visits Rice
(Houston Chronicle <JD> -- Nov. 23)
'Cue Maximus Decimus Meridius'look.gif (907 bytes)
(Fox Sports Houston <MK> -- Nov. 22)

UAB to visit Rice after taking Memphis in 'battle for bones' -- Nov. 22)
Owls plunder the Pirates
(Houston Press -- Nov. 22)
Rice erupts for huge win
(Rice Sports Watch -- Nov. 21)
Eddington runs for 4 TDs as Rice dominates
(Fox Sports Houston <MK> -- Nov. 21).
ECU Coach Ruffin McNiel post-game press conference
( -- Nov. 21)

Rice tops ECU in shootout
(Kinston Free Press -- Nov. 21)

Postgqame press briefing excerpts, game video highlights
( -- Nov. 20)
Rice offense runs wild in win over first-place ECU
(Houston Chronicle -- Nov. 20)
ECU has no answer for Owl offense
( -- Nov. 20)
Rice offense sensational in rout of ECU
( Sports Network -- Nov. 20)
Eddington runs for four TD as Rice rolls
( -- Nov. 20)
Everyting seemed to work for Rice on Saturday
(Greenville Reflector -- Nov. 20)
Eddington runs wild as Rice rolls East Carolina
(KHOU.TV -- Nov. 20)

Rice takes down ECU, 62-38
(SBNation. com -- Nov. 20

STAR.gif (898 bytes)Rice-Tulane video highlights....look.gif (907 bytes)

This should'a been the game...
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Rice wide receiver  Patrick Randolph hauls in touchdown pass from Taylor Cook with 2:02 left in the game which gave Owls short-lived 49-48 lead over Tulane; should've been enough to seal the deal, but it wasn't (PTH photo)

Tulane 54, Rice 49
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Epic defensive meltdown thwarts Taylor
Cook-led second half Rice comeback effort
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Junior Rice DB Travis Bradshaw, a recognized leader of the Rice defensive unit, can only bury his head in his hands at the prospect of looking on at the Owls' defensive meltdown in the Superdome Saturday (PTH photo)

NEW ORLEANS (Nov. 14) -- The table was set for reserve Rice quarterback Taylor Cook to be twice the hero against the Tulane Green Wave here Saturday. But fairy-tale endings happen only in the story books -- and then only when the Fairy Godmother and her staff are solidly versed in offensive strategy and defensive fundamentals.

The Eagle Lake native and University of Miami transfer had come off the bench to lead the Owls two four second-half touchdowns, obliterating a 17-point Tulane halftime lead and surging to an improbable 49-48 advantage with two minutes left to play.

But the Rice defense allowed a 73-yard TD bomb within 16 seconds of that go-ahead score, and Captain Cook's ultimate voyage of the day, though once again shipshape and trim, reached only as far as the Tulane 11 yard line before ultimately finding itself becalmed.

Taylor Cook lost the chance to become a storybook hero, but his even so his second-half exploits showed to anyone who cared to pay even the scantest attention why he should have been Rice's starting quarterback beginning with Game One on Sept. 4 against Texas at Reliant Stadium.
Continues....updated.gif (971 bytes)

Rice vs. ECU:  Five things to watch
(FoxSportsHouston <MK> -- Nov. 20)
Owls feeling good about things they're doing offensively
( -- Nov. 20)
Eddington talks way onto field
(Houston CHronicle -- Nov. 20)

Last time, Fangmeier put dagger in hearts of Pirates
(Greenville Daily Reflector -- Nov. 20)

'We've got a few more games to get it right'
(Gaston Gazette -- Nov. 20)

Won't matter who's at QB if defense doesn't pick up
(The Rice Thresher -- Nov. 19)
ECU's Davis racking up records
(Jacksonville Daily News -- Nov. 19)
Rice enduring 26 years of modest returns
(Houston Chronicle -- Nov. 18)
ECU needs win to remain in hunt for crown
(Austin American-Statesman/AP -- Nov. 18)
Owls should beware the plundering Pirates
(Houston Press -- Nov. 18)
ECU completes road slate at Rice
( -- Nov. 17)
Wins, losses are falling ECU's way
(Winston-Salem Journal -- Nov. 17)
Title shot still on Ruff's radar
( -- Nov. 17)
Williams 'catching on'  in Pirate offense
(Washington Daily News -- Nov. 17)

Pirates still alive in chase for division title
(Rocky MECUount Telegram -- Nov. 17)

Bailiff adds to quarterback quandary
(Houston Chronicle <JD> -- Nov. 17)

Rice defensive stats; parental discretion advised
(Houston Chronicle <JD> -- Nov. 16)
ECU yielded 49, 76, 42 points in succession
( -- Nov. 16)
Pirates hope Davis is ready for Rice
(Washington Daily News -- Nov. 16)
Tech castoff Ruffin McNeil is bowl eligible
(Dallas Morning News -- Nov. 16)
Owls can make even the worst offense look competent
(Houston Press -- Nov. 16)
McNeill:   Pirates not worried about help
(Kinston Free Press -- Nov. 16)
Pirates prepare for stretch run
(Greenville Daily Reflector -- Nov. 16 $)
Fifth straight bowl eligibility for ECU
(The East Carolinian -- Nov. 16)

Ruffin McNeill discusses upcoming Rice game
( -- Nov. 16)
Owl comeback just wasn't to be
(Houston Chronicle -- Nov. 14)
Toledo pumped over thrilling Tulane win
( -- Nov. 14)

Cook rallies offense but Owls fail
( -- Nov. 14)
Rice turnovers turn table in Tulane's favor
(New Orleans Times-Picayune -- Nov. 14)
Green Wave holds off  Owls
( -- Nov. 14)

Game came down to final ticks and 11 yards
(New Orleans Times-Picayune -- Nov. 14)
Tulane defeats Rice, 54-49, for Conference USA victory
(New Orleans Times-Picayune -- Nov. 13)
Griffin, Darkwa lead Tulane to thrilling win over Rice
( -- Nov. 13)

Two teams badly in need of a win

Familiar woes, common situations
face Owls, Tulane as contest looms

NEW ORLEANS (Nov. 12) -- The drumbeat went on for the the struggling Rice and Tulane football programs this week, as the two teams prepare to face off against each other in the Superdome Saturday (2:30 pm, CST, TV: WHNO).

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For the Owls, beleaguered head coach David Bailiff received a vote of confidence from Rice Athletic Director Rick Greenspan, who confirmed the Rice head man's continued gainful employment through, at least, the 2011 season.

Meanwhile, the injury toll continued to mount on South Main, as junior linebacker Ronnie Lillard has been revealed to possess an undisclosed medical condition that will end his Rice career, while a knee injury now has sidelined linebacker Cameron Nwosu out for the rest of the season.

Down in the Garden District, the tom-toms calling for Tulane head coach Bob Toledo's ouster have resumed their annual din, while a couple of consecutive disappointing losses have all but blown away the Green Wave's bowl hopes for the 12th year in a row.

Owls head for the Big Easy
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Tulsa 64, Rice 27
Owls bottom out

Rice scores first, then allows 41 unanswered first-half Tulsa points en route to one of more embarrassing losses of post-SWC era
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All by his lonesome on Rice's second play from scrimmage, Patrick Randolph hauls in Nick Fanuzzi pass to score from 50 yards out and give Owls a short-lived 7-0 lead  (PTH photo)

TULSA (Nov. 7) -- It could have been worse.

You could have been there.

Rice fans who managed to find something else to do this bright, shiny fall Saturday can be thankful they were not present at H. A. Chapman Stadium in Tulsa, to observe one of the more disheartening demolition jobs yet visited on their Owls in the post-SWC era.

Todd Graham's University of Tulsa team, fresh off a stunning win over Notre Dame in South Bend last week, continued its winning ways with a disappointingly, if not disastrously, easy 64-27 win over the Owls.

And strange thing was, the game seemed to start out so darned positively

After the Owls shut down Tulsa's opening possession of the game and then surged to an early 7-0 lead, the Golden Hurricane proceeded to score literally at will, picking up seven touchdowns in seven possessions -- now there's a familiar theme -- en route to a 41-7 halftime lead.

Tulsa's offensive machine hummed like a Ferrrari throughout the game, as quarterback Gary Joe Kinne went to the air for 371 yards and four touchdowns. By the time the halftime clock expired, the Hurricane had rolled up 458 yards of total offense.

Rice turning to potential leaders for next season

(Houston Chronicle -- Nov. 13)
Orleans Darkwa making name for himself at Tulane
(New Orleans Times-Picayune -- Nov. 12)
Owls vs Green Wave:  Five things to watch
(Fox Sports Houston <MK> -- Nov. 12)

Kyle Martens a Ray Guy semifinalist
(Houston Chronicle <JD> -- Nov. 12)

Greenies looking for win against Red Beans 'n...
(New Orleans Times-Picayune -- Nov. 12)
DB: 'My job to get it right'
(Houston Chronicle <JD> -- Nov. 11)
A case for Tulane to keep Bob Toledo
(New Orleans Times-Picayune -- Nov. 11)
Pair of struggling teams to square off at Superdome
( -- Nov. 11)
RG:  Coach Bailiff 's job not in jeopardy for 2011look.gif (907 bytes)
(Houston Chronicle -- Nov. 10)
Rice season a snowball rolling down mountain
(The Houston Press -- Nov. 10)
Tulane DB returns to role was WR
(New Orleans Times-Picayune -- Nov. 10)
Weak second halves devastating for Tulane
( -- Nov. 10)
Tulane, Toledo gear up for Rice
( -- Nov. 9)
Change coming at quarterback?
(Houston Chronicle <JD> -- Nov. 9)
Confidence fading for the Owlslook.gif (907 bytes)
(Fox Sports Houston <MK> -- Nov. 9)
Talent might not have mattered, anyway
(Houston Press -- Nov. 9)
Green Wave gear up for Rice
( -- Nov. 9)
Eagles draw a crowd to the Big Easy
(Jackson Clarion-Ledger -- Nov. 9)
Northwestern on in 2011; Purdue may be off

(Houston Chronicle <JD> -- Nov. 8)
Not-so-special teams let Tulane down in big way
(New Orleans Times-Picayune -- Nov. 8)
'They were better than their record'
(Tulsa World -- Nov. 7)
Litmus test came via overmatched Rice team
(Tulsa World -- Nov. 7)
Tulsa scored TDs in 9 of 12 possessions
(Tulsa World -- Nov. 7)
Demaris Johnson a little guy who makes big impact
(Tulsa World -- Nov. 7)
Confidence shows in Tulsa's G. J. Kinne
(Tulsa World -- Nov. 7)
Tulsa topples Rice to blast away bowl hopes, respectability
(Houston Chronicle -- Nov. 6)
Johnson runs wild as Tulsa smashes Rice
( -- Nov. 6)

Tulsa spotted Owls TD, scored on 7 of next 8 possessions
(Tulsa World -- Nov. 6)

Tulsa scores 64 points in rout wavsymbol.jpg (726 bytes)
(  video -- Nov. 6)
Johnson leads Tulsa past Rice, 64-27
( -- Nov. 6)
Tulsa cruises to easy victory over Rice
(The Sports Network/Kansas City Star -- Nov. 6)

Tulsa cages Owls in front of 19,036
(TulsaSports. com -- Nov. 6)

Graham:  No chance of Hurricane hangover
Answer to game's riddle may lie not in stars, but between ears of combatants

HOUSTON (Nov. 5) -- Perhaps it's a truism, but the great Rice football teams of yore, in the days of Jess Neely, just flat owned outright the month of November.

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When that first blue norther came howling into town, and the days began to grow ever shorter, the Institute Boys typically began to pop the pads with an urgency that occasionally escaped them during the Dog Days of August, and the Indian Summers of early fall.

Thus this year's edition of the Owls, though only 2-6 on the season so far, are able to emerge from their off-week hiatus with a fresh sense of focus, not to mention a lessening of aches, pains and muscle fatigue, and look at a dance card of four remaining belles with an eye toward sweeping every last one of them off their feet.

It once was a tradition around here.
Continues....  Flashback:  Rice 41, Tulsa 38 (2OT) (Nov. 12, 2006)...

Sammy sez:  I'll cut swelled-head 'Canes down to size
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Can Owls rise, fly again?
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Former Owl All-American Jarett Dillard appears to take flight and sail over his Tulsa defender in 2006's dramatic, double-over time Rice win -- in Tulsa (PTH photo)

10ucfp1vidtn120.jpg (42138 bytes)Rice-UCF video clips
(Some experimental video clips of Rice scoring drive and other action near the end of the UCF game, taken at field level with a Canon 7D SLR)
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UCF 41, Rice 14
Outmanned Owls
revert to form

Owls come out flat, UCF scores early, often to keep Rice out of striking distance, as superior athleticism lifts Knights to runaway win
10ucfosamstdcatctchtda472c.jpg (183580 bytes)
-- Sam McGuffie, as usual, played his guts out, yet failed to fully break free from stifling UCF defense;  but here, he skies high in the end zone to put Owls on the scoreboard (PTH photo)

ORLANDO (Oct. 24) – Pop quiz: In last year’s 49-7 Owl loss to UCF, what happened on the first play of the game?

Answer: In last season’s battle with the Owls at Rice Stadium, UCF started the game with a 76-yard touchdown pass from Brett Hodges to A.J. Guyton on the first play from scrimmage.

Consequently, there’s no reason to anticipate that George O’Leary’s staff would have been so obvious as to try and pull exactly the same stunt in Saturday’s game at Bright House Networks Stadium. And, as one might expect, the Rice was woefully unprepared when they did just that, enlisting quarterback Jeff Godfrey, who faked the play action, dropped deep, and threw deep 40 yards downfield to a wide-open Kamar Aiken, who had about three steps on his Owl defender.

The play was simply unanticipated, and undefended. Fifty-nine yards later, the Knights were sitting pretty with a first and goal at the Owl nine yard line, where they scored two plays later.

The collective karma on the Rice bench was like the air going out of a tire. Or more like a blowout. And from that point on, that’s exactly what this game turned out to be. Recall that the Owls scored TDs on their first four possessions against U of H last week. Well, UCF returned the favor by marching for a touchdown their first five possessions of this ball game.

Hardly makes for a competitive evening, does it?
Continues....       Rice-UCF Box score, statistics...

Tulsa looking to avoid letdown after big win
(Tulsa World -- Nov. 6)
Graham, Tulsa in 'single-elimination tournament'
(Victoria Advocate/AP -- Nov. 5)
Tulsa claims improved defense
(Tulsa World -- Nov. 5)
Hurricane has to guard against drop-off
(Tulsa World -- Nov. 5)

Owls will try to downgrade Hurricane
(Houston Press -- Nov. 4)
Tulsa should have no trouble rolling past Rice
(Kansas City Star/The Sports Network -- Nov. 4)
Family feud for a day for Randolphs
(Houston Chronicle -- Nov. 4)
Does Notre Dame win set up for Rice letdown?
(Tulsa World -- Nov. 4)
Tulsa's Jackson making name for himself
(Tulsa World -- Nov. 4)
Arnick's 'graceful forward flip' a snapshot of the day
(Tulsa World -- Nov. 4)
Tulsa over Notre Dame:  where does it rank?
(Daioly Oklahoman -- Nov. 3)

Owls want to get back on track
(Austin American Statesman -- Nov. 3)
Owls can make it a November to remember
(Fox Sports Houston <MK> -- Nov. 3)
Timing could be right for Owls
(Owl Sports Watch -- Nov. 3)
Graham: 'They will get up to play us'
(Tulsa World -- Nov. 3)
Tears of joy after winning field goal
(Tulsa World -- Nov. 3)
Au 'voir
, Capitaine:  Scott Mitchell out for season
(Fox Sports Houston <MK> -- Nov. 2)
Tulsa AD apologizes to ND fans for band gaffe
(Tulsa World -- Nov. 2)
Up close:  Tulsa coach Paul Randolph
(Tulsa World -- Nov. 2)

DB:  'Bigger leadership role' for Scott Mitchell
(Houston Chronicle -- Nov. 2)

Tulsa made big plays at critical times against Irish
(Tulsa World -- Nov. 2)
LaSalle's Luke Willson breaks into starting lineup for Owls
(Windsor, Ont., Star -- Nov. 1)
Scott Mitchell likely out for rest of season
(Houston Chronicle -- Nov. 1)

Todd Graham talks about Rice game
( -- Nov. 1)

Tulsa still enjoying win over Notre Dame
(Tulsa World -- Nov. 1)
Tulsa win over ND snapped 19-game BCS loss skein
(Houston Chronicle -- Nov. 1)

Graham:  'We understood how significant it was'
(Tulsa World -- Nov. 1)
Team returns to Tulsa as heroes
( -- Nov. 1)
Todd Graham, players on 'biggest win in school history'
( -- Oct. 31)
DB re Taylor Cook:  'We've got to find a role for him'
(Houston Chronicle -- Oct. 29)
No magic to be found in Orlando for Owls
(The Rice Thresher -- Oct. 29)
East Carolina can take command with win
(Hattiesburg American -- Oct. 29)
Rice at the head of the class in Texas
(Houston Chronicle -- Oct. 28)
Knights continue assault on first place
(The Bleacher Report -- Oct. 25)
Perhaps the Owls were distracted
(Houston Press -- Oct. 25)
Quick score put Rice on its heels early
(Central Florida Future -- Oct. 24)
Owls have no cure for Cougar hangover
(Houston Chronicle -- Oct. 23)
UCF got everything it wanted out of romp
(Orlando Sentinel -- Oct. 23)
UCF simply able to do everything better
( -- Oct. 23)
UCF burns Rice, 41-14, on Homecoming
(Florida Today -- Oct. 23)
O'Leary:  Knights still need to play complete game
(Orlando Sentinel -- Oct. 23)
Weaver, Godfrey lead UCF to easy win
( -- Oct. 23)
Knights celebrate Homecoming in style
(Central Florida News -- Oct. 23)
Rice beat (sic), ECU up next
(UCF Today -- Oct. 23)
Rice proves ideal tuneup opponent for Knights
(Orlando Sentinel -- Oct. 23)
Knights earn third big C-USA victory
(The Ledger -- Oct. 23)
Family tix to UH game was $175 well spent
(Rice News -- Oct. 23)

Three more pages of UH photos....
06sammyucf472.jpg (170228 bytes)
Flashback:  Owls run past UCF, 40-29 (2006)....

With offense seemingly righted, Owls to test UCF defensive might

ORLANDO (Oct. 22) – The Rice Owls continue to play the role of Everybody’s Favorite Homecoming Opponent as, fresh off an invigorating victory over the Houston Cougars, they travel here to take on the University of Central Florida Golden Knights at Orlando’s Bright House Networks Stadium, a 2:30 p.m. (Central time) Saturday kickoff.

03sammytnsmall.jpg (3537 bytes)

A crowd of 40,000 is expected as UCF trots its 4-2 record before gathered alumni and honors prior grid greats such as Daunte Culpepper, Kevin Smith and Joe Burnett at halftime. Hmmm…perhaps they’ll give Daunte an honorary bachelor’s degree.

Figuring out this one by the numbers is a head-scratcher. The Knights easily handled the Owls last season at Rice Stadium to the tune of 49-7, perhaps Rice’s poorest effort of the 2009 season. More recently, they slapped around UAB (42-7) and Marshall (35-14) in back-to-back mid-week games on ESPN.

And you know what UAB did to UTEP last Saturday – whomped ‘em 21-6 in Birmingham after the previously 5-1 Miners did a 44-24 number on the Owls in El Paso the week before.

As Major Clipton said about Col. Nicholson’s infernal bridge – "Madness… madness."

10uhvideoscoversnap.jpg (37772 bytes)Rice-U of H
video highlights
updated.gif (971 bytes)
(Videos of Rice highlights in the Owls' shocking win over the Coog
s clips in all, including each Owl scoring drive, big stop at game's end)
look.gif (907 bytes)

Rice 34, UH 31THISTOWN2A472.jpg (31238 bytes)

Owls roar out to 3-TD first half lead, fall behind, come back for dramatic late win, belting Coogs all the way back to Tier 4
Owls own city bragging rights over U of H for second time in 3 years

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CATCH OF THE SEASON -- Vance McDonald cradles his prize, a check-off toss from Nick Fanuzzi for fourth-quarter TD which provided Owls with margin of victory (PTH photo)

HOUSTON (Oct. 17) – The game of football, just like life its own self, often can turn on a dime.

And a dime’s-width was just about the difference between a true and an errant snap, the latter of which sent the Houston Cougars into throes of agony, and the Rice Owls into paroxysms of jubilation as the sun set on the turf of Rice Stadium here Saturday.

Down 34-31, driving and facing fourth and inches at the Rice 37 yard line with 90 seconds left in the game, UH quarterback David Piland committed his first and only freshman error of the game when he mishandled a slightly off-center exchange.

As the ball bounded on the turf surrounded by blue jerseys, with it down went the Cougars’ pipe dreams of national rankings, BCS conference affiilation, C-USA domination -- and, oh, by the way, how are those naming rights millions stacking up for that new, on-paper-only stadium you guys are supposed to be building?

DB: UCF toughest opponent yet
(Houston Chronicle -- Oct. 23)
Bailiff worried about Central Florida defensive front
(Fox Sports Houston <MK> -- Oct. 23)

Knight defense relying primarily on superior athletes
(Fox Sports Hosuton <MK> -- Oct. 23)

Owls fly down to Orlando for only second time ever
( -- Oct. 23)
After win over Houston, Rice has Central Florida's attention
(Florida Today -- Oct. 23)
O'Leary helps UCF from looking past lowly Rice
(The Ledger -- Oct. 23)
JD answers five questions about Rice
(Orlando Sentinel -- Oct. 22)

Rice walk-ons earning PT, making difference
(Houston Chronicle -- Oct. 22)
Playing smarter has made Nick better
(Houston Chronicle <JD> -- Oct. 22)

Owls can apply more payback this week against UCF
(Orlando Sentinel -- Oct. 22)
UCF hopes passing attack can take flight against Owls
(Orlando Sentinel -- Oct. 22)

UCF running back Weaver wound up in right place
(Orlando Sentinel -- Oct. 22)

UCF OC talks about QB situation
(Orlando Sentinel -- Oct. 22)

Owls earn dramatic win over UH
(The Rice Thresher -- Oct. 22)
Win provides student body with impetus to support team
(The Rice Thresher -- Oct. 22)
Owls receive mixed mid-term report card
(The Rice Thresher -- Oct. 22)

Owls will be shorthanded for Central Florida
(Houston Chronicle <JD> -- Oct. 21)
Victory over UCF would exceed last year's total
(Austin American Statesman -- Oct. 21)
UCF has defeated South Dakota, Buffalo, UAB, Marshall
(Houston Press -- Oct. 21)
RG: Stadium spruce-up a priority, though not necessarily end zone facility
( -- Oct. 20)
With upset over Houston, Rice not to be underestimated
(Central Florida Future -- Oct. 20)
Did UH not have a film of Rice running the wildcat?
( -- Oct. 20)

5 Owls earn mid-season all-league honors from one source
(Cypress Times -- Oct.  20)
UCF's focus:  'All we do is talk about Rice'
( -- Oct. 20)
UCF QB Calabrese out for season
( -- Oct. 20)

DB, players talk about win over UH, prep for UCF
(Orlando Sentinel -- Oct. 20)

2010 Bayou Bucket halftime show highlights
(MarshW13's YouTube channel)
Owls still basking in Bucket glory
(Fox Sports Houston <MK> -- Oct. 19)
UCF Rice week press conference video
( <Rivals> -- Oct. 19)
Martens' mindset aids consistency
(Houston Chronicle -- Oct. 19)
'It's amazing what that beat-up old trophy represents'
(Houston Chronicle <JD> -- Oct. 19)

O'Leary favors using two quarterbacks
(Orlando Sentinel -- Oct. 19)

After step backward, what's next for Coogs?
(Houston Chronicle -- Oct. 19)

The Marching Owl Band at Rice Stadium
(Houston Press -- Oct. 18)
Martens picks up C-USA honors
(Houston Chronicle <JD> -- Oct. 18)

Upsets already playing role in C-USA
(Hattiesburg American -- Oct. 19)
Cougars left to pick up pieces after Bucket loss
(Fox Sports Houston -- Oct. 18)
Cy-Fair grad leads Owls in rushing
(Ultimate Cy-Fair -- Oct. 18)
Bradshaw leads Rice to victory over UH
(Ultimate Cy-Fiar -- Oct. 18)

Pink power propels Owls over Cougars
(Houston Press -- Oct. 18)
Defense a no-show for UH against Owls
(The Daily Cougar -- Oct. 18)

Coogs search for answers after loss to Owls
(The Daily Cougar -- Oct. 18)

UCF features rugged defense
(Houston Chronicle <JD> -- Oct. 18)

With season on brink, Owls finally have reason to celebrate
(Houston Chronicle -- Oct. 17)

Rice jostles Bayou Bucket away from Coogs
(Sports Page Magazine -- Oct. 17)
Owls get creative in Bucket win
(Owls Sports Watch -- Oct. 17)
For Coogs, more than one tear in Bucket
(Houston Chronicle -- Oct. 17)
Rice-UH first-half video highlights
( -- Oct. 17)
Helmet sticker to entire team for making good on payback talk
(Houston Chronicle <JD> -- Oct. 17)

UH aspirations as league contender kicked in Bucket
(Houston Chronicle -- Oct 16)
Piland's crucial fourth-down fumble and other pix
(Houston Chronicle -- Oct. 16)
McDonald's fourth-quarter catch proved to be difference
(Kansas City Star/The Sports Network -- Oct. 16)
History repeats as Owls bounce back
( -- Oct.16)
Cougars stumble late in loss to Rice
(The Daily Cougar -- Oct. 16)
Fanuzzi knew pass was there instant it left his handslook.gif (907 bytes)
(Fox Sports Houston <MK> -- Oct. 16)

Rice shocks UH to claim Bucket victory
( -- Oct. 16)

Flashback:   Rice's first win ever over UH (1972)....
Owls attempt to right season against QB-depleted Cougars

HOUSTON (Oct. 14) - The Owls and the Cougar Cats go to sea again for the 37th time at Rice Stadium 2:30 p.m. Saturday, in a game that is desperately needed by both teams, but under considerably disparate circumstances.

03sammytnsmall.jpg (3537 bytes)

The Houston Cougars are undefeated at 2-0 in the Conference USA Western Division, but are beset by internal strife occasioned by the loss of not one, but two of their top quarterbacks for the season, Heisman candidate Case Keenum and his able backup, Cotton Turner. 

A quarterback controversy has been brewing on Cullen Boulevard as a consequence, and  the Coogs need not only a win over the Owls, which would put them in the driver's seat at 3-0 in league play, but also a solid performance by whomever is given the starting quarterback nod, be it true freshmen David Piland or  Terrance Broadway. More on that later.

Meanwhile, the 1-5 Rice Owls just need a win - any kind of win, pretty or ugly, lopsided or nailbiting - to steer them away from the collision course with disaster that this now half-over season appears to be heading them towards.

Cooger Time....
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My last column

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Dear Paul,

I guess I knew that this day would come, but still it's hard to give up something I have loved doing for (how many?) 13 or 14 years. The old girl has reached the end of the bench. I just don't have that feistiness anymore that has kept a little spark in my columns.

Joyce Hardy
joyce167.jpg (3701 bytes)
From the Distaff End of the Bench

Remember in the beginning, Paul, you asked me to share some memories, and I reveled in comparing our present games to Rice football teams in the 40's.

I remember how few perks they had, how they played on muddy fields, so muddy that you couldn't see the yard markers? The old helmets that folded under their arms were not much protection , but certainly easier to carry than the ones worn today, that's for sure, but they looked good to us.

We used to play where the Track is now and many a splinter came off those old benches and still do. It's easy to remember crazy happenings, but I remember more about the players than the places, the smart ones and the intellectually- challenged ones of the day.
Continues...     Email Joyce....
look.gif (907 bytes)

UTEP 44, Rice 24
Same song, another verse
Owls drive to first-quarter lead, but can't sustain momentum as UTEP exploits Owl miscues, mental lapses, wins in runaway
10utepo88td1b472a.jpg (212702 bytes)
-- Rice's Vance McDonald skies to cradle TD pass from Nick Fanuzzi in culmination of  six-minute drive to put Owls up, 7-0; that's about it , though (PTH photo)

EL PASO (Oct. 10) – When Nick Fanuzzi connected with Vance McDonald for a four-yard touchdown pass early in Saturday’s contest against UTEP, for a fleeting moment, it looked as if the listing Institute ship were finally about to be righted.

The Rice defense had three-and-outed UTEP on the game’s opening series, and the offense then took the ball and marched steadily down the field, consuming six minutes in a 12-play, 76-yard drive.

Facing first and goal from the UTEP four yard line, Rice coaches opted not to send in the wildcat package, but rather stayed with Nick Fanuzzi in the standard set. Two running plays – a dive up the middle and an option left – netted zero, and a crucial third-down play loomed.

The big tight end ran a down-and-in, and as he crossed the shadow of the goalposts, Nick heaved and Vance leapt. The play was perfectly executed, and as such, virtually undefendable. And it put the Owls ahead 7-0 for the first time since the North Texas game, Rice’s only win of the year.
Continues....updated.gif (971 bytes)

Rice seeks larger role for McDonald
(Houston Chronicle -- Oct. 16
Rice, UH need grudge match remixes
(CultureMap -- Oct. 16)
Owls vs. Cougars:  Five things to watch
(Fox Sports Houston <MK> -- Oct. 16
UH's King developing into a royal pain
(Houston Chronicle -- Oct. 16)

McDonald a vital cog to Owls' offense
(Fox Sports Houston <MK> -- Oct. 16)

Both teams have lot to prove in Bucket matchup
(SB Nation -- Oct. 15)
Coogs want to get physical, physical
(Houston Press -- Oct. 15)

Ticket, tailgate info you need for Bayou Bucket
(Houston Chronicle -- Oct. 15)

Sumlin:   No quarterback controversy
(The Daily Cougar -- Oct. 15)
UH defense growing despite giving up ground
(Houston Chronicle -- Oct. 15)

Rice looking to settle last year's score with Cougars
(Houston Chronicle -- Oct. 14)
Bucket List:   Memorable past Bayou Bucket games
( -- Oct. 14)

Why Keenum should hang up the cleats
(The Bleacher Report -- Oct. 13)

Owls focusing, dammit, on the Cougars
(Houston Press -- Oct. 13)
Piland could use some help from his blockers
( -- Oct. 13)
Coogs look to build on 2-0 league record
(Austin American-Statesman -- Oct. 13)
UH linebacker ready to be part of RIce rivalry
(Houston Chronicle -- Oct. 13)
Beating UH could kickstart 2010
(Owl Sports Watch -- Oct. 13)
Owls enter Bucket showdown desperate for a win
(Fox Sports Houston <MK> -- Oct. 13)
RIce looks for revenge in Bayou Bucket battle
( -- Oct. 13)
Cougars runs QB trial by fire
(Houston Chronicle -- Oct. 13)
Season has turned into one of survival
( -- Oct. 12)
Fanuzzi waiting in Owls' wings
(Houston Chronicle -- Oct. 12)

Owls ready for payback
(Houston Chronicle <JD> -- Oct. 12)

Injured QB Keenum will apply for another season
(Houston Chronicle -- Oct.12)

This is going to be painful; parental discretion advised
(Fox Sports Houston <MK> -- Oct. 12)
Sure enough, Owls are surprising people
(Houston Press -- Oct. 11)
UH defense needs to be bigger, more athletic
(Dallas Morning News -- Oct. 11)
Back to the drawing board the Cougars go
(Houston Press -- Oct. 11)

C-USA: No clear front-runner
(Tulsa World -- Oct. 11)

Why Pilant gets the nod over Broadway for Coogs
(Houston Chronicle -- Oct. 11)

A lot of bad; some good
(Houston Chronicle <JD> -- Oct. 10)
23-point run helps UTEP beat Rice
(El Paso Times -- Oct. 10)

Vittatoe sets passing record; Owls dismantled
(The Prospector -- Oct. 10)

Vittatoe breaks three UTEP passing records
(El Paso Times -- Oct. 10)
Miners simply handled Rice, roughed them up
(El Paso Times -- Oct. 10)
Rice extends skid to four with loss at UTEP
(Houston Chronicle -- Oct. 9)
Bad snap opens door to Miner deluge
( -- Oct.9)
Vittatoe breaks three records as Rice falls
(El Paso Times -- Oct. 9)
Vittatoe breaks record as UTEP beats Rice
(Dallas Morning News -- Oct. 9)
UTEP extends winning streak to four games
(Kansas City Star/The Sports Network-- Oct. 9

The MOB, 1940 edition
riceband1940a472.jpg (74484 bytes)
Owls will try to smooth kinks before rowdy crowd

HOUSTON (Oct. 8) – The Rice Owls travel to El Paso this week to take on the UTEP Miners at the Sun Bowl, a scene that has been friendly to the Owls over past couple of visits, though it promises to be rocking noisily with fans of the 4-1 UTEPsans at kickoff.

The Owls have had trouble developing much of an offensive rhythm amid the relative calm and quiet of Rice Stadium over their most recent three-game home losing streak.

03sammytnsmall.jpg (3537 bytes)

Perhaps the most enduring visage of the ‘hurry up’ Rice offense so far this fall has been that of six or seven offensive players craning their heads over to the home sideline to pick up play calls from their coaches. It hasn’t been a sight much calculated to strike fear in the hearts of enemy gridders.

And with Saturday’s 8:05 pm (CDT) kickoff, the Owl offensive communication system promises to be given its harshest test since the first quarter of the season opener with Texas in Reliant Stadium.

10smuvidcaption120.jpg (39389 bytes)Rice-SMU
video highlights

(Videos of Rice's highlights, and some lowlights,  from the SMU game, broken down quarter by quarter...)updated.gif (971 bytes)

SMU 42, Rice 31dvaoa472.jpg (23203 bytes)
Shades of '09:  Pick-six, blocked kick for TD provide SMU with margin of victory as Rice ends three-game homestand empty-handed
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BREAKOUT  GAME -- Rice's Sam McGuffie had his season's best performance against SMU with right at 150 all-purpose yards -- and he got in one of his patented leaps, as well (PTH photo)

HOUSTON (Oct. 3) – Rice’s litany of miscues included a quick pick-six and a blocked field goal returned for a touchdown against the SMU Mustangs Saturday.

That’s about all one needs to know about the game – long-suffering Owl fans will be able to mail in a report about the rest, sight unseen. The more masochistic of our readers may elect to read on, however.

Like Yogi said, it was deju vu all over again at Rice Stadium Saturday evening, as the margin of victory for SMU in a 42-31 triumph over the Rice Owls lay in the aforementioned pick-six and blocked field goal. Eliminate those two plays, and Rice wins, 34-28. Once again, for the second year in a row, SMU pulled out a victory over the Owls with opportunistic defense and special teams play. It all boiled down to just a couple of them -- plays, that is.

But then again, it didn’t. The two big turnaround plays can’t entirely explain the 42-17 deficit the Owls were looking at as the third quarter clock wound down. They can’t mask the inopportunistic, predictable play calling, the inverse ratio of effort to results, that plagued the Owls against an opponent with whom they physically measured up quite well, thank you.
Continues....    Flashback:   Turnovers key in Owls' win over Miners....
Sam sets sail:  video of the Sam McGuffie takeoff play, Rice vs. SMU....

Rice offense looks to start fast against UTEP
(Houston Chronicle -- Oct. 9)
Miners hope to reverse trend against Owls
(Fox Sports Houston <MK> -- Oct. 9)
Rice vs. UTEP:  5 things to watch
(Fox Sports Houston <MK> -- Oct. 9)
4-1 UTEP hosts 1-4 Rice
(Alamagordo Daily News -- Oct. 9)
UTEP Miners want to solve Rice mystery
(El Paso Times -- Oct. 9)
Miners prepare for loud crowd
(El Paso Times -- Oct. 8)
Rice tougher than 1-4 record indicates
(El Paso Times -- Oct. 8)

Moondog:  Miners have chance to take league crown
( -- Oct. 8)
Rice having trouble defusing bombs
(Houston Chronicle -- Oct. 7)
UTEP has gotten out of gates quickly
(Owl Sports Watch -- Oct. 7)
Owls go mining for a victory
(Houston Press -- Oct. 7)

UTEP looking for four-game win streak
(Dallas Morning News -- Oct. 7)

Yet another Donald Buckram update
(College Fantasy Football Insider -- Oct. 7)

QB Vittatoe fuels early UTEP success
(Jackson Clarion-Ledger -- Oct. 7)

Vittatoe wants to create lasting legacy
(El Paso Times -- Oct. 7)

Bond between father and son strengthened after tragedy
(San Antonio Express - News -- Oct. 7)

Jersey Village grad excels as Rice linebacker
(The Sun/CyFair Online -- Oct. 6)
UTEP gets visit from 'Mean Joe' Green
( -- Oct. 6)

Stull pleads for student attendance despite change in tailgate rules
( -- Oct. 6)

Price: 'We don't want to give them any added information'
(El Paso Times -- Oct. 6)
Reserve linemen fill gaps at UTEP
(El Paso Times -- Oct. 6)
UTEP battles Rice in 79th homecoming game
( -- Oct. 6)
Owls seek more big plays through the air
(Fox Sports Houston <MK> -- Oct. 5)
Price wants UTEP aficionados to 'yell and scream' at Rice
(El Paso Times -- Oct. 5)
Rice features several high-profile Texans
( -- Oct. 5)

Miners look to keep Owls grounded
(The Prospector -- Oct. 5)

UTEP AD editorializes in favor of student support vs. Rice
(The Prospector -- Oct. 5)

Price confident Buckram will be a go
(College Fantasy Football Insider -- Oct. 5)

Price reflects on win over UNM and injuries
( -- Oct. 5)

Mustangs' passing game clicking again
(Dallas Morning News -- Oct. 4)
Game costly in injuries to several Miners
(El Paso Times -- Oct. 4)
Opponents change but mistakes remain the same
(Fox Sports Houston <MK> -- Oct. 3)
McGuffie breaks out but Rice falls
(Cypress Times -- Oct. 3)
SMU is learning how to handle success
(Dallas Morning News -- Oct. 3)
SMU cornerback finishes job this time
(Dallas Morning News -- Oct. 3)
Rice starts slow in loss to SMU
(Houston Chronicle -- Oct. 2)
Padron's 371 yards, 3 TDs pace SMU
Associated Press -- Oct. 2)
Conference USA wins becoming commonplace for SMU
(Dallas Morning News -- Oct. 2)
Deep passes hurt Owls
(Houston Chronicle <JD> -- Oct. 2)
Padron, defense pace SMU to 42-31 win
( -- Oct. 2)
Offensive explosion propels SMU over Rice
( -- Oct. 2)
Owls lose third straight home game
( -- Oct. 2)

Moment of truth for Owls as SMU tries to snap skein

HOUSTON (Sept. 30) – Perhaps the best way to put Rice’s upcoming game with SMU into perspective is to consider it in light of last year’s contest.

03sammytnsmall.jpg (3537 bytes)

Rice stayed winless in suffering a 31-28 loss to the Mustangs in Dallas, in a game where the Owls clearly were the better team. It was a game, though, in which Rice suffered three blocked place kicks, one of which was returned for a Pony touchdown.

Do the math – the result was an up-to-16-point turnaround that handed the game to an SMU team that, at least on that day, was the clearly inferior combatant. You can check the stats.

SMU enters Saturday’s contest as a solid favorite, despite the fact that the Ponies have not won at Rice Stadium since 1986. But there are several dozen returning veterans who’ll be decked in blue and gray, come kickoff, and who were on the field at Ford Stadium last October. To a man, they’ll know that they feature at least equal, if not superior, on-field talent, compared to the team they’ll be facing.
Continues....            Flashback:   SMU 31, Rice 28 (Nov. 6, 2009)....

SMU week   
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10buvideocover.jpg (37838 bytes)Rice-Baylor
video highlights

(Videos of Rice's highlights, mostly defensive, from the Baylor game, broken down quarter by quarter...)

When it rains, it pours
What happened to the team that battled Texas?

By Joyce Pounds Hardy, Class of 45, BA '67

Joyce Hardy
joyce167.jpg (3701 bytes)
From the Distaff End of the Bench

HOUSTON (Sept. 27) --Normally, I love rain, but not in the middle of a ballgame. Lightning, thunder, storms... I want to be curled up somewhere reading a good book. But nature doesn't ask me when or where. And it surely didn't on Saturday night.

I would like to report that it was the weather that messed us up, but it wasn't. Off again, on again didn't hurt Baylor. Mostly as hard as I pushed and prayed we couldn't squeeze our first downs over the goal line . That one burst of  McGuffie's run for our lone touchdown was a surprise. Most of us had given up hoping that there would ever be a hole someone could run through for a touchdown. A little late but ever welcome.

Where were the plays that confused Texas? The first quarter held that same great promise,   we marched down the field  with confidence, and made every set of downs add up to one first down after another til we got to the promised land. In this game we seemed to doom our runners to a crushing wall of green and gold. And my Owls got smushed.


Baylor 30, Rice13
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Comedy of errors as Owls predictably fall to Bears

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Beginning of the end -- Bear defender picks off underthrown pass intended for Pat Randolph; completion would've gone for big yardage but instead, Owl  drive was quashed and the game went on to get out of hand from there (Mark Anderson photo)

By Bob Reinhold

HOUSTON (Sept. 26) -- It all started so promising. Two former SWC foes playing before a spirited crowd of 23,395; Rice displaying an imaginative and varied offense to begin the game; keeping the ball for 6 1/2 minutes against the wind; then Chris Boswell knocking through a 42 yard field goal for an early 3-0 lead.

Finally, it appeared, Rice Owls were in position to play a complete game, and maybe even knock off a BCS foe for the first time in many a moon. 

Attitudes remained high, then, even though the Bears managed to score late in the first quarter to take a 7-3 lead after one period. Three minutes deep into the 2nd quarter the Owls had Baylor backed up to their own 20, going into the wind.

Then it happened.

Lightning, followed by thunder, more lightning, heavy rain and the game was halted for one hour and seven minutes.

Kramer Lucio healthy, ready to take flight
(Houston Chronicle -- Oct. 2)
Rice, SMU have proud football histories
( -- Oct. 2)

SMU senior Sterling Moore wears spikes through his ears
(Dallas Morning News -- Oct. 2)
Mustangs try to keep Mayor's Cup
( -- Oct. 2)

SMU football player jailed on rape charge
(KDAF-TV 33 -- Oct. 1)
SMU can make push in C-USA with win
(Dallas Morning News -- Oct. 1)
Owls vs. Mustangs:  Five things to watch
(Fox Sports Houston <MK> -- Oct. 1)

Rice assistant adapts to role change
(Fox Sports Houston <MK> -- Oct. 1)

SMU safety to save a seat for his late mother
(Dallas Morning News -- Oct. 1)

Owls battle the little things
(Houston Press -- Sept. 30)
Rice has history of blooming late
(Houston Chronicle -- Sept. 30)

Fans invited to take a kid to the game
(Cypress Times -- Sept. 30)

SMU looks to stay unbeaten in league play against Rice
(Dallas Morning News -- Sept. 29)
SMU youth movement means success now, later
(The Bleacher Report -- Sept. 29)\
SMU plays are 'Lining' up
(The Daily Campus -- Sept. 29)
SMU running back questionable for Rice game
(Dallas Morning News -- Sept. 29)
SMU remains patient with slow-developing passing game
(Dallas Morning News -- Sept. 29)
Rice looks to extend home mastery over SMU
(Houston Chronicle <JD> -- Sept. 28)

SMU roster has varied roots
(Owls Sports Watch -- Sept. 28)
The Rice report:  Bailiff talks
( -- Sept. 28)
Mustangs can't get ahead of themselves
(The Bleacher Report -- Sept. 28)

Let's sidestep elusive coachspeak for a moment
(Fox Sports Houston <MK> -- Sept. 27)

DB optimistic Owls will turn things around
(Fox Sports Houston <MK> -- Sept. 27)
Francis out for season; McDonald slated to return
(Houston Chronicle <JD> -- Sept. 27)
Mustangs have not beaten Owls in Houston since '86

(Houston Chronicle <JD> -- Sept. 27)

Bear Raid:  Baylor uses big plays to bomb Owls
(Owl Sports Watch -- Sept. 27)

Lightning dulls Owls' thunder
(Houston Press -- Sept. 27)
DB continues to see the same mistakes
(Houston Chronicle <JD> -- Sept. 27)

DB:   It all starts and ends with head coach
(Houston Chronicle -- Sept. 26)
Rice soaked up by Bears, 30-13
(Fox Sports Houston <MK> -- Sept. 26)
Bears find a cause to thump chests
(Waco Tribune-Herald -- Sept. 26)$$$
Lightning, Bears strike at Rice in key 30-13 win
(Waco Tribune-Herald -- Sept. 26)$$$
Rice unravels after weather delay
(Houston Chronicle -- Sept. 26)

Griffin's 3 TD passes lead Baylor past Rice
(Fox Sports Houston <MK> -- Sept. 26)

Baylor wins fifth straight over Rice
( -- Sept. 26)

Video: Baylor vs. Rice recap
(CBS Sports -- Sept. 26)
Baylor outgains Rice 456-296
(Kansas City Star/The Sports Network -- Sept. 26)
Griffin and offense produce; defense contains Owls
(Baylor Lariat -- Sept. 26)

Baylor sent solid message to those dismissing them
(ESPN -- Sept. 26)

07baylorprog59a466.jpg (61419 bytes)

10NU2a120a.jpg (43039 bytes)Rice-Northwestern video highlights
(Videos of Rice's highlights, mostly defensive, from the Northwestern game, broken down quarter by quarter...)updated.gif (971 bytes)

Quo vadis, forward or backward?
Ten pluses from Saturday's game

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Rice tight end Luke Willson continued to improve his game against Northwestern (MA photo)

By Mark Anderson

HOUSTON (Sept. 20) -- Many would agree that it seems as if Rice took a step back in the 30-13 loss to Northwestern here at Rice Stadium last weekend. And it is times like this where one looks at what is going on and asks, "Is this glass half-full or half-empty?"

Owl fans, don’t despair— thy cup is not only half-full, but Saturday showed signs of being closer to full than empty -- if you looked carefully.

We’ve come up with ten things that Rice fans can be encouraged about from the game with Northwestern. Here they are:

The emergence of Donte Moore: When Donte Moore came to Rice last year, everyone recognized this young man’s potential. Last fall, he was open on just about every deep route he ran—and dropped just about every pass on those deep routes. That earned him some time to watch, learn, and get adjusted to the college game. Last night was evidence that Donte Moore has made those adjustments. His 32- yard catch last night was remarkable—especially when viewed from the sidelines. Those four catches for 66 yards last night may indeed signal that Donte has the potential to become the "go-to" wide receiver.

Northwestern 30, Rice 13
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Turnovers, special teams failures leave Rice scant chance to keep up with solid, methodical Wildcats
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TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE -- Turner Peterson picks up Owls' lone touchdown late in the game to make it seem more respectable (it wasn't) (PTH photo)

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Chris Boswell is fast becoming Mr. Automatic in the field goal department; here, he boots through three-pointer just before the half (Mark Anderson photo)

HOUSTON (Sept. 19)—The Rice Owls took their script for victory over Northwestern, turned it inside out and went and did just the opposite here Saturday night, sustaining a 30-13 defeat at the hands of the Wildcats that really wasn’t as close a game as the score indicated.

Hoping to ride an opportunistic, head-hunting defense to a net-plus in turnovers, and expecting fully to maintain an edge in special teams categories, the Owls instead turned the ball over four times and got basically no return game to help them with field position, while the Rice defense struggled manfully as it was gradually being worn down by the methodical, precise, well-modulated Northwestern offensive scheme.

The Owls lacked the offensive efficacy (or whatever’s the opposite of ineptitude) they displayed in the Texas game, and failed to match the ability to finish they showed in overcoming a late deficit to defeat North Texas on the road, but those two factors alone weren’t enough to explain the deficit between the homestanding Owls and their visiting Big 10 entry.

The Rice offense at times moved with proficiency, but more often was its own worst enemy as Nick Fanuzzi and Taylor Cook took turns at the helm. Key turnovers thwarted nascent drives and set up NU with good field position often enough to threaten to turn the game into a runaway by midway in the third quarter.

Owls seek fewer errors, consistent play
(Houston Chronicle -- Sept. 25)
Owls vs. Bears:  Five things to watch
(Fox Sports Houston <MK> -- Sept. 25)

Bears, Owls renew old rivalry
(Fox Sports SW -- Sept. 25)

Baylor gameday:  breaking down Rice
(BearsIlustrated -- Sept. 25)$$$

Bears make first trek to Rice since SWC days
(Waco Tribune-Herald -- Sept. 25)$$$

Baylor soph stays busy as receiver, return man
(Fort Worth Star-Telegram -- Sept. 25)
Griffin, Baylor want to get back on track vs. Rice
(Dallas Morning News -- Sept. 25)
TCU uses strong second half  to down SMU
( -- Sept. 25)
Teen's wheelchair fails to limit love of football, Owls
(Houston Chronicle -- Sept. 24)
Historic Rice Stadium turns 60
(Houston Chronicle <JD> -- Sept. 24)
Griffin, Bears want to get back on track vs. Rice
(USA Today -- Sept. 24)

Bears' tilt with Rice a must-win game
(Waco Tribune-Herald) $$$

Owls embarrassed at home by Big 10 foe
(Rice Thresher -- Sept. 24)

Owls need to contain familiar foe
look.gif (907 bytes)
(Owl Sports Watch -- Sept. 23)
Rice faces improving Baylor, hoping to trim mistakes
(Houston Press -- Sept. 23)
Getting off to good start essential for Bears
(Waco Tribune-Herald -- Sept. 23)$$$

'Leap of faith' prods Griffin to follow Briles
(Houston Chronicle -- Sept. 23)
Kicker aces field goals with cool nerves, lucky socks
(Baylor Lariat -- Sept. 23)
Briles: demoralizing loss won't dent Bears' confidence
(Bears Illustrated -- Sept. 23)

Still a revolving door for Rice quarterbacks
(Bears Illustrated -- Sept. 23)

Owls may have too much talent at key positions
(Fox Sports Houston <MK> -- Sept. 22)
Baylor may need to shuffle DBs against Rice
(Fox Sports SW -- Sept. 22)
Rice, Baylor both looking to rebound
(Dallas Morning News -- Sept. 22)
Baylor can't dwell on last week
(Fox Sports Southwest -- Sept. 22)
Yes, there are two Robert Griffins
(Cypress Times/TSN -- Sept. 22)
Owls will play UT in Austin in 2011, 2015
(Houston Chronicle <JD> -- Sept. 22)
Owls lead nation in north-of-border talent
(Houston Chronicle -- Sept. 22)
Rice establishes recruiting presence north of the border
(Houston Chronicle <JD> -- Sept. 22)

Bears are 2-11 on road under Briles
(Houston Chronicle <JD> -- Sept. 22)

Where is national respect NU deserves?
(Bleacher Report -- Sept. 22)
Cats pick off opponents one by one
(Daily Northwestern -- Sept. 22)
Receiver Moore honored to wear no. 81
(Houston Chronicle <JD> -- Sept. 21)
NU's Fitzgerald best coach in college football?
(The Bleacher Report -- Sept. 21)
Loss to TCU leaves BU's Griffin with bad taste
(Fort Worth Star-Telegram -- Sept. 21)
Bears putting blowout loss in rear-view mirror
(Waco Tribune-Herald -- Sept. 21)$$$
So what else is new?  Injuries mount
(Houston Chronicle <JD> -- Sept. 21)
Not good enough to make mistakes and win
(Rice Thresher -- Sept. 21)
'Nick has really stepped up his game'
(Houston Chronicle <JD> -- Sept. 20)
Briles wants to see more long ball
( -- Sept. 20)
Owls welcome old SWC rival Baylor
( -- Sept. 20)
Baylor's road to bowl starts with win over Rice
(Dallas Morning News -- Sept. 20)
Owls have get-up-and-go at WR
(FoxSports SW -- Sept. 20)
'Embarrassing' TCU loss not end of season for Bears
(Waco Tribune -- Sept. 20)
Rice-Northwestern a frustrating game to watch
(Owl Sports Watch -- Sept. 20)
How the 'Cats tromped the Owls
(North by Northwestern -- Sept. 20)
Rice finds out what Big 10 football is like
(Houston Press -- Sept. 20)

Northwestern blows Rice away
(Sports Page Magazine -- Sept. 19)
You have to play two halves to win against good teams
(Chicago Now -- Sept. 19)
The numbers turn out to be negative
(Houston Chronicle <JD> --Sept. 19)
Turnovers doom Rice in 30-13 loss to Northwestern
(Houston Chronicle -- Sept. 19)
Defense can't compensate for Owl offensive woes
(Fox Sports Houston -- Sept. 19)
Persa superb again in Northwestern rout of Rice
(Chicago Tribune -- Sept. 19)
NU regroups after sluggish start
(Chicago Sun-Times -- Sept. 19)
Wildcats stifle Owls' 'O', race to 30-13 road victory
( -- Sept. 18)

Persa leads Northwestern past Rice
(ESPN Chicago -- Sept. 18)

Persa turns in impressive performance as NU routs Rice
(Daily Northwestern -- Sept. 18)

Owls can't contain Northwestern offense
( -- Sept. 18)

'We left the pill on the floor 8 times'
Owls looking to take advantage of breaks against solid Wildcat squad

HOUSTON (Sept. 16) -- Owl fans of a certain vintage may think it to have been only yesterday when the Northwestern University eleven last graced the playing field at Rice Stadium.

In fact, it's been 12 years since the Wildcats, then in the midst of a highly successful coaching term by Gary Barnett, pulled out every trick play in the book to eke out a 23-14 victory over the Owls, in direct retribution for an excruciating, last-minute loss to that self-same Rice team in Evanston the year before.

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With their most recent 40-34 win in 1997, and the payback loss in 1998, Rice brings into Saturday’s contest with the Wildcats a 4-1 all-time record against Northwestern -- a surprising statistic, considering that Northwestern is a BCS team and has been a member of the Big Ten for decades, though hardly a consistent football juggernaut over the years.

Rice won in a photo finish at Ryan Field in Evanston back in 1997, in a game where Rice’s starting quarterback, Chad Nelson, hampered by injury, alternated with his backup, Jeremy Bates, the both of them taking turns captaining the Owl wishbone to victory.
Continues....     1997 Rice-Northwestern video highlights....look.gif (907 bytes)

Rice-Northwestern week....
Sammy sez: 'It's gonna be brrrrrrrr down here,
Willie; don't forget to bring your long undies...'

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Any time you beat odds, win, it’s sweet
Now, about that radio station....

By Joyce Pounds Hardy, Class of 45, BA '67

Joyce Hardy
joyce167.jpg (3701 bytes)
From the Distaff End of the Bench

HOUSTON (Sept. 14) -- Well, this will not be the happy report I wanted it to be—but not because of the football game. That was one of the finest examples of overcoming adversity and emerging victorious Rice has enjoyed in a long time.

I wanted us to be as sharp and tough as we were against Texas, but it didn’t happen. UNT was favored so the victory was sweet, anytime you beat the odds and win it’s sweet. Kudos to all the guys who fought so hard to make that W end up on our side of the line.

However, since Rice won the game, I imagine that North Texas had more “missed opportunities” than we did. I say “imagine” because I never really heard the game. I tried the old 97.5 FM on my $100 transistor and never got a peep from Beaumont . Maybe my car would have gotten the game but I didn’t have a car that day.

Rice 32, UNT 31 Full game report....
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Owls forge early lead, fall behind, come back for win backed by four field goals from freshman kicker
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Tyler Smith breaks into the clear against UNT, rambling for 48 yards before being shoestringed just short of goal (PTH photo)

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Sam McGuffie strolls into end zone at the end of his 51-yard touchdown pass-and-run; the nearest green shirts to him were those guys in the stands (PTH photo)

DENTON (Sept. 12) – Kicking was the name of the game here Saturday.

It all started when the Rice Owls kicked it into high gear early, taking a 10-0 and then a 16-7 lead against the hosting North Texas Mean Green.

It continued when the Owls almost kicked the can, turning that 16-7 lead into a 31-26 fourth-quarter deficit courtesy crucial breakdowns and mental errors.

But the most remarkable kicking job on the day belonged to Rice redshirt freshman Chris Boswell, who calmly – and we do mean calmly – booted four field goals, two of them in excess of 50 yards distant, to provide the one-point margin of victory, evening the Institute’s record on the year at 1-1.
Continues....updated.gif (971 bytes)

Martens shines as one of nation's best punters
(Houston Chronicle -- Sept. 18)
Bailiff sees similarities in NU program
(Fox Sports Houston <MK> -- Sept. 18)
NU hopes to keep cookin' against Rice
(Southtown Star -- Sept. 18)
Rice has lost 19 straight vs. BCS; this should be no different
(Chicago Tribune -- Sept. 18)
Owls look to build on last week's win
( -- Sept. 18)

Times of London says Rice 47th best in the world
(Houston Press -- Sept. 18)

Persa hopes to make NU go 3-0
(Chicago Sun-Times -- Sept. 17)

Solly still undecided on future
(Houston Chronicle <JD> -- Sept. 17)

Owls vs. Wildcats: Five things to watch
(Fox Sports Houston <MK> -- Sept. 17)
Opportunity knocks (again) for Fanuzzi
(Fox Sports Houston <MK> -- Sept. 17)
Fitz' biggest concern seems to be weather at kickoff
(Wildcat Report/Rivals -- Sept. 17)
Ten reasons to get fired up for Rice
(Chicago Now -- Sept. 17)
Houston familiar territory for NU Coach Fitzgerald
( -- Sept. 17)
Owls run SWC table in '49
(Hays Free Press -- Sept. 17)
Northwestern turns up heat for Houston visit
(Houston Chronicle <JD> -- Sept. 16)
A six-pack of Rice
(Wildcat Report/Rivals -- Sept. 16)
Owls are creepy birds: Rice preview
(Chicago Now -- Sept. 16)
Wildcats attempt to improve to 3-0
( -- Sept. 16)
Owls have chance to end skid against BCS teams
(Houston Chronicle -- Sept. 16)
Schedule conflict makes '11 NU game unlikely
(Houcton Chronicle <JD> -- Sept. 16)

Wildcats practicing for hot time at Rice
(Chicago Tribune -- Sept. 16)
Rice faces Northwestern in battle of Brainiacs
(Houston Press -- Sept. 16)
Northwestern's Dan Persa right on target
(ESPN -- Sept. 16)
'I think those guys will continue to improve each week'
(Fox Sports Houston <MK -- tweet/respond> -- Sept. 15)
Got questions about NU game? Here are some answers
(Owl Sports Watch -- Sept. 15)
Wildcats, off to 2-0 start, travel to Rice
(Kansas City Star/TSN -- Sept. 15)
NU's McNaul inspired by courage of his brother
(Chicago Sun-Times -- Sept. 15)
Owl special teams much improved
(Owl Sports Watch -- Sept. 15)
Cats should be able to beat Rice convincingly
(Daily Northwestern -- Sept. 15)
Persa tops nation in passing at Northwestern
(Liberty Morning Call -- Sept. 15)
McGuffie's two games in gothic lettering have been iffy
( -- Sept. 15)
Browne fulfilling possibility at DE for NU
( -- Sept. 15)
NU's contingent right at home vs. Rice
(Chicago Sun-Times -- Sept. 15)
Opportunity knocks for QB Fanuzzi
(Houston Chronicle -- Sept. 14)
Rice game homecoming for some NU players
(Chicago Tribune -- Sept. 14)
Coach Fitz talks about NU's Houston pipeline
(Wildcat Report/Rivals -- Sept. 14)

Persa passing the test
(Wildcat Report/Rivals -- Sept. 14)
Errors cost UNT again in loss to Rice
(Dallas Morning News -- Sept. 14)
Wildcats set to resume rivalry with Rice
( -- Sept 13)
McHargue out for NU with shoulder injury
(Houston Chronicle <JD> -- Sept. 13)

Wildcats, led by QB Persa, off to impressive start
(The Bleacher Report -- Sept. 13)

NU's Fields learning college running game
(Chicago Tribune -- Sept. 13)

Report card: Northwestern vs. Illinois State
(North by Northwestern -- Sept. 13)

Rice struggles but gets out of Denton with win
(Houston Press -- Sept. 13)
Persa leads nation in pass efficiency
( -- Sept. 13)

Wildcats came out strong against I State
(WNUR Sports -- Sept. 12)

Northwestern running attack breakthrough for big day
(Daily Northwestern -- Sept. 12)

Rice helmet stickers, week two
(Houston Chronicle <JD> -- Sept. 12)
Rice had to earn every bit of win
(Owl Sports Watch -- Sept. 12)
Tune injury shuffles UNT QB situation
(Denton Record Chronicle -- Sept. 12)
Dodge: 'It's a game we let slip away'
(Dallas Morning News -- Sept. 12)
Nick Fanuzzi rescues Rice offense as Owls top North Texas
(ESPN-Dallas -- Sept. 12)
Rice hangs tough, rallies for first win of season
(Houston Chronicle <JD> -- Sept. 11)
Rice comes from behind to beat North Texas
(Houston Chronicle -- Sept. 11)|

Owls rally for 32-31 win over North Texas
(Fox Sports Houston <MK> -- Sept. 11)

Owls rally as UNT falls short
(Denton Record Chronicle -- Sept. 11)
UNT defense shows resiliency
(Denton Record Chronicle -- Sept. 11)
Owls sneak past UNT in non-conference clash
(Kansas City Star -- Sept. 11)

Late touchdown gives Owls edge over North Texas
( -- Sept. 11)

Boswell hits two from 50-yards plus as Owls edge UNT
( -- Sept. 11)

'Game of the year' for UNT not without significance for Owls

DENTON (Sept. 10) – Well, if the football gods have anything to say about it, the University of North Texas squad will be toiling at a distinct disadvantage as they take on the Rice Owls Saturday evening, kickoff 6 p.m. at soon-to-be-a-parking-lot Fouts Field.

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That’s because the Eagle/Mean Green front runners engaged in a major bit of discourse this week about how those nasty nerds from South Main ran up the score in their last meeting, a 77-20 beat-down by the Owls at Rice Stadium in 2008.

It seems revenge will definitely be on the minds of the Mean Green as they take on the Owls for the third time ever, and the first time in the friendly climes of beautiful downtown Denton.

The Eagles/Mean Green are led on offense by running back Lance Dunbar, who had a big day against Clemson last week with 116 yards rushing. Dunbar was there at Rice Stadium for the big beatdown, and he made his opinion known this week about how it’s time for a little retribution for that dissing.

10utoscruma120ht.jpg (4637 bytes)Rice-Texas video highlights
(Videos of Rice's game-opening scoring drive, plus the big goal line stand later in the first quarter; first TD bomb; second touchdown after fumble recovery)

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Rice Athletic Director Rick Greenspan was a visible presence on the sideline at Saturday's Rice-Texas game, constantly shouting encouragement to Owl players; here he's got a high-five for Travis Bradshaw coming off the field after first quarter goal line stand (PTH photo)

Full game story.... Game stats feature....
'A fun team to watch'
Owls didn't let us down
By Joyce Pounds Hardy, Class of 45, BA '67

Joyce Hardy's
joyce167.jpg (3701 bytes)
From the Distaff End of the Bench

HOUSTON (Sept. 6) -- Saturday was extraordinary. Our Rice Owls battled to the end, they were fired up the whole game, they were exciting to watch because they played hard for 60 minutes; and for the first time in a lonnnnnng time we were in the game the whole way. A little repetitious, but that was sweet.

That first quarter, I was about as stunned as the Longhorns. Not that I don't believe in our team, it's just that I had gotten used to being smothered right off the bat by the Mighty Longhorns. They had gotten used to it too, evidently, because they came right out, squared up their burnt orange jerseys, and were surprised that we didn't fall over dead.

Texas 34, Rice 17
Feisty Owls give Horns everything they can handle
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Redshirt freshman Taylor McHargue drew the starting nod at quarterback for the Owls, and turned in a performance that pleased his coaches; here, he executed the zone read for first-down yardage to the outside (PTH photo)

HOUSTON (Sept. 4) -- The Rice Owls did, in fact, lose yet another one to the Texas Longhorns here Saturday. Not much in the way of news, that -- but this game definitely wasn’t another same old chapter and verse, and the difference lay not in whether the Institute Men had won or lost, but how they played the game.

Far from performing their usual first-round dive against this old rival, the Owls traveled the mile or two down South Main and promptly delivered notice from opening kickoff that the afternoon's contest was not going to be the inaugural of another ten-loss season, or anything near it.

A sixty-yard, 15-play scoring driving on the Owls’ opening possession, and then a magnificent goal-line stand to thwart the Orangebloods’ opening salvo, served notice to the pro-Texas throng of over 70,000 filling the extremely neutral-feeling Rice ‘home’ venue of Reliant Stadium, that these were not the same old anemic Owls of last season.

Sure, Texas won going away, 34-17, and that with a relatively conservative UT offensive game plan designed to dangle quarterback heir-presumptive Garrett Gilbert’s sweet little tippy-toes in his bubble bath without getting scalded.

Stat comparison tells revealing
tale that bolsters Owl optimism

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Redshirt freshman Hosam Shahin is a one-man wrecking crew as he puts major pressure on UT quarterback (MA photo)

By Mark Anderson

HOUSTON (Sept. 5) -- In 2008 and 2010, Rice played Texas. In 2008, Texas swamped the Owls, 52-10, in Austin, the fourth game of the season. The Owls, of course, went on to win ten games and finish with a Texas Bowl victory, their best season output since 1954. What might a statistical comparison of those two games indicate to Owl fans, eager to find straws to grasp. Let’s take a quick look.

TOTAL YARDS: This is one stat that jumps off the page. In 2008, the defense that went to the Texas Bowl gave up an astronomical 577 yards—259 by land, 318 by air. Throw in the 78 yards on kickoff returns, the total; yardage given up was a whopping 655 yards. Compare that with what happened in 2010, when Rice gave up only 369 yards offensively—172 by air, 197 by land. Add in 93 punt and kickoff return yards, the total yards given up to the Horns is 462—a 193 yard difference.

Persistence pays off for Bradshaw

(Houston Chronicle -- Sept. 11)
UNT center out with injury
(Denton Record-Chronicle -- Sept. 11)

Owls vs. Mean Green: FIve things to watch
(Fox Sports Houston <MK> -- Sept. 11)

Owls with a few tricks up their sleeves
(Fox Sports Houston <MK> -- Sept. 11)
Q&A with Rice beat man Joseph Duarte
(Denton Record Chronicle -- Sept. 10)
Shane out for season with wrist injury
(Houston Chronicle -- Sept. 10)
For UNT, Rice tilt as big as it gets
(Denton Record-Chronicle -- Sept. 10)

What loss of Turner means for Owls
(Houston Chronicle <JD> -- Sept. 10)
Rice-UT draws record 2,800 students
(The Rice Thresher -- Sept. 10)
They could've seated throng of Rice students in one group
(The Rice Thresher -- Sept. 10)

Owls fall to Texas in valiant effort at Reliant
(The Rice Thresher -- Sept. 10)

Rice's Smith faces emotional trip to Denton
(Houston Chronicle -- Sept. 9)
NT players: Owls ran it up
(Houston Chronicle -- Sept. 9)
Rice hopes to keep momentum against North Texas
(Houston Press -- Sept. 9)

NT game of the year just a couple of days away
(Denton Record-Chronicle -- Sept. 9)
Will UNT play to win, or just to compete?
(The Bleacher Report -- Sept. 9)

Hill embraces leadership role on UNT defense
(Denton Record-Chronicle -- Sept. 9)

Gioffre filling the void
(Fox Sports Houston <MK> -- Sept. 8)
Rice-UNT a battle of similar programs
(Kansas City Star/TSN -- Sept. 8)
Rice, North Texas enter game with a lot in common
(Owl Sports Watch -- Sept. 8)
UNT's Houstonians ready for Rice game
(Denton Record-Chronicle -- Sept. 8)

Mean Green, Tune open new era offensively
(Denton Record-Chronicle -- Sept. 8)

Tune touts toughness against Tigers
(North Texas Daily -- Sept. 8)
Seeking an offensive eruption
(Fox Sports Houston <MK> -- Sept. 8)
Jim Greenwood recounts the week of the '57 Aggie game
(R, hat tip: Bob Reinhold)

Back to basics with 'small menu, big understanding'
(Houston Chronicle -- Sept. 7)
Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best
(Fox Sports Houston <MK> -- Sept. 7)

Owls look to build on solid effort against Texas
( -- Sept. 7)
Take away those 10 points, and Texas wins by 7
(Austin American Statesman -- Sept. 7)
UNT needs to fill depth chart void at cornerback
(Denton Record-Chronicle -- Sept. 7)
Clemson vs. North Texas: What the statistics tell us
(SB Nation -- Sept. 7)
Thor at North Texas? Could've happened
(Houston Chronicle <JD> -- Sept. 7)

'240 of their 432 yards came on five plays'
(North Texas Daily -- Sept. 7)
UNT has confidence, reason for optimism
(Denton Record-Chronicle -- Sept. 6)
Owls earned measure of respect -- for each other
(Owl Sports Watch -- Sept. 6)
Turner has MRI; McHague to start at UNT
(Houston Chronicle <JD> -- Sept. 6)
This week: Rice vs. North Texas

(Houston Chronicle <JD> -- Sept. 6)
Rice scares Longhorns but can't pull off upset

(Houston Press -- Sept. 6)

Texas is king; Rice, the jester
(Bleacher Report -- Sept. 6)
Give the Owls some credit
(Houston Sports Examiner -- Sept. 6)
Longhorn report card vs. Rice
(Austin American Statesman -- Sept. 6)
Owls, Bailiff come away with positives galore
(Houston Chronicle -- Sept. 5)
Owl defense solid in loss to Longhorns
(Fox Sports Houston <MK> -- Sept. 5)

Patience, people, patience
(Austin American Statesman -- Sept. 5)

Owls have pluck
(Austin American Statesman -- Sept. 5)

Horns whip Rice, but ground game is sluggish
(Fort Worth Star-Telegram -- Sept. 5)
Mack: 'The goal is to win the opener'
(Austin American Statesman -- Sept. 5)
No great Gilbert: Texas misses McCoy
(CultureMap Houston -- Sept. 5)

Gilbert's debut is solid, if not thrilling
(Austin American Statesman -- Sept. 5)

Longhorns hot, cold in victory over Rice
(Bleacher Report -- Sept. 5)
Horns aren't awe-inspiring against Owls

(Austin American Statesman -- Sept. 5)

TMac: Speed of the game is the biggest difference
(Austin American Statesman -- Sept. 5)

Five questions for the Longhorns
(Austin American Statesman -- Sept. 5)

Owls turned in a performance to build on
( -- Sept. 4)
Longhorns survive season opener against Rice
(Houston Chronicle -- Sept. 4)
Horns bounce back from slow start
(Seattle Post-Intelligencer -- Sept. 4)
Owls take advantage of lone Texas turnover
(Associated Press -- Sept. 4)

Longhorns' season debut a salty one
(Dallas Morning News -- Sept. 4)

MOB whiffed on parody of Texas leaving for Big 10
(Austin American Statesman -- Sept. 4)
'He did some great things and he did some freshman things'
( -- Sept. 4)
Bailiff says plan is to stick with McHargue
(Houston Chronicle <JD> -- Sept. 4)

It's Texas time....
utprogram58b471.jpg (45810 bytes)
This John Churchill Chase cartoon graced the program cover for the 1958 Rice-Texas game played before 70,000-plus at Rice Stadium. The cartoon proved prescient, for Sammy indeed hosed the Longhorns that evening, to the tune of 34-7 -- one of the more one-sided Rice wins in the history of the series

Despite summer doldrums, whiff of football in air

HOUSTON (Sept. 2) -- With any luck it might have hit the reader within the last couple of days. It might have happened with a sudden, startling awakening at 3 o'clock in the morning. It could have taken place while mowing the grass or watering the lawn, and getting just the faintest whiff of fall in the air.

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Whatever the case, just a week or so ago, the Dog Days of August hung over local heads as if they were never going to go away. The oppressive heat had minds far away from any thought of the Boys of Autumn. The summer felt as if it were never going to end.

But then it happened. Like the first crocus of spring in more northerly climes, the notion that the college football season loomed suddenly burst forth like a ton of bricks. And for fans of the Rice Owls, that ton of bricks takes the personage of Mack Brown and his Texas Longhorns, who tee up against the Institute Boys at 2:30 Saturday in Reliant Stadium (ESPN).
Continues....      Rice two-deep depth chart....


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Latest headlines...
Former UH interim HC may join Rice; Coaching, recruits news; Signing Day media coverage searchGoogle
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Coach Bailiff -- briefing
Coach Bailiff -- Q&A
Rice-UAB postgame wavsymbol.jpg (726 bytes)
10uabpgdbsnap2tn.jpg (18760 bytes)Coach Bailiff
'To win the last two games, conference games, at home, it was fitting for this senior class, and it gives us a lot of hope for the future'
10uabpgtmacsnap3xtn.jpg (18303 bytes)Taylor McHargue
'We stuck with what we were doing -- and they were tired; we never lost confidence...'
10uabppjeddsnap2tn.jpg (17611 bytes)Jeremy Eddington
'I bounced it to the outside, and I had it in mymind as soon as I saw the end zone, nobody's going to tackle me'
10uabpgjhillsnap5tn.jpg (17644 bytes)Justin Hill
'It was just about playing for pride and going out a winner -- not just for ourselves, but for the future of the program'

Rice-ECU postgame wavsymbol.jpg (726 bytes)
ecupgdb3tn1a.jpg (19129 bytes)Coach Bailiff
'Because of the attittude, and and effort and character of these young men we won out and won us a ball game...'
ecupgtmac3xtn1.jpg (18383 bytes)Taylor McHargue
'We knew all week long, just watching them on tape, that we could have a big day'
ecupgjedd6tn1.jpg (18600 bytes)Jeremy Eddington
'I was like,"If we run that play in the game, I'm gong to score" -- and we ran it just like in practice'
ecupgvance2xtn1.jpg (19574 bytes)Vance McDonald
'I hate that it's taken this long, but these last couple of weeks, we've had great play calling'
ecupgjohng2tn1.jpg (18062 bytes)John Gioffre
'When the offense is going their job like they were todayl, it gives us confidence and makes our job easier'
ecupgjsammc2tn1.jpg (18339 bytes)Sam McGuffie
'When you put up 639 yards total offense, like Coach Bailiff said, you're creating a monster -- and I can't disagree with that'
Monday press luncheon (11/15)
10ecuwkmondbsnap4tn1.jpg (19756 bytes)David Bailiff
'Tulane never stopped us; we stopped ourselves... it's tough to lose, but it's exciting to see these young men stick together'
10ecuwkmonxwebbsnap5tn1.jpg (18658 bytes)Xavier Webb
'I missed playing with the football in my hands... when you get injuries, you've got to be ready to replace, and we've got the talent on this team for that'
10ecuwkmonjeremyesnap2tn1.jpg (18963 bytes)Jeremy Eddington
'We just went out there and had fun playing, for the first time in a long time'

Rice-Tulane postgame wavsymbol.jpg (726 bytes)
10tulanepostgamedbailiffsnap1tn1.jpg (16338 bytes)David Bailiff
'I'm proud of those kids because of what they've been through this season; they just keep showing up and trying to get better'
10tulanepostgamevancemsnap3tn1.jpg (16767 bytes)Vance McDonald
'Coming out of this one knowing you beat yourself -- that your opponent didn't hurt you; they didn't stop you'
10tulanepostgamechetasnap2tn1.jpg (15809 bytes)Cheta Ozougwu
'We didnt quit fighting; as soon as we got hit in the mouth we came and hit them back'
10tulanepostgameturnerpsnap2tn1.jpg (15812 bytes)Justin Allen
'We knew we could play with these guys; and we knew we'd been killing ourselves all first half'
Monday press luncheon (11/8)
10tulanewksnapdb2tn1.jpg (20637 bytes)Coach Bailiff
'We had one blown coverage where we give up points, but the others, we had people there; we just don't make the plays... you get beat underneath and they can turn it up just as fast...'
10tulanewksnaplwillson1tn1.jpg (20144 bytes)Luke Willson
'The most frustrating part is, we all know that we're much better than our record; we have a lot more talent; we're just not executing... we're starting to get that experience, but we're missing the last piece of the puzzle'
10tulanewksnapjgioffre1tn1.jpg (20493 bytes)John Gioffre
'Coach is a good guy and he tries to put the blame on himself, but honestly, I think he's doing great job, and people just need to buy in to what's being given us'

The heart of Sam McGuffie

10unto51tdrun1tn1.jpg (23293 bytes)TULSA (Nov. 6) -- Rice's Michigan transfer and youtube sensation Sam McGuffie appeared to have turned a corner with his collegiate personal best 178 yards rushing against Tulsa Saturday. But personal exploits and accomplishments turn out to be the farthest thing from his mind.

Within that broad chest and between those tatooieo'ed biceps beats a heart so huge that it threatens to overwhelm his emotions even to the point of diminishing his effectiveness. Rice coaches have been aware of that fact since the day Sam first matriculated on South Main, and have sheltered him from the prying lenses and microphones of the news hounds.

Rice-Tulsa postgame
10tulsapgdb4tn1.jpg (18951 bytes)David Bailiff
'When something bad happens that's when you have to strengthen your resolve...and I think we went flat; that's something we have to change'
10tulsapgtbnjh1tn2.jpg (17761 bytes)10tulsapgtbnjh1tn1.jpg (18299 bytes) Travis Bradshaw/ Jake Hicks
'What it comes down to is making plays, and we're not doing that right now... it's disappointing; nobody expected to be in this position at the start of the year... '
sammug1tn1.jpg (25633 bytes)Sam McGuffie (audio)
'The time that we have here is so valuable; we've got to make the most...bottom line is, you've got to play to win'

Monday press luncheon (11/1)
10tulsawksnapd2tn1.jpg (24204 bytes)David Bailiff
'There's not a team left out there we can't beat, and we're excited to get them back today and get it's amazing what a little time off does for you'
10tulsawksnapjhicks1tn1.jpg (24222 bytes)Jake Hicks
'The time out was good for us; we were able to get back to fundamentals...  now everything is on Tulsa; we're ready to get after it'
10tulsawksnapjgioffre2tn1.jpg (24634 bytes)John Gioffre
'They have a great offense... we were able to look at Tulsa film at a greater depth wit the week off; you just to know the offense a lot better'
UCF postgame
10ucgpgdbsnap1tn1.jpg (18074 bytes)Coach Bailiff
'It just looked like we started slow... against a team like UCF, you can't have any letdowns'
10ucgpgnickfsnap4tn1.jpg (19294 bytes)Nick Fanuzzi
'They're a good team, but honestly, our team came out flat today, and you can't do that against a good team like this'
tn1.jpg (19864 bytes)Travis Bradshaw
'We let them take the momentum right from the first play, on that deep ball..we let them run with it the first half'
Monday press luncheon
10ucfwkpckdb3TN1.jpg (23367 bytes)Coach Bailiff
'We thought we needed to keep the ball out of their hands as much as we could...time of possession is important'
10ucfwkpckmartens4tn1.jpg (24023 bytes)Kyle Martens
'Coach emphasized hang time so that's what I was trying to do, to make sure our gunners were down there'
10ucfwkpctbradshaw4tn1.jpg (25328 bytes)Travis Bradshaw
'The little things add up; we minimized teh mistakes and that was huge in this victory..I was glad to be able to get out there and play again'
UH postgame
10uhpgdbsnap3tn1.jpg (22634 bytes)Coach Bailiff
'I'm really proud to have the Bayou Bucket back in our locker room. If you could have only seen the locker room, and seen the excitement of this football team'
10uhpgnickfsnap10tn1.jpg (22163 bytes)Nick Fanuzzi
'I think the receivers and I were all on the same page. I felt like the line did a great job giving time. It was just a great win for us today'
10uhpgjhillsnap1tn1.jpg (19673 bytes)Justin Hill
'It's huge.  This game was different. There wasn't a lot of talk at practice. We knew we needed to execute, to give us a chance to win the game -- and we did'
10uhpgvancesnap5tn1.jpg (20606 bytes)Vance McDonald
'We had all week long, the offense was rolling; it felt good finally to come out and run over an opponent'
Monday press luncheon
10uhwkdbsnap2tn1.jpg (19488 bytes)Coach Bailiff
'We have got to get our players into a better position where they can be successful'
10uhwkpaulpsnap4tn1.jpg (20438 bytes)Paul Porras
'There was a lot of pressure, but I grew from it; I just tried to help the team as much as I could'
10uhwknickfsnap3tn1.jpg (19590 bytes)Nick Fanuzzi
'I don't there there's been a day gone by since last year since I myself haven't thought about that game'
UTEP postgame
10uteppgdbsnap2.jpg (15375 bytes)Coach Bailiff
'We've can't expect bad things to happen; we've got to expect good things to happen'
10uteppgsmitchellsnap4.jpg (16407 bytes)Scott Mitchell
'The guys are clearly frustrated, but we've got UH coming to our place'
10uteppgkluciosnap1.jpg (14908 bytes)Kramer Lucio
'We're killing ourselves; we don't get turnovers; we don't get sacks -- that's something we can control'
Monday (Oct. 4) press luncheon
10utepwkdbsnap5tn1.jpg (23899 bytes)Coach Bailiff
'If you look at who wins football games, its the team that's got the most takeaways and the team that's got the big plays...'
10utepwkmikessnap1tn1.jpg (22941 bytes)Michael Smith
'They made a really good play on the long ball; they finished out the half and we didn't...we need to create pressure on the inside...'
10utepwkkleinksnap1tn1.jpg (21723 bytes)Klein Kubiak
'It's just a blessing for me to  be here... the coaches are giving me a chance to make some plays; I'm just trying to do what they ask me to do...'
SMU postgame
10smupgdbsnap4tn1.jpg (23581 bytes)Coach Bailiff
"I was proud of those young men. We're still giving up too many deep balls, but overall the defense is perform- ing at a level where we can win"
10smupghnickfsnap5tn1.jpg (20790 bytes)Nick Fanuzzi
"Our mind-set right now is that we want to stay positive and look forward to next week and get ready for the next game"
10smupghillipgsnap1tn1.jpg (20947 bytes)Phillip Gaines
"We got wound-down, but we have to keep fighting and make plays all the way through the fourth"
Monday (Sept. 20) press luncheonlook.gif (907 bytes)
10buweekdbsnap1tn1.jpg (18885 bytes)Coach Bailiff
"Even in the loss, we did a lot of nice things.  I'm especially proud of the defense...but 17 of their points came off turnovers; we have to eliminate mistakes"
10buweekjhillsnap1tn1.jpg (19807 bytes)Justin Hill
"We're making strides; we're making progress; we're going in the right direction...the main thing is, we need to stay healthy, and stay focused"
10buweekdontemsnap2tn1.jpg (19893 bytes)Donte Moore
"We're getting into a good rhythm; we're starting to make plays, but we don't have a big margin for error"
NU postgame
10nupgdmug1.jpg (21011 bytes)Coach Bailiff
"We have got to have a great offense, a great defense, great special teams, and they all have to be consistent"
10nupgnfmug1.jpg (21439 bytes)Nick Fanuzzi
"We've got to stop beating ourselves. Tonight we had plenty of opportunities. We missed those opportunities"
10nupgtbmug1.jpg (19412 bytes)Travis Bradshaw
"We were feeling good. Then we came out in the second half, and didn't execute"
10nupgsmmug1.jpg (20076 bytes)Scott Mitchell
"We're not all on the same page at the same time.  We need to get on the same page"
10nupgcfmug1.jpg (19434 bytes)Corey Frazier
"Your best play is the next play; you can't dwell on the past, you just have to look forward"
Monday (Sept. 13) press luncheon
10nuweekpcdb1.jpg (27556 bytes)Coach Bailiff
'The difference in that ball game was our special teams play... we grew up a lot as a football team in the fourth quarter'
10nuweekpckylem1a.jpg (20587 bytes)Kyle Martens
'I had to make sure I was hydrated for all those six times I got on the field... but all the hard preparation work really helped out'
10nuweekpctylers1.jpg (27945 bytes)Tyler Smith
'We had a hard time at the beginning, gettng the line moving up front-- but it's all about second effort'
10nuweekpclwillson1.jpg (27098 bytes)Luke Willson
'In the second half we started to get rolling, and when we got the ball in the fourth quarter, I got the feeling we'd get the job done'
UNT postgame
10untpgdbsnap1x.jpg (16262 bytes)Coach Bailiff
'We did some really nice things out there; we did some really dumb things, but we never quit'
10untpgnickfsnap1x.jpg (17271 bytes)Nick Fanuzzi
'I was hoping for a couple of yards; he turned it into a touchdown - you can't ask for anything more than that'
10untpgchrisbsnap1x.jpg (16706 bytes)Chris Boswell
'I got out there early to see what my range was on this field; we had wind blowing at times from different directions''
10untpgtravisbsnap2x.jpg (17211 bytes)Travis Bradshaw
'That was huge; that's what we play for, don't we? Nobody was nervous out there; we were just excited'
10untpgtylerssnap1.jpg (16750 bytes)Tyler Smith  'They had pretty big D tackles; they stuffed the line until we started changing up some of the calls'
10untpgmichaelssnap1x.jpg (16993 bytes)Michael Smith
'It was the end of the game and we were looking for a big play...we got on each other, kept saying, "It's not over, keep fighting"

Monday (Sept. 6) press luncheon
10untwkdbsnap1tn1.jpg (29593 bytes)Coach Bailiff
'I think the two that I was most proud of defen- sively were John Gioffre and Michael Smith; those guys battled'
10untwkjgioffresnaptn1a.jpg (25520 bytes)John Gioffre
'I told him,'Scott, this game's for you' --when he got hurt, it hurt me too, that my brother's not going to be on the field'
10untwksmitchellsnap4tn1.jpg (26226 bytes)Scott Mitchell
'We didn't tell him anything but just keep doing what you're doing; but going down there on that first drive felt great'
10untwktbradshawsnap4tn1.jpg (25662 bytes)Travis Bradshaw
'They've got a big, physical line, but for us to be able to control the trenches, that helped our confidence''
Texas postgame
10utpostgamedbsnap3tn1.jpg (21887 bytes)Coach Bailiff
'I thought we went toe to toe with a giant and finished that game strong....'
10utpostgametmacsnap1tn1.jpg (22040 bytes)Taylor McHargue
'I understand I don't have to doit all by myself, I've got ten other guys on the field with me'
10utpostgamejhillsnap1tn1.jpg (22621 bytes)Justin Hill
'I just wanted to be aggressive and have fun... we cut the playbook down a lot and just read our keys...'
10utpostgamekitchenssnap2tn1.jpg (21800 bytes)Randy Kitchens
'Losing hurt, but you're so proud when you see your teammates out there giving it their all'
10utpostgametbradshawsnap1tn1.jpg (21105 bytes)Travis Bradshaw
'We were really being physical, and that's something that we've lacked'
10aug8qb1vx224.jpg (66145 bytes)
QB 'X' will have own 'X' factor in receivers
HOUSTON (Sept. 3) — As the clock ticks down, Owl fans are just a couple of days away from finding out who "Quarterback X" will be. There’s a lot of speculation surrounding each of three candidates. Forgotten, however, in all this, is the fact that whoever the mystery quarterback turns out to be, he will have some potent weapons at his disposal.

Monday (Aug. 30) press luncheon
10aug30dbsnap6tn.jpg (32401 bytes)Coach Bailiff
"I called Gary Kubiak last week to see if we could get a scrimmage, but the Texans were busy -- that's the kind of football team they are; they're that talented..."
10aug30chetasnap4tn.jpg (29495 bytes)Cheta Ozougwu
"We're going to approach this game like every other game....we have to be prepared; we have to set the tempo."
10aug30pierresnap4tn.jpg (33318 bytes)Pierre Beasley
'We're really excited about this week's game; we've been waiting for it since November...'


09ucfdbsnap2tn1.jpg (1809 bytes)Coach Bailiff Friday
'This is one of those opportunities where these young players will have to step up and perform....'


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