Rice Owls

Discussion in 'Thread Archive' started by MaxATX34, Jul 26, 2009.

  1. MaxATX34

    MaxATX34 Texas Football

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    Rice Owls

    Houston, TX (AP) -- In a shocking move during week two, Rice's AD fired head coach David Bailiff and has hired a relatively unknown replacement. The new head coach, who prefers the name "Coach Max", has yet to address the media. Looking at the 2009 Rice schedule would make any coach sweat. With 3 out of conference games against teams from arguably the two best conferences in college football, and a very tough conference schedule, this year may be considered a rebuilding year by some Owl fans. The Owls must replace the most successful QB in school history, a dynamic-duo of WRs, and find some help for the defensive line. This newcomer coach will have to start pulling his weight immediately. More to come...
     
  2. MaxATX34

    MaxATX34 Texas Football

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    Week 2
    Houston, TX (AP) -- In a stadium still ripe with the smell of upset from last year's monumental win over Texas, the Red Raiders were again part of history. This time though, the history lesson would be taught by the Rice Owls. Rice, a university trying to replace some of the best players in school history, has always had the capability to put up numbers in bunches. With a high powered offense and excellent ground numbers, the Owls have always presented a challenge for any defensive coordinator. The Owls have also played many games against the top programs in the state, but no game in recent school history compared to this shootout played in Lubbock.

    -Both teams came out firing. There was a combined 30 points scored in the first quarter alone. The most spectacular scoring play of the first half came from Rice QB J.T. Shepherd on a 32yd scramble where he weaved in between blockers and won a footrace to the pylon.
    -The second quarter saw even more action as both teams exploded for 20+ points. By halftime the Owls and Red Raiders had combined for 71 points. Everyone in Lubbock knew they were witnessing a special game, but only the Rice faithful believed it would be special for the Owls.
    -The second half saw less points scored, but the action was still intense. The game would remain a 1 score affair for the entirety of the 2nd half. Only 20 points were scored in the second half, but one of the scoring plays showcased the talent Coach Max has to work with down in Houston.
    That scoring play was an electric 70yd touchdown reception by Dixon. Dixon caught the ball, made two defenders miss, then was off to the races. Seventy yards later the Rice Owls took the lead, and although a late 4th quarter touchdown by the Red Raiders pulled the game close again, the Owls were able to get the first downs needed to run out the clock and steal a good one from Texas Tech.

    In a press conference after the game, Coach Max spoke publicly for the time. When asked about the significance of this victory Coach Max responded "Well, for you guys, it's as significant as you all make it. As for the players, our fans, and our program ...this is as big as it gets". Coach Max was then asked about the quarterback position and whether or not (RS)Senior John Thomas Shepherd will remain the starter coach Max replied "J.T. [Shepherd] looked great tonight. In the offense we have designed for him, he should run the ball 10-15 times. 18 carries is too high, but we needed him tonight." "...we relied on him tonight".

    Stats:
    Passing:
    Shepherd- 16/27 304yd 2TD 2INT
    Rushing:
    Hill- 19ATT 81yd 1TD
    Shepherd- 18ATT 140yd 2TD

    Thats a total 443yd and 4TD for (RS)Senior QB John Thomas Shepherd
     
  3. mcyork

    mcyork Walk On

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    [​IMG]

    The Coogs are gonna take back the Bayou Bucket!!!!!!!
     
  4. MaxATX34

    MaxATX34 Texas Football

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    We'll see. We'll see. Until then...
    [​IMG]
    Its gonna stay on this side of Main Street!
     
  5. MaxATX34

    MaxATX34 Texas Football

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    Week 4
    Houston, TX (AP) -- In a match-up broadcast across the south, the Rice Owls and the Vanderbilt Commodores met up in Houston for an entertaining out of conference game. Vandy had the edge on paper, but Rice fans were counting on a little of that same magic Coach Max used to pull out a victory in Lubbock. Sadly though, for the thousands of Rice fans in attendance, the only magic last night would be made by the Commodores. Here is an excerpt from Coach Max's personal blog.

    There is no doubt that the Commodores turned it on in the second half.

    The pivotal moment of the game came in the 4th quarter while Rice was trying to convert a game-clinching 3rd down. It was 3rd and 6. Coach Max called a run out of the shotgun, which even if it wasnt converted would have ran down the clock to under 30 seconds and set up either a FG or a coffin corner punt. What happened next will surely irk the new head coach for many seasons to come. Fanuzzi saw something in the defense and called an audible at the line. Fanuzzi dropped back into the pocket and sent the ball out to the flats. The pass looked good enough, but the back up RB Turner, who isnt known for his hands, just dropped the ball while in the open field. This stopped the clock and gave Vandy enough time to even the score with 8 seconds left setting up overtime.

    Vandy won the OT coin toss and elected to put their defense on the field first. Rice took the field and couldnt get a 1st down, but they wouldnt need one because of the heroics of Dixon, a Senior WR. Fanuzzi took the snap out of the shotgun and analyzed the defense. Under pressure, Fanuzzi lobbed the ball up in the endzone but said pressure from Vanderbilt's D-Line caused the pass to sail far left of his intended target. Out of nowhere, Dixon streaked from one side of the endzone to the other and elevated over 3 defenders to come down with a TD grab that was intended for another Rice receiver. The stadium erupted and fans could feel another upset was looming. Vandy took over and, still riding the momentum from the 4th quarter, scored easily forcing double overtime. The commodores scored another touchdown easily which really took the wind out of Rice's sails. Another quick 3 plays that resulted in nothing forced a 4th down heave which was picked off, sealing the road victory for Vanderbilt.

    Fanuzzi hit the ground and wept on the field. His teammates picked him up and walked him over to the sideline, telling him "Its not your fault man. You played a good game". Such a scene is emblematic of what Coach Max says he wants his players to act like off the field. As for their on the field performance Coach Max simply said "They played great. It was the coaches fault. We'll re-tool the offense this week and see what we come up with".

    Passing:
    Shepherd- 5/7 71yd 0TD 0INT
    Fanuzzi- 11/26 251yd 3TD 3INT

    Rushing:
    Turner- 16ATT 60yd 1TD
    Hill- 3ATT 9yd 1TD
    Pool- 2ATT 6yd 1TD

    Receiving:
    Dixon- 8REC 181yd 2TD
     
  6. MaxATX34

    MaxATX34 Texas Football

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    Week 6

    Houston, TX (AP) -- The Rice Owls finally posted another one in the win column last night against a struggling Navy team.
    It was a lopsided affair in which the Owls dominated both sides of the ball and won by a score of 45-7. The Midshipmen were
    never really in the game, and scored their only Touchdown in the 3rd quarter. Rice's scoring frenzy started off with a silky
    smooth TD run by QB J.T. Shepherd in the 2nd quarter. Shepherd took the snap out of he shotgun, and when the pocket broke
    down and no one was open; the speedster pump-faked a linebacker out of position and accelerated into the secondary. Thanks to
    some good down field blocking by his receivers, he was able to get into the open space and shrug off a tackle by navy's last line of defense.
    The stadium went crazy after that run, but the crowd would fall deathly ill... I mean silent on the Owls' next offensive possession as
    J.T. Shepherd went down with an injury that will keep him sidelined for at least 3 weeks. The backup quarterback Fanuzzi came in and
    continued the trend of scoring from under center with a
    couple of TD runs of his own. By the end of the 3rd quarter it was a laugh-er with the scoreboard reading 31-7. The only other mentionable
    highlight came from the Owls' defense. Navy's quarterback, while putting together a drive halfway through the 4th quarter, made a costly
    error that would end all chances of a comeback... The Midshipmen's QB threw a pass to his man in the flats who was being covered by a
    defensive end and outside linebacker in zone coverage, the pass was picked off by the OLB, Calhoun, and taken 50yards to the house.

    Coach Max continued his media blackout and had his players up early for a "voluntary" practice the next morning. They will need
    all the practice they can get because next week they head out east to Carolina and take on a talented ECU squad in C-USA
    play. Both teams are (0-2) in Conference play, and both teams really need the W. This should be a good one to watch.


    Player Stats:

    Passing:
    Fanuzzi- 10/13 185yd 2TD / 1INT 76%comp.

    Rushing:
    J.Hill- 22att 76yd 0TD
    J.Shepherd- 11att 110yd 1TD
    Fanuzzi- 5att 21yd 2TD
     
  7. MaxATX34

    MaxATX34 Texas Football

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    Week 7
    Houston, TX (AP) -- Rice @ ECU was a defensive slug-fest that transpired during a torrential downpour. Rice wanted to keep the ball on the ground, and keep the passes short to limit the heavy rain's effect on the game. A stifling Owl run defense kept ECU in check, and although the Pirate's QB Pinkney had success moving the ball through the air, that same Owl defense stepped up in the red zone and forced a FG and a Fumble with their backs against the wall.
    With Rice holding off ECU's attacks it was up to the Rice players to come up with a big play. That play came in the 3rd quarter. After a rather uneventful 1st half, mid way through the 3rd quarter The Rice Owls shocked the Pirates faithful with a TD strike from Fanuzzi to Dixon. Fanuzzi recognized the mismatch in coverage, waited for his blockers to get set, and then hit Dixon on the line of scrimmage. Dixon turned up field, bounced off a ECU defender and scampered 83 yards for a touchdown. Rice would not give the lead back. ECU put together a late drive and was knocking on the door with a chance to tighten up the score when CB Leary made a huge play in the redzone and forced a fumble that would seal the win for the Owls. Next week Rice comes back to Houston to play preseason C-USA favorite UCF. This is a pivotal C-USA game. If Rice can pull off the upset they could still be in contention for the conference championship game, and would be 2 wins away from becoming bowl eligible.

    Player Stats:

    Passing:
    Fanuzzi- 8/11 172yd 2TD/1INT 72%COMP

    Rushing:
    J.Hill- 16ATT 86yd 1TD

    Receiving:
    Dixon- 4REC 124yd 2TD
     
  8. MaxATX34

    MaxATX34 Texas Football

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    Week 8
    Houston, TX (AP) -- This game turned out nothing like any of the pundits predicted. By the 3rd quarter it turned into a laugh-er with most of the fans heading for the exits to beat the traffic. Rice commanded the pace of the action from he outset and their swarming 4-2-5 defense confounded UCF's efforts to make anything happen on offense. UCF's head coach was noticeably absent from the sidelines and this no doubt had an effect on the Golden Knights. Another absentee was Rice's #1 rusher J. Hill, who had to leave the game in the 1st quarter due to an unspecified injury that will have him sidelined for 4-6 weeks.Turner, the #2 RB on the depth chart stepped up and filled in nicely carrying the ball 22 times for 83 yards. Turner had trouble finding the open field though, that is where the (RS)Senior, Knox, came in. Coach Max called an option to the short side of the field and Knox took a perfectly timed pitch and squeezed through the gaps for a 74 TD run. Knox also took another one to the house from inside the 20 and pulled in a TD grab. Those contributions no doubt helped the Owls put up big numbers, but the game-winning performance came from manic QB Fanuzzi. Fanuzzi posted his best completion percentage of the year and managed the game perfectly... throwing, running the option, and not making many mistakes. The final score read 41-14, but Rice knows next season will be different and the owls will definitely not get off so easy next year.

    Stats:

    Passing:
    Fanuzzi- 12/13 146yd 3TD 1INT

    Rushing:
    Turner- 22ATT 83yd
    Fanuzzi- 12ATT 79yd
    Knox- 5ATT 81yd 2TD

    Receiving:
    Knox- 1REC 1TD
     
  9. MaxATX34

    MaxATX34 Texas Football

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    Week 10
    Houston, TX (AP) -- The Battle for the Mayor's Cup this year was a tale of two halfs. The 1st half was, for lack of a better word, boring. 3 points between the two teams and a bevy of penalty calls held both teams back from scoring. At first, it would appear that Jones' system was working on Rice's pass defense which is ranked as one of the worst in the country. SMU forced a Rice punt early, and as the 'Stangs moved down the field the crowd got into it. The SMU fans erupted as their RB took a screen pass on the 30 yard line and took it to the house. However, the SMU supporters spirit's were quickly brought down as the play got called back for holding. This would prove to be the point of no return. SMU's offense fell flat and their defense apparently gave up. Rice knocked in a FG in the 2nd quarter to make the score 3-0 at the half. Coach Max, sensing he had the Mustangs back on their heels, went for the jugular in the 3rd quarter and turned up the heat on defense. The strategy paid off as CB J.Welch snatched an off-target pass, looped around the WR and took it about 30yards for the score. This would open up a 21 point explosion in the 3rd quarter for the Owls, and they would never look back. The Owls continued to rub it in, perhaps to the dismay of other coaches, but it's a rivalry game right? The cherry on top would come with 0:33 left in the game. After a coffin corner punt that pinned the Mustangs inside their own 5, Rice's defense sacked SMU's QB in the endzone for a Safety. The final score was 36-0. Perhaps this is an indication of what Rice is capable of with all the pieces of their team (their fastest WR, their backup QB who is a scrambler and runs the option well and their pass rushing DE all returned from injury this week). The stats from this game werent amazing as it was a total team effort.

    Stats:
    Passing:
    Fanuzzi- 14/23 140yd

    Rushing:
    Fanuzzi- 10ATT

    Scoring:
    Fanuzzi- 3 Total TD
     
  10. MaxATX34

    MaxATX34 Texas Football

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    Houston, TX (AP) -- What a show! The Texas Bowl, played in Reliant Stadium, acted as a home not-so-far away from home for the Rice Owls last week as they flexed their offensive muscle on an unsuspecting Colorado team. Rice, who came up one game short of the C-USA championship game, had a lot to prove and they did so with authority hanging 40+ points on CU. QB Nick Fanuzzi played an incredible game with over 300 yards of passing and 95 rushing yards. The Colorado defense just could not stop the Rice air attack. Breaking from their "smash mouth" offense, the Owls opened it up a little bit an threw the ball all over the Buffaloes, with Senior WR Toren Dixon making the most of his last game for the Owls. If bowl games are any indication of what is to come next year, then we can expect to see a lot of QB Nick Fanuzzi, and a much improved defense. After the game, Coach Max was interviewed about his first season with Rice

    "When I took the job, it was painfully obvious that everything was new to us. We couldnt get our QB situation straight, and there were question marks all over the depth chart. After the loss against Tulsa, we really bonded as a team and found our stride. Its never fun to come up one game short, especially against your biggest rival, but there were a lot of bright spots throughout the season. If we wouldve just kept Fanuzzi under center the whole year he couldve had a monster season, and likewise if Justin [Hill, RB] hadnt been injured he wouldve been up over 1,000 yards rushing. We arent going to dwell on the 'woulda-coulda-shoulda' though ...we are going to use that as motivation".

    Next year Rice returns many key starters on offense and should get a huge boost to their already potent ground attack with Michigan transfer Sam McGuffie eager to come off the bench and contribute in a major way. In addition Rice has recruited some quality players that should not only fill the holes left by graduating Seniors, but should offer an immediate improvement as they have been hand selected to fit Coach Max's variation of the 4-2-5 defense. Their only major area of concern on either side of the ball is the LB position and their defensive line. The scheme Rice runs should alleviate some of that pressure, with two safeties playing so close to the line of scrimmage, but the Owls' front four is definitely suspect. Next year, look for Rice to have a solidified depth chart and much more continuity all-around
     
  11. MaxATX34

    MaxATX34 Texas Football

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    Season Outlook​


    Looking back at last year, it is not a stretch to say that it was a rebuilding year for the Rice Owls. There were question marks all over the offensive side of the ball, which is what one could expect from a team that was scrambling to replace it's most prolific passer ever, it's record shattering wide receiver, and it's head coach. The defense played well at times, especially against the run, but gave up too many yards through the air. The offense was there, but was marred by injuries to the backfield. Even still, the Owls went on a 6 game win-streak and were in conference championship contention up until the last week of the regular season. The Owls had to settle for 2nd place in the C-USA(West) and a bid to play Colorado @Reliant stadium in the Texas bowl. The Rice Owls capped their season off with a bowl victory bring their final record up to 8-5.

    Looking ahead to next season, the Owls face some familiar challenges as they must replace Sendejo and Garmon, two of best defensive players in school history. This will be no easy task, but Coach Max has put in work in the off season and scraped together a class that he hopes will be full of "over-achievers".

    Most of the focus of this year's recruiting class was put on the defensive backfield and for good reason. When the recruits came to campus it was obvious that some were more talented than the upper-classmen. Coach Max even made public comments stating that the starting jobs were the incoming freshman's to lose. That statement lit a fire under the older kids, as they were driven to new levels of competitiveness and skill by their younger counterparts. Take the Safety positions for example... before the off season it was a lock that :4stars: freshman Travis Ralph would start over (RS)Senior Willie Garley at SS, and that :2stars: freshman Tremaine Walton would start at FS over (RS)Senior Max Anyiam. These four battled hard all summer, and when it was said-and-done the Seniors earned their spots. Coach Max commented on his backfield during the spring game "...you know Im not really sure how much better these older guys are than our freshman, but the personal improvement they have shown, plus their dedication to the team is really what has earned them their starting spots". Coach Max momentarily paused to watch a play, and qualified his earlier statement with "this is all assuming they produce on the field. They better, because they know those freshman are on the sidelines with their helmets on". A side-note on defense, Senior Chris Jones moved back to his natural position at CB and will come in as a nickel-back and be used to cover any big, speed-burner type WRs.

    On offense the Owls are solid again, finally. Where the only question mark was filled by two, count them (2) 6'7 freshman TEs. Nick Fanuzzi has a complete grasp of the system, and will most likely take every snap this season unless the score gets out of hand. Taylor McHargue has secured the #2 QB spot, and will be groomed as heir to Fanuzzi. Also, Shawn Jones, who was recruited to add speed to the defensive backfield, will take a redshirt and try to contribute to the Owls' offensive backfield somewhere down the line. The most intriguing storyline on the offensive side of the ball though has been the incredible off season battle for the #1 RB position. The spot was occupied last year by now true Senior Justin Hill. Hill is 5'11 205lbs and is the strongest of "The Big Three". He has been around the block, and has seen it all before. When Hill was out due to injury for 5 weeks Shane Turner, who was then a (RS)Freshman, filled in nicely amassing 495yd on 109 attempts, and scoring 5TD. Turner, who is more of a scat-back at 5'9 171lbs turned a lot of heads in the spring and has definitely shown improvement. Rounding out Rice's trio of talented tailbacks is the Michigan transfer everybody knows. Sam McGuffie, who is by far the fastest player Rice has had on campus in a long while, earned the respect of his teammates and coaches during his time off the field. Standing at 6'0 and weighing in at 190lbs, McGuffie has the speed to break the big one, and the durability to carry the ball 20-30 times a game like Coach Max wants all his RBs to be able to do. Look for Sam to get a majority of the carries this season, with Turner and Hill divvying the remaining carries, and also look for #2 in the return game as he will be fielding kickoffs and Punt returns. On a side note, true freshman Chris Brown was electric during his first few weeks on campus, but with the amount of talented RBs Rice has, Coach Max has decided to red shirt him. Look for C. Brown and (RS)Freshman QB Taylor McHargue to team up in the future.

    The Rice Owls open their season with a trip to DeKalb, Illinois to take on the NIU Huskies. The Huskies were in a similar position as the Owls were last year, taking their lumps but still vying for the conference championship. This should be a good game for both teams to determine where they stand, and if any changes need to be made.
     
  12. MaxATX34

    MaxATX34 Texas Football

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    Week 1
    Rice @ NIU

    DeKalb, IL (AP) -- After a media blackout following Rice's embarrassing loss to NIU, Coach Max called a press conference today to announce that Senior RB Justin Hill will start for the Owls in Houston against Northwestern with Sam McGuffie coming off the bench.
    "Guffie will get his touches, we dont want to take the ball out of his hands. We just want to give the ball to Justin [Hill] more, especially in the Red Zone"
    This coming after Turner, Rice's scat back, fumbled the ball and struggled in the running game. Turner did catch a screen pass and take it 60+ yards for a score against NIU, but that wasnt enough to keep his starting job.
    "Turner will see the field, but look for him to contribute in the passing game" Coach Max said. "We need Hill because he is a bigger back. The kind of guy who can work a defense down the field and wear 'em out."
    Next week Rice hosts Northwestern @ Rice Stadium and we'll get a look at the slightly re-tooled Rice offense then. Coach Max has yet to comment on his defense and their terrible performance, but they may need to make some changes there too.
     
  13. MaxATX34

    MaxATX34 Texas Football

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    Houston, TX (AP) -- It has been a few weeks now since Rice's embarrassing loss to NIU in DeKalb, and their subsequent media blackout, but the Owls have found their offensive stride. After losing in Illinois, the owls played host to another Illinois team in the Northwestern Wildcats. The Owls looked great on offense putting up 45 points, but also allowed NW to score 39 points of their own. The following week Rice really put together a great game, but it came at great cost. Playing in-state opponent Baylor the Owls' star HB Sam McGuffie, who had only begun to get his feet wet with the Owls, went down early with a terrible injury that will keep him off the field for at least 10 weeks. The injury must have either angered or inspired the Rice Owls who then went on a tear offensively and defensively and ended up blowing out the highly favored Bears by a final score of 46-10.
    This week Rice opened up C-USA play against UAB. Coach Max hadnt been on the sidelines last year when the Blazers smoked the Owls, so fans were expecting a different outcome this time around. With Justin Hill handling almost all rushing duties, the Owls had an easy time finding the endzone and maintaining control throughout the game. It was one long run after another for the running back who was thought to be a more power type running back, at least when compared to the flight-footed McGuffie. All questions about Hill's speed were dismissed however after the Senior broke a 91 TD run in the 4th quarter. "We were trying to run time off the clock. I took the hand off from 'Nuzzi out of the Wishbone and in a split second that mess of bodies in front of me just parted like the red sea and I was gone" Hill said during a press conference after the game. "You know 'Nuzzi broke a big one too ...makes me feel not as fast [laughs]". I doubt Hill feels slow after looking at his stat-line and realizes he scored on runs of 31,35, and 91 with a Red Zone TD to boot, but Junior QB Nick Fanuzzi did break a long TD run of his own. Fanuzzi's TD run came in the 3rd quarter He ran the same triple option play he has practiced since high school, made his reads then made a decision and made a cut just as the UAB corner jumped on the trailing Justin Hill. Sophomore FB Kevin Pool made a key block down field that opened up the entire left side of the field and Fanuzzi scampered 69 yards for the score. The Owls would never look back after that point and would end up winning by a final score of 52-35.

    Next week Rice hosts an ECU team coming off a tough stretch of schedule that is eager to avenge last year's loss in North Carolina.

    Rushing:
    J. Hill- 23ATT 261yd 4TD
    N. Fanuzzi- 12ATT 84yd 1TD

    Passing:
    N. Fanuzzi- 12/21 178yd 2TD 1INT

    Defense:
    D. Fontaine(true freshman DT filling in for injury) 3TAK 2TFL 2SACK
     
  14. MaxATX34

    MaxATX34 Texas Football

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    Houston, TX (AP) -- Rice and ECU tangled last weekend in Houston in a classic C-USA match up. ECU was ready to avenge their loss at home to Rice last season, but it wasnt meant to be. Locked in what was a defensive struggle for most of the game, both teams knew that whoever came up with the big play first would win. That big play would come late in the third quarter when ECU converted a critical 3rd down deep in their own territory, only to have Rice's (RS)Senior FS Max Anyiam roughly separate the ball and receiver. The ball was up for grabs and Rice's impact CB Leary snagged it, ended around, got some key blocks, and was able to find the endzone.
    After the big play, things fell flat for ECU and Rice was able to control the ball and run the clock out, sealing a victory for the Owls.

    Rushing:
    Hill- 22ATT 93yd 2TD

    Defense:
    Anyiam- 8TAK 2INT 1FF
     
  15. MaxATX34

    MaxATX34 Texas Football

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    Houston, TX (AP) -- The Battle for the Williams Trophy hasnt been much of a "battle" in the past, and is more of a rivalry for one side (Rice) than it is for the other. This year it had all the makings of an intense rivalry game though...

    So much happened in the first half it could confuse a mathematician! Here is a second-by-second re-hash.

    1st drive- Rice drives and kicks a FG @ 5:08
    2nd drive- Tulsa punt touches a Rice player on the 1. Tulsa TD @ 3:27
    3rd drive- Rice fumbles @ 2:26
    4th drive- Tulsa fumbles, Rice returns it 80yds for TD @ 1:29 (score=10-7)
    5th drive- Tulsa throws an INT, Rice returns it for TD @ 0:50 (score=17-7)
    6th drive- Tulsa 33yd FG Miss @ 6:36
    7th drive- Rice TD @ 4:41 (score=24-7)

    Rice scores again @ 0:48 to go into the locker room up 31-7 on the road.

    The second half would calm down a bit. Tulsa found ways to move the ball and put together scoring drives, but it would prove too little to late and a 4th quarter Owls TD would put the game away for good.

    One of the more intriguing story lines involved a :4stars: prospect that both teams were familiar with. Travis Ralph, who was hotly recruited by both squads but ended up signing with Rice, had the biggest impact on the game. Within 40 seconds he was responsible for 14 points, and he plays defense! It was Ralph who ripped out the ball that would be scooped up and returned 80yds by Ozougwu. It was Ralph who was in perfect position again on the very next play from scrimmage, and it was Ralph who snatched an errant pass out of the air and returned it for 6.
    On the offensive side of the ball, Rice's power run-game was working well. The offensive line, who is very underrated and seldom mentioned, was terrific and opened up gaping holes for Justin Hill to run through. We saw multiple I-form looks from the Owls, who looked very comfortable with their updated playbook. As far as passing goes, after the first half, Coach Max decided he would be very wary of tossing the ball in such a torrential downpour. To his credit though, when Fanuzzi did throw the ball he was on point completing 9/9 passes, one for a Red Zone TD.
    Rice improves their win streak to 5, and improves to 2-0 in C-USA play. The way Rice's schedule sets up, their only tough divisional game left is against their hated rival Houston. They do have UCF from the East on tap too, who is also coming off a huge win against a ranked divisional opponent. Dont go anywhere yet folks, the C-USA is getting very interesting and if all goes as planned the Rice-Houston game could again determine which team earns the right to represent the West in the C-USA championship game.

    Passing:
    Fanuzzi- 9/9 119yd 1TD 0INT

    Rushing:
    Hill- 20ATT 101yd 0TD
    Fanuzzi- (1 Rush TD)
    Pool- (1 Rush TD)

    Receiving:
    Mason- 1TD

    Defense:
    Ralph- 8TAK 1TFL 1FF 1INT 1TD
    Ozougwu- 80yd FR-TD
     
  16. MaxATX34

    MaxATX34 Texas Football

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    El Paso, TX (AP) -- Rice stretches their win-streak to 6 games after handling in-state conference rival UTEP.
    The game was actually closer than most pundits thought it would be, with Trevor Vittatoe and company keeping the Miners in it for most of the contest. Rice would eventually pull away thanks to Senior HB J. Hill, and true Freshman Travis Ralph who had a crucial pick 6.
    Final Score: 49-35

    Stats

    Passing:
    Fanuzzi- 11/16 88yd 2TD 0INT

    Rushing:
    Hill- 25ATT 238yd 3TD (Long of 64)
    Fanuzzi- 13ATT 64yd 1TD

    Receiving:
    Hall- 2REC 31yd 1TD
    Hill- 3REC 20yd 1TD

    Defensive:
    Ralph- 6TAK 1INT 1TD
     
  17. MaxATX34

    MaxATX34 Texas Football

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    Houston, TX (AP) -- Rice continues their winning ways against a hapless SMU squad. SMU just didnt show up for their version of "The battle for the Mayor's cup" and it was a sad sight. SMU's pass happy offense played right into Rice's scheme and this one was over before it began.
    The Owls went into halftime up 21-0 and Coach Max urged his players to not get complacent and come out firing again. They did just that piling on 28 points in the 3rd quarter thanks to multiple SMU turnovers and the arm of Fanuzzi. After that it was time to let the 2nd stringers get some reps, too bad for SMU though that Rice's 2nd string RB played just as well as their #1 guy. Coach Max had to call off the dogs early in the 4th quarter and switch up his play calling, as this game couldve ended up 100-0 if Rice wanted it to.
    Final score: 59-0
    Stats

    Passing:
    Fanuzzi- 13/16 231yd 1TD 0INT

    Rushing:
    Hill- 25ATT 152yd 3TD
    Turner- 9ATT 84yd 2TD
    Fanuzzi- 8ATT 64yd 1TD

    Receiving:
    Hall- 4REC 73yd

    Defensive:

    Garley- 9TAK 2TFL 2DEFL
    Anyiam- 7TAK 2TFL 1DEFL
    Ralph- 7TAK 1TFL 1SACK

    Ben- 1INT
    Gaines- 1INT
    Jones- 2INT
     
  18. MaxATX34

    MaxATX34 Texas Football

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    Houston, TX (AP) -- Rice was almost knocked out of the C-USA (West) driver's seat last weekend by a Tulane squad that wasnt even supposed to have a chance. Tulane's press zone coverage confounded Rice QB Nick Fanuzzi, and he had one of the worst statistical games of his career. Fanuzzi threw 4 interceptions, and because all of his turnovers the Owls were forced to become 1 dimensional his troubles just compounded. The score at halftime was 28-24 Tulane. Luckily, the Owls' defense stepped up in the second half and shut out Tulane in the 3rd quarter, allowing the offense to start a comeback. The comeback was made and the Owls scored 14 points in the 4th quarter to take a small lead, but then had to defend their 4 point lead from 3 consecutive endzone attempts. Two of which were passes broken up by a Rice defender, and the other was an overthrow. Rice heads home to prepare for a cross-divisional away game @UCF which has C-USA conference championship implications.

    Passing:
    Fanuzzi- 7/18 124yd 1TD 4INT

    Rushing:
    Hill- 24 ATT 140yd 3TD

    Defensive:
    Garley- 10TAK 1SACK 1INT 1DEFL 1FF
     
  19. MaxATX34

    MaxATX34 Texas Football

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    Houston, TX (AP) -- Rice wins @ UCF 38-21!!!
    Rice clinched the C-USA(West) crown last weekend in Florida. The Rice Owls improve to 9-1 on the season and have cracked the top 25 polls debuting at #21. Rice controlled the game with their power rushing attack, and nearly doubled the Golden Knights' Time of Possession. The Owls' defense took advantage of their time on the field and were in top-form, holding UCF to 50yds on the ground, and amassing 6sacks, 2ints, and 1 fumble recovery. Justin Hill had a statement game and has cemented himself as a finalist for the Walker award.

    The Rice players celebrated on the field, and when they finally made their way to the locker room there was already talk about the Houston game at Rice Stadium next week.

    Passing:
    Fanuzzi- 8/11 103yd 1TD 1INT

    Rushing:
    Hill- 32ATT 161yd 2TD
    Turner- 7ATT 90yd 2TD
    Fanuzzi- 7ATT 62yd (long of 34)
     
  20. MaxATX34

    MaxATX34 Texas Football

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    Rice finishes out the 2010 season with 2 losses. One to USM in a game that couldve went either way, and another to a UGA team that just had too much talent for the Owls. Rice finishes 10-3 in Coach Max's 2nd year at the helm. Next season looks to be more of the same as Rice returns many key players.
     
  21. MaxATX34

    MaxATX34 Texas Football

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    Houston, TX (AP) -- After playing down to NIU's level and losing at home, Coach Max called for a Rice media blackout. The blackout was to help prepare the Owls for their biggest game in Coach Max's tenure... @ #1 Texas. Last year, Texas lost to the C-USA's UCF so the framework for a small school to slay the giant had been laid.

    The game would be won by Rice defense and Sam McGuffie. Guffie finally seems to be healthy as he goes for 100+ and a score against the toughest defense he will see all year. Rice's 4-2-5 really did the trick against the Longhorns... holding them to 23 points. That would be just enough as the Owls won 28-23 in the biggest win in school history.

    Schools looking for a new coach have started looking at Rice and Coach Max. His 3 year contract is up at the end of this season and so far he has done an amazing job of rebuilding the Rice program. Rice would love to keep him, but the rumors are already swirling about Coach Max skipping town.
     
  22. MaxATX34

    MaxATX34 Texas Football

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    Some quick stats from the Rice Tulsa game

    Final Score 62-7. Rice scored 35 points in the 1st quarter. Will edit this into a better write-up at some point but here goes some stats for now.

    Passing:
    Fanuzzi- 5/5 80yd 4TD QB RATING 498.4
    Jones- 1/1 20yd TD QB RATING 598.0
    McHargue 2/2 26yd

    Rushing:
    Was a true team effort with my 4th string RB getting the most touches (11) As a team Rice was 36ATT 297yd 2TD

    McGuffie- 71yd TD
    Turner- 72yd TD

    Receiving:
    With only 126 passing yards total for the Owls nothing jumps out at you except the TDs.
    Brown 1TD
    Hall 2TD
    Mason 1TD
    Sanders 1TD (his first TD of the year. told you id get him involved!)

    Defense:
    As a team Rice had 2INT 2SACK 4FF 5FR and 1TD from a T.Ralph pick 6
     
  23. MaxATX34

    MaxATX34 Texas Football

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    Season Recap

    Week 8 - Rice vs. Tulane (Rice W 59-14)
    The Owls would not stoop down to Tulane's level this year. McGuffie went for 127yds on 6 carries and this game would be true freshman Benny Blunt's coming out party catching 3 passes for 97yds and 2TDs.

    Week 9 - Rice vs. UTEP (Rice W 66-36)
    Sam McGuffie went beast mode all over UTEP this year. 191yd on 9 carries and 4TDs. The miners had no answer for the speedster. UTEP didnt have an answer for big Jon Mason, the 6'7 TE from Rice either.. He had a big game with 3 receptions for 79yds and 2TDs. Rice finished with over 600 yards of total offense.

    Week 10 - Rice @ SMU (Rice W 59-21)
    At first this game looked like it could close with the two Texas squads trading TDs early on. Rice would eventually pull away as the depth of the Owls began to show. No loud numbers from this one, Coach Max spread the love against SMU.

    Week 11 - Rice vs. Memphis (Rice W 38-23)
    Sam McGuffie missed most of this game due to an injury he sustained early in the 1st quarter. (RS)Senior Nick Fanuzzi would have none of it though. Fanuzzi had one of his best statistical games ever against Memphis completing 27/40 passes for 407yds and 4TDs willing the Owls to an all-important C-USA victory. Tony Sanders caught 9 passes for 154yds 1TD and Andy Gautreaux caught 8 for 122yds.

    Week 12 - Rice vs. Northwestern (Rice W 57-14)
    It would be Shane Turner's time to shine at home against NW from the Big10. Turner sliced and diced his way to 146yds and 1TD on just 13 carries and added 68yds through the air on 5REC. Fanuzzi continued his trend of tossing 4TD passes and the Owls easily handled the big boys from Illinois.

    Week 13 - Rice @ Houston (Rice W 42-21)
    The biggest game of the year for both teams was as intense as ever. Once again both teams were playing for a divisional championship and a spot in the C-USA championship game. It was all Rice in the 1st half as the Owls jumped out to a 35-0 lead. UH would score right before the half, get the ball back and score once again making it 35-14. Rice would answer right back pushing the score to 42-14. UH was able to put together sustained drives, but couldnt score enough to close to the huge gap created in the first half. Rice holds on to the lead and comes away with a 42-21 victory, securing the Bayou Bucket for a second year and clinching a spot in the C-USA championship game.
     

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