Bucket List IX

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With the latest edition of the Bayou Bucket set for this Saturday at Rice Stadium, the R Blog will spend this week looking back at some of the Owls' memorable moments in the series with the Cougars since it began in 1971. 


In our ninth installment, we take a look at the a memorable defensive effort by the John Syptak (above) and the Owls

September 5, 2004

Rice 10, Houston 7

Reliant Stadium

One year after Houston's high-octane offensive attack had riddled the Owls for 48 points, 04bucketleebronblog.jpgRice's defense put together their finest performance in the history of the rivalry, holding Houston off the board until the game's final nine seconds to take the Bayou Bucket for the third time in five years.  

It was also Ken Hatfield's fourth and final victory in the cross-town rivalry game and Rice's third in the last five as the home team, since the Owls had agreed to move the game from Rice Stadium to Houston's sparkling new football venue, Reliant Stadium.

The Astrodome, where the Owls had staged some memorable moments in their 11 matchups with Houston under its fabled roof, sat in the shadows of Reliant Stadium.  But no Rice defense in the 30-year history of the game had dominated a game in the series as the '04 Owls defenders would do under Reliant's retractable roof.

Defensive end John Syptak had eight tackles and a pair of sacks to lead the shackling of Houston's offensive efforts, which saw the Cougars held to just 212 yards on the day, 99 of which came on a last minute drive, which was capped by a 33-yard TD pass from Kevin Kolb to Vincent Marshall.

Ed Bailey gave the Owls a lead they would never surrender with a two-yard run midway through the second quarter and Brennan Landry added the eventual deciding points with a 28-yard field goal late in the third quarter.

It was then up to the Owls defense to make that lead stand up, and thanks to the efforts of Syptak and company, it did.  


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