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 second installment, we take a look back at Rice's first time capturing the trophy, and how The MOB made it a memorable moment for them as well.
September 13, 1975
Rice 24, Houston 7
The Houston Cougars were in a giving mood in 1975, presenting the visiting Owls six turnovers and ultimately the Bayou Bucket trophy as Rice walked out of the Astrodome with a resounding 24-7 victory along with the second-year trophy. The management of the Dome was not as generous when it came to their evaluation of The MOB's halftime offering.
The Owls entered the game as 9 ½ point underdogs, but they quickly built a 24-0 lead in the first half thanks to some hard running by John Coleman and some spectacular moments in the return game. Coleman rushed for 143 yards on 25 carries in the game to shoulder the brunt of the Rice offensive attack, but the host Cougars' hospitality did not afford him a chance to find the end zone.
His teammates were far more fortunate.
Gary Cox opened the scoring, returning a punt 70-yards for a score and moments later, Ron Vaughn recovered a Cougar fumble at the Houston 20. James Sykes cashed in that good fortune when he covered the final nine yards to extend the lead to 14-0. Houston finally mounted a threat deep into Rice territory, but Larry Brune shocked the home crowd by picking off a pass and returning it 86 yards for a touchdown.
With the scoreboard showing a 24-0 deficit for the home team, The MOB added their special touch to the game's proceedings. When the announcer welcomed the crowd to "the world's smallest indoor stadium" and the band launched into "When the Saints Go Marching In", there was little doubt that it was a reference to the newly opened Louisiana SuperDome. In short order, the band's announcer was told to surrender his script for the rest of the show and only introduce each song left on the program by its title.
Seems that Rice alumnus Roy Hofheinz's school pride was not enough to overlook the slight to his signature facility, and the Bayou Bucket halftime took its place among The MOB's greatest hits.