BOWLING GREEN, Ky. -- Rice was outgained 649-to-288, as the Owls dropped their season and conference opener, 46-14, to Western Kentucky, Thursday night.
Tyler Stehling, making his first career start, threw for 183 yards on 22-of-37 passing. He also rushed for a career-high 85 yards and his first career touchdown.
On their first possession, the Owls were held to a three-and-out. But, on the punt, the snap went over punter Jack Fox's head and out the back of the end zone for a safety. The Hilltoppers then scored a pair of touchdowns to take a 16-0 lead late in the first quarter.
Rice finally got on the board in the second quarter on a Jowan Davis two-yard rushing touchdown, the 11th of his career. But, WKU scored 20 straight points to put the game out of reach.
Parker Smith led the Owls receiving, catching three pass for a career-high 60 yards.<