Oct. 7, 2012
After shutting out Memphis through the first 30 minutes, the Rice Owls found the tables turned in the second half, as the Tigers blank the Owls while finding the end zone twice to claim a 14-10 victory at the Liberty Bowl on Saturday night.
The Owls hit the midpoint of the game with a 10-0 lead, thanks to 12-yard return of a fumble by Phillip Gaines on Memphis' first play from scrimmaged and a strong defensive effort that limited the Tigers to just 97 yards in the first two quarters. But poor field position and costly penalties in the third quarter led to a pair of Memphis touchdowns while the Tigers defense stymied the Owls in the second half.
"The opening play of the game, we created a turnover and scored a touchdown, then go up 10-0, then manage to not score a point the rest of the game," Rice head coach David Bailiff said. "First off, we had a lot of stupid, selfish penalties, you can't have those. We talk to the team all of the time about being the hardest-working and smartest team, we did not play smart; it led to a lot of penalties and some turnovers. This is a game that obviously will hurt, this is a game we had great opportunities to win, but we didn't seize the moment."
The Owls force four punts and a pair of turnovers in the first half and opened the second half by forcing the Tigers' fifth punt of the night, but Dennis Parks fumbled the attempt at a fair catch and the Tigers had the ball at the Rice 27. While the Owls defense responded and forced another punt, the field position battle shifted further in favor of Memphis, after the punt was downed at the Rice one yard line.
Memphis forced a Rice punt and then embarked on a seven play, 44 yard drive to reach the end zone for the first time. The Tigers then attempted to surprise the Owls with an onside kick attempt, but Andre Gautreaux foiled the attempt to set Rice up at the Memphis 39.
But the Tigers allowed just three yards on three plays, and Chris Boswell's 53-yard field goal was short of the mark. Memphis took over at its 36 and marched 64 yards in eight plays to take the lead.
The Owls were held to only two first down in the second half and could never mount a serious scoring threat over their last three possessions.
Quarterback Taylor McHargue, who missed the Houston game with an injury sustained late in the C-USA opener vs. Marshall, returned to the starting lineup and hit on 16 of 30 passes for 117 yards. Turner Petersen, who also missed the Houston game, led the Owls in rushing. Linebacker James Radcliffe, making his first career start, was credited with a career-high 12 tackles, including three for losses. Cody Bauer was credited with nine tackles, including three for losses and also recovered a fumble.
The 24 combined points in the game were the fewest in C-USA game for the Owls in their eight seasons in the league and the fewest in any game since they defeated Houston 10-7 in the opening game of the 2004 season.
The Owls will step out of conference action this week, hosting the UTSA Roadrunners at 2:30 next Saturday. The game will be the centerpiece of activities celebrating the culmination of the Rice Centennial. In addition, former Owl All America Tommy Kramer will be honored by the National Football Foundation with his on-campus salute for his pending induction into the College Football Hall of Fame.
Media Tabs Owls for Second in C-USA West
07/15/2015 - The Rice Owls have been picked to finish as second in the Conference USA West Division football standings in a pool of media members that cover the...
Lyons and Reue Named to Rotary Lombardi Watch List
07/14/2015 - Rice junior linebacker Alex Lyons and senior offensive lineman Andrew Reue have been named to the 2015 Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List which was...
Reue Named to Outland Watch List
07/10/2015 - Rice senior guard Andrew Reue is among 81 interior linemen who have been placed on the initial watch list for the Outland Trophy, which was...
Rice Earns C-USA Institutional Excellence Award
07/10/2015 - For the eighth time in the past 10 years, Rice University student-athletes earned the Conference USA Institutional Excellence Award in 2014-15 by...
Women's Football Clinic Set for July 27
07/07/2015 - David Bailiff and the members of his Rice Owls coaching staff will host their fifth Women's Football Clinic on Monday, July 27 in the R Room at...
Rice Announces 2015 Hall of Fame Class
06/30/2015 - Richard and William Barker, Bubba Crosby, Jarett Dillard, Funmilayo Jimoh, Holly Jones-Wright, Lauren Shockley and Brent Scott will be inducted as ...
Froggy Williams Passes Away
06/24/2015 - James "Froggy" Williams, a cornerstone of Rice's 1949 Southwest Conference championship squad whose success on the field spurred the construction...
Final David Bailiff Football Mini Camp Pushed...
06/15/2015 - The third and final David Bailiff Football Camp session at Rice Stadium has been delayed from Wednesday to Thursday at Rice Stadium due to the...
- Top Videos /
- Online Store