Oct. 27, 2011
Rice game captains for the Tulsa game were OL Davon Allen, DL John Gioffre, OL Jake Hicks and DB Xavier Webb. Houston won the toss and elected to receive. Rice has won the pregame coin toss only once this season (at Baylor).
The game featured heavy, first-quarter showers ahead of a front which was moving through Southeast Texas. The rains returned in the third quarter.
Rice had 359 rushing yards against Houston, a season high and the most since the Owls rushed for 410 yards against East Carolina in 2010.
Rice began the game in the `Wild Owl' with Turner Petersen making his first career start at quarterback. Petersen had one previous start for Rice (at UCF on Oct. 23, 2010).
Petersen rushed for a career-high 140 yards on 23 carries against the Cougars, marking the Owls' first, 100-yard rushing performance of the season.
Tyler Smith had a 97-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, setting a new record for the longest run in school history. Smith broke the previous mark of 95 yards set by Dicky Meagle in the 1954 Cotton Bowl and equaled by Kyle Herm against Nevada in 2003.
Smith's touchdown run tied for the longest against Houston since Dorsey Gibson had a 97-yard run back in 1953.
Smith finished the game with a career-high 170 yards on 13 carries. The game marked the senior's first 100-yard rushing game since he ran for 113 yards the last time the Owls played in Robertson Stadium back in 2009.
Petersen and Smith teamed to become Rice's first 100-yard rushing duo since the ECU game last season (Jeremy Eddington and Sam McGuffie). The game also marked the second straight time at Robertson Stadium in which Rice had two, 100-yard rushers. Along with Smith's 113 yards, Charles Ross had 105 yards in the 2009 Bayou Bucket game.
Earlier in the game, Smith had a 23-yard run before plunging into the end zone from one yard out. It was Smith's first touchdown run since the Tulsa game last year (Nov. 6, 2010).
Smith also had a 67-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter, the senior's first touchdown catch. He finished with 243 all-purpose yards.
Andre Gautreaux's first career carry was a big one. He ran for 47 yards to the UH 20 late in the first quarter. Gautreaux's first career reception came against Baylor and was a 19-yard scoring catch.
Scott Solomon stalled Houston's first offensive series with his first sack of the game. With the stop, Solomon moved into sole possession on the Rice career chart with 21.5. Brandon Green (1999-02) is the Rice all-time leader with 24 career sacks.
Cameron Nwosu recovered and returned a fumble 12 yards for a touchdown with 14 seconds to play in the first quarter. The play marked the Owl defense's third touchdown of the season.
Houston equaled the Rice opponent record for touchdown passes with eight. Texas Tech had eight touchdown passes during the 2009 season.
Going into the game, Rice was ranked first in Conference USA and tied for 16th nationally in fourth down conversion defense. Rice held the Cougars to 0-for-1 on fourth down and now the Owl defense has held opponents to 3-for-10 on fourth-down plays.
Chris Boswell booted a career-long, 51-yard field goal to cap the Owls' first drive. He added a 40-yard field goal in the second quarter. Boswell surpassed his rookie season tally of 11 field goals with his 11th then 12th field goals of the 2011 season.
Boswell equaled then passed Brennan Landry (2002-05) on the all-time list and currently ranks sixth all time with 23. Clint Parsons (1987-90) ranks fifth all-time with 24 field goals during his career.
With 12 field goals this season, Boswell is currently tied with Alan Pringle (1973) and Matt Huelsman (1994) for fifth on the Rice season list. Mark Williams (1971) and Clint Parsons (1990) are third with 13.