Nov. 8, 2008
HOUSTON - Chase Clement etched his name in yet another record book as the Rice Owls clinched a berth in their second bowl game in three years, downing Army 38-31 at Rice Stadium on Saturday.
Clement threw for three touchdowns to break Kevin Kolb's C-USA record for career touchdown passes and added a fourth on the ground to tie Paul Smith's conference record for total touchdowns. He threw for 384 yards and rushed for 87 more to become the first player in Rice history to top 10,000 yards in total offense. He topped 300 yards passing for the fourth time in the last five games.
Jarett Dillard caught a pair of touchdown passes, including a career-best, 80-yard strike from Clement and became the 13th player in NCAA history to top 1,000 yards in receiving in three consecutive seasons.
Corbin Smiter topped 100 yards for the first time, finishing with four catches for 104 yards. James Casey added six catches for 61 yards to also top 1,000 yards receiving for the year. The Owls' receiving duo is the 28th tandem to each top 1,000 yards in the same season.
The Owls spotted Army a quick 7-0 lead, then scored 31 straight points and led 31-10 at the half. After Clark Fangmeier nailed a 46-yard field goal, Clement gave the Owls the lead for good by bolting up the middle for a 61-yard touchdown run, the longest run of his career. The scoring jaunt also pushed him over 1,500 yards rushing, making him the 19th player in school history to reach that total.
In the second quarter, Clement and Dillard took advantage to hook up on the longest connection of their incredible career's together, an 80-yard touchdown pass to push the Owls lead to 17-7 and allow Clement to tie the conference TD pass record. Fittingly, the pair combined to set the record later in the quarter on a 10-yard pass.
The two touchdown passes for the duo ran their NCAA record for a passing duo to 48 touchdown passes, while Dillard extended his NCAA record for touchdown receptions to 57.
Clement found Smiter for a 54-yard scoring pass midway through the third quarter to run the lead to 38-17, but Army refused to quit and thanks to 461 rushing yards closed to within seven points with 4:15 left in the game.
The Owls have an open week next Saturday, and then return to action on November 22 when they host Marshall at Rice Stadium. They will wrap up their home schedule on November 29 when they host Houston.