Nov. 19, 2011
Rice captains for the Tulane game were OL Jake Hicks, CB Chris Jammer, DE Scott Solomon and RB Tyler Smith. Tulane won the toss and elected to receive. The Owls have won the coin toss this season - at Baylor and against UTEP.
Rice wraps up the season next week at SMU. The Green Wave will finish the season with a nonconference game next week at Hawaii.
Tyler Smith rushed for 145 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries. Smith registered his second 100-yard rushing game of the season (170 yards at Houston last month). Smith now has rushed for 828 yards and five touchdowns.
Smith became the 20th Rice back to top the 1,500 career rushing yard mark. He now has 1,541 career rushing yards during his career. Smith now ranks 19th all-time in rushing yards just behind No. 17 Earl Cooper (1,583 yards / 1976-79) and No. 19 John Coleman (1,548 / 1972-75).
Smith also led Rice with seven receptions for 41 yards. His 35 pass receptions on the year ranks second only to wide receiver Vance McDonald.
McDonald hauled in three catches for 17 yards. McDonald will head into next week's final game on the cusp of going over 1,000 receiving yards. He has 998 for his career.
Nick Fanuzzi completed 16-of-24 passes for 85 yards against the Green Wave. Fanuzzi has now amassed 4,274 yards of total offense and moves into ninth on the Rice all-time list. He will head into the season final next week at SMU just behind No. 7 Mark Commalander (1984-87) who had 4,562 career yards of total offense and No. 8 Kyle Herm (2000-03) who had 4,361 career yards.
Jordan Taylor's 34-yard pass to Tyler Smith marked the freshman receiver's second pass completion of the year. Taylor had a 43-yard completion to Andre Gautreaux the previous week against Northwestern.
The last time Rice shutout an opponent in the first half came in the 2008 Texas Bowl when the Owls blanked Western Michigan in the half (Dec. 30, 2008). Rice also shutout Tulane in the first half of its game that year ((Oct. 25, 2008).
In his final game played in Rice Stadium, Xavier Webb picked off a second-quarter pass returning the ball 29 yards to near midfield. It was Webb's first career interception.
Scott Solomon's two sacks gives him 24 for his career, tying a school record set by Brandon Green (1999-2002). Solomon's 8½ sacks for the year ranks second all-time only to Brandon Green's 12 sacks in 2001.
Matt Nordstrom, a former walkon who is a Bulsworth Trophy candidate, came close to intercepting a his first pass of the season but instead was credited for a deflection on a fourth-down play in the third quarter. Rice entered the game ranked tied for 20th nationally in fourth down defense and has now allowed opponents to make just 5-of-14 fourth-down attempts.
With eight tackles against Tulane, Cameron Nwosu became the first Rice linebacker since Brian Raines (2007) to top the 100-tackle mark in a season. Nwosu will head into next week's final game with 102 total tackles.
Justin Allen finished with a team-leading nine tackles including two tackles for lost yardage and two pass breakups. Allen has posted tackles for lost yardage in six of the Owls' last eight games. He now has 10½ tackles for lost yardage on the year. Also, Allen now has three pass breakups, all coming in the last two games.
Chris Boswell booted a 54-yard field goal near the end of the first half. The field goal matches the third-longest field goal in school history. With the kick, Boswell moved into a tie for second on the season field goal chart with 15. He is currently tied with Mark Williams (1972). The Rice record for longest field goal is 57 yards by James Hamrick against Texas Tech (Oct. 19, 1985).
Boswell also booted a 51-yard field goal in the third quarter. It is the second time in his career he has kicked two 50+ yarders in the same game. He now has five field goals of 50+ yards which matches James Hamrick's tally (1983-85).
Boswell has now booted 16 field goals this season to move into second on the Rice season list behind Hamrick's 17. His 27 career field goals ties Derek Crabtree (1998-01) for fourth all-time at Rice.
Three of Boswell's four kickoffs were in the end zone for touchbacks.
Kyle Martens moved into second on the Rice all-time list for punt yardage with 9,517 yards, passing Travis Hale (1999-02) who had 9,387 yards. He averaged 46.0 yards on six punts against Tulane with two downed inside the Tulane 10. He accumulated 276 total punt yards in the game. The school record is 11,242 yards by Dale Walters (1980-83).
Tolu Akinwumi's fumble recovery of a muffed punt return in the first half was the sophomore's second of the season.