Jan. 28, 2013
Dave Campbell's Texas Football has honored four members of Rice's Armed Forces Bowl Champion squad by naming them to the publications 2012 Postseason All Texas College Team.
In addition, the Owls were ranked sixth among the 12 Division 1 football programs in the state in the magazine's final 2012 Power Poll after opening the year ranked 10th.
Senior tight end Vance McDonald and junior place kicker Chris Boswell were named to the All Texas College first team, while defensive end Cody Bauer and cornerback Phillip Gaines were named to the second team.
McDonald became the first Owl to play in the Senior Bowl when he was the starting tight end for the South team on Saturday in Mobile. He was a consensus All C-USA selection after catching 36 passes for 458 yards and two touchdowns despite missing three games late in his senior season. He returned from his midseason injury to catch 16 passes for 184 yards and a touchdown in the last two regular season games, including a career-high nine vs. UTEP as the Owls clinched a berth in the Armed Forces Bowl. Five of McDonald's nine catches in that game came on third down conversions, sustaining all three of the Owls touchdown drives including a pair of conversions in each of the Owls two drives of 90 yards or more in the game.
One of the top kickers in the country, Boswell led the nation in long distance field goals while re-writing the Rice kicking record book. He set school season records for field goals (23) and kick scoring (114) in addition to career records for field goals (51) and field goal attempts (67) and kick scoring (270). Boswell led C-USA in kick scoring and field goals and finished fourth overall in scoring. He was tied for sixth nationally with 23 field goals and ranked 13th among active kickers with 51 field goals, second among underclassmen. He led the nation with six field goals from 50 yards or more and was 6x8 from that distance, while his 11 career field goals from 50 yards or longer are nearly triple the total of the next highest returning kicker (Aaron Jones of Baylor has four).
Gaines was consensus All-Conference USA selection who led CUSA and was second nationally with 18 pass breakups. His final total does not include the most important breakup of the year, his stripping of a potential game-tying two-point conversion attempt by Tulane with less than a minute in the game. His PBUs saved 38 points from scoring (6 TD passes plus the two-point attempt.
Bauer earned Honorable Mention All C-USA by league coaches after a productive return to action this season after a redshirt season in 2011. He started all 13 games and reached career highs across the board, finishing with 51 tackles, (36 unassisted), 15 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, two fumbles, two fumbles forced, one pass breakup and one interception. He was ninth in the league and led the team with his 12 TFL, which also tied him for 10th on the Rice season list.