by Chuck Pool (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Rice Owls and Houston Cougars, who will resume their cross-town series in 2017 and 2018, have agreed to continue the series with games in 2020 and 2021.
The two additional games will be played at Houston on September 5, 2020 and at Rice Stadium on September 11, 2021.
"It's obvious that this series is something that both fan bases feel strongly about and I am glad we have been able to add these two additional games," Rice Director of Athletics Joe Karlgaard said. "Rivalry games such as this are one of the things that makes college football so special and I know sports fans in Houston will look forward to each game."
Rice and Houston have met 39 times in football since the series began in 1971. The two schools, which have the closest proximity of any programs competing on the FBS level, played annually from 1971-1995 before the series took three year break after the end of the Southwest Conference. The series resumed in 1999 and continued through 2013. The two schools first began playing for the Bayou Bucket in 1974.
The current group of Rice Owls will conclude their spring drills on Friday, April 8 with the annual Blue-Gray game at 8:00 p.m. at Rice Stadium.
They will open the 2016 season on September 3, when they take on defending Conference USA champion Western Kentucky in the first of two road games to open the season. The home opener is set for September 17 when Rice hosts the nationally-ranked Baylor Bears.