Dec. 4, 2012
Senior tight end Vance McDonald and junior cornerback Phillip Gaines have been named to the 2012 All Conference USA first team in voting by the league's head football coaches. They were joined by junior place kicker Chris Boswell who was named to the second team and by 12 teammates who earned honorable mention recognition.
McDonald has caught 35 passes for 433 yards and a pair of touchdowns despite missing three games near the end of the season with an injury. He made an emphatic return to the lineup in the Owls last two games, sparking Rice to the final two wins of a four-game winning streak to close the year and earn the Owls a berth in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl vs. Air Force. McDonald caught 16 passes for 184 yards and a touchdown, including a career-high nine in the season finale vs. UTEP.
Gaines is tied for the national lead with 18 pass breakups this season which is seven more than his career total entering this year and tied for 10th on the NCAA single-season list since pass breakups were first officially tracked in 2003. He had a pair of tackles for loss and returned a fumble for a score.
Boswell leads the national with six field goals of 50-yards or longer this season and tied an NCAA record by kicking three from that distance vs. SMU. He is 6x7 from 50 yards or more this year and has made his last four from that distance. He has hit on a school-record 21 field goals this season and set a season kick-scoring record with 105 points.
Quarterback Taylor McHargue was one of five members of the Owls offense on the honorable mention list, joining tight end Luke Willson, wide receiver Sam McGuffie, offensive guard Drew Carroll and offensive tackle Caleb Williams.
Three members of the Owls defensive front four (Cody Bauer, Hosam Shahin and Christian Covington) were named to the honorable mention list along with linebacker Cameron Nwosu and safety Paul Porras. Trevor Gillette earned honorable mention as a deep snapper.
The Owls are beginning preparations for their Armed Forces Bowl date with Air Force, which will be played on December 29 at Amon G.Carter Stadium in Fort Worth and broadcast nationally by ESPN.