Dec. 30, 2008
The Rice Owls (9-3) will close out the longest football season in school history looking to make it one of the most successful as well when they face Western Michigan (9-3) in the 2008 Texas Bowl at Reliant Stadium.
Pre-game activities at Reliant Stadium begin at 3:00 with TexFest. ESPN 97.5 The Ticket will begin its coverage of the game, with Carl Dukes hosting a special pre-game show. David Saltzman and Nate Griffin will call the game on 97.5 while Jorge Vargas will man the sidelines, with kickoff set for 7:07.
The Owls, who opened the 2008 season on August 29 when the defeated SMU, will be looking to match the 1949 Rice team and win 10 games in a season for just the second time in school history. That team, led by All America wide receiver Froggy Williams, finished a 10-1 season with a 27-13 victory over North Carolina in the Cotton Bowl.
The Owls are also looking to post their first win in a bowl game since the 1954 Cotton Bowl, when Dicky Maegle rushed for 265 yards on just 11 carries and defeated Alabama 28-6. After opening with wins in its first four bowl appearances, Rice has dropped the last four, including a 41-17 loss to Troy in the New Orleans Bowl that featured many of the same players who will take the field tonight in Houston.
Rice's Power Trio on offense of Chase Clement, Jarett Dillard and James Casey will be looking to extend a number of school, conference and NCAA records as well.
Dillard needs one touchdown catch to tie the C-USA career touchdown record and also move into a tie for 10th on the NCAA's career touchdown list. He would also become the first player in NCAA history to have two, 20-touchdown reception seasons in his career, as well as extend his NCAA records for career touchdown catches (59 heading into the game), games with a touchdown catch (37 heading into the game) and his record with Clement for the most touchdown passes by the same duo (50 heading into the game).
Clement needs three touchdown passes to move into a tie for ninth on the NCAA career touchdown pass list (has 96 heading into tonight). He is the C-USA career record holder in both touchdown passes and total touchdowns (120).
Casey will be looking to add to his C-USA record for receptions (104) and needs just three catches to move into third on the Rice career receiving list. He and Dillard are both less than 45 yards away from breaking Dillard's 2006 school record for receiving yards (1,247).