Sophomore Ernie Lain rallied Rice from early doldrums and the Owls made their first bowl trip a memorable one, downing Colorado 28-14 in the second annual Cotton Bowl.
Rice began the season being held scoreless in its first three games, hardly the start that pointed to a postseason berth. But Lain sparked Rice to a 6-1-1 finish and a Southwest Conference crown, setting up a showdown between a player noted national scribe Grantland Rice described as "college football's greatest sophomore back" and Colorado `s All-American, Byron "Whizzer" White.
A crowd of 32,188, which more than doubled the crowd that saw Sammy Baugh and TCU one year earlier in the inaugural Cotton Bowl, saw the Buffaloes jump on Rice early. White threw an early touchdown pass and then picked off a Lain pass and returned it 47 yards for a score.
But Lain and the Owls settled down and fired back with a 21- point second quarter to take the lead.
Lain found Jake Scheuhle from 13-yards out to put Rice on the scoreboard and then kept the ball himself on a three-yard scoring plunge to knot the game at 14-14. Lain capped the amazing quarter with a 37-yard scoring strike to Olie Cordill that gave the Owls a 21-14 edge at halftime.
In the third quarter, Lain added a third touchdown pass when he connected with Frank Steen for an 11-yard strike and the Owls cruised home to claim the Stanford Trophy as the winner of the Cotton Bowl Classic.