Texas A&M 52, Rice 31
Aug. 31, 2013
College Station, Texas
Charles Ross blasted his way to more than 100 yards and Rice piled up over 500 yards as a team, but it wasn't enough to dent the storyline of the season opener, as returning Heisman winner Johnny Manziel threw four touchdowns in one half of action to lead Texas A&M to a 52-31 win in the 2013 season opener for both teams.
While all of the national attention leading up to kickoff was the suspension of Maziel for one half, Rice fans eagerly awaited the game to see if the Owls could maintain the momentum from the finish of the 2012 season when they won their last five games.
That question was quickly answered as the Owls gashed the Aggie defense for a pair of early touchdowns.
Ross gave an early indication that he was intent on a memorable senior year , carrying the ball 20 times for a game-high 107 yards and a pair of scores. The Owls amassed a total of 304 yards on the ground with a 5.7 yards per carry average against the Aggies, including a career-long 57-yard scamper by quarterback Taylor McHargue.
McHargue, who became the first Rice quarterback to start four consecutive openers, completed 18-of-30 passes for 182 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He added 76 yards on nine carries as well.
Matt Joeckel, who was starting in place of Manziel, put together a solid first half with 191 passing yards and led the Aggies to answers for each of the Owls early scores, then built a 28-14 lead before Jordan Taylor snagged a McHargue deflection at the goal line and stretched into the end zone to cut the margin to 28-21 at the half.
Taylor caught seven passes for 69 yards and a score, while Connor Cella added 53 yards on four catches.
On defense, both Christian Covington and Michael Kutzler each recorded one sack.