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November 18, 2012

Credit due: Owls Impressive in Victory

The Rice Owls have shown signs of being a pretty good football team at times this season. Unfortunately, they've also shown a maddening propensity for making the same mistakes over and over again.

Saturday there were much more of those signs of a good team on display at Rice Stadium as the Owls dominated SMU 36-14. Dominated? Yes. Dominated.

The formula for victory was simple and no different than any other game they've played this year.

The difference was in execution.

The Owls didn't commit any turnovers, executed in the red-zone, and shut down the Pony ground game led by RB Zach Line to control the game throughout.

Amazing what happens when the Owls don't beat themselves.

You have to give the team and staff credit for not giving up on a season that looked to be doomed just a few weeks ago. So stand up and take a bow Owls - you deserve it.

With 1 more win next Saturday against UTEP the Owls become bowl eligible.

Game Notes

- Chris Boswell continued his amazing, Groza Award worthy 2012 season by hitting on 5-of-6 field goals - including 3 from beyond 50 yards. Boz made attempts from 56, 51, 43, 53, and 28 yards; he narrowly missed from 44. Boswell also made 3 extra points. The junior from Keller Fossil Ridge was recently named a Lou Groza Award Semi-finalist, which is given to the top kicker each year in college football.

- Taylor McHargue had one of his best games of the year (game's outcome direct correlation). McHargue was 24-of-36 passing for 297 yards and 2 touchdowns. Most importantly, NO turnovers.

- Senior Vance McDonald had a huge day in his return from a foot injury. He led all Owls with 7 catches for 85 yards. He scored on a 19 yard pass, flattening Defensive Back Shakiel Randolph along the way.

- Rice struggled all day to run the ball against SMU, averaging only 3.2 yards per carry, however Running Back Jeremy Eddington was a huge presence in the 4th quarter as the Owls kept the ball on the ground to use the clock. On a final drive to close out the game Eddington averaged 6.7 yards per carry. His 36 yard gain on third down was the clincher.

- Defensive End/Deep Snapper Trevor Gillette left the game in the first half with a mild concussion. Tanyan Farley handled the snapping chores the rest of the game.

- Defensive End Cody Bauer continues to play at a high level. Yesterday he had 6 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, and a forced fumble. Bauer now has 5.5 sacks for the season.

- Excuse Rice Head Coach David Bailiff for the limp yesterday - he had surgery to repair a torn MCL earlier in the week. He was supposed to coach from the press box yesterday but changed his mind and took his place with the team on the sideline.

- Representatives from the Armed Services Bowl were on hand at yesterday's game.

- With each school in the state's largest cities of Dallas and Houston respectively, the winner of the Rice-SMU Game has been played annually for the "Mayor's Cup". One problem for the Owls - SMU forgot the trophy back in Dallas.

- Since changing to gray face masks the Owls are 4-1.


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