NCAA Game Summary - Houston vs. Rice
(Saturday, September 21)
Final Score: Houston 31, Rice 26
Houston, TX (Sports Network) - John O'Korn threw for 281 yards and three touchdowns as he led the Houston Cougars over the Rice Owls, 31-26, in a non- conference matchup at Reliant Stadium.
O'Korn completed 15-of-33 pass attempts and threw an interception, but Houston (3-0) still managed to earn the win. Ryan Jackson ran for 87 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries and added 57 yards receiving and a touchdown on four catches. Greg Ward contributed 80 yards rushing on nine carries while Deontay Greenberry had six catches for 146 yards and a touchdown. Daniel Spencer had four catches for 76 yards and a score.
Rice (1-2) was led by Taylor McHargue who completed 21-of-36 passes for 232 yards and an interception. McHargue did run for a touchdown but the only passing touchdown for Rice came from Luke Turner, a backup running back who lined up at quarterback in a wildcat formation. Turner Petersen, who caught the touchdown pass, had five catches for 102 yards. Darik Dillard led the Owls in rushing with 61 yards on nine carries.
Rice struck first as Turner found Petersen for a 57-yard touchdown pass in wildcat formation. After Houston blocked Rice's extra point attempt, the Cougars moved quickly down the field and capped off a four-play, 75-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown run from Jackson to put Houston on top, 7-6.
Midway through the first quarter, Rice regained the lead with one-yard touchdown run by Charles Ross to finish off a nine-play, 75-yard drive.
The second quarter was all Houston as Richie Leone kicked in a 24-yard field goal and O'Korn found Spencer for a 25-yard touchdown pass with just five seconds left in the half. Houston led 17-13 at the break.
The Cougars kept things rolling in the second half. O'Korn connected with Greenberry for a 28-yard touchdown pass late in the third quarter and then early in the fourth O'Korn found Jackson for a 32-yard touchdown pass to give Houston a comfortable 31-13 lead.
Rice answered back on the following drive and for the first time since the first quarter the Owls managed to find the end zone as McHargue took in a one- yard touchdown run. The Owls continued to claw back into the game and after they blocked a Leone field goal attempt and saw Alex Lyons return it 62 yards for a touchdown, Rice was down just five points with a little over two minutes remaining.
The Owls went for the onside kick and they recovered it. Rice began driving down field but eventually turned the ball over on downs. The Cougars then ran out the clock in the victory formation.
This was the 15th consecutive year these squads matched up to battle for the Bayou Bucket. Houston has now won the last three meetings.
09/21 21:00:42 ET