Golden Hurricane sweeps away football 38-20
For the second straight week, Rice (2-5, 1-3 C-USA) simply did not look ready to play in the first quarter. In a winnable game, the Owls quickly fell behind – giving the Univer sity of Tulsa (4-3, 3-0 C-USA) momentum, and digging themselves into a pretty deep hole.
In the first quarter of the game against Tulsa, turnovers undid the Owls, with three in the first quarter that propelled the Golden Hurricanes to a 17-0 lead. They barely had to move the ball, notching only 66 yards on their way to those 17 points.
Sophomore quarterback Taylor McH argue threw two interceptions on four at tempts in this quarter, losing possession to a linebacker that came out of nowhere and another on a tipped ball. Another fumble gave Tulsa a field goal.
The second quarter was a tale of a differ ent game, with Rice drawing first blood on a field goal by sophomore placekicker Chris Boswell. The two teams traded possessions until the closing minutes of the half, when Tulsa scored another touchdown, moving the score to 24-3.
Senior Nick Fanuzzi, in the game for McHargue who was benched for perfor mance reasons, drove the team down the field, hoping to score in the last minute. He found junior tight end Luke Willson in the corner of the endzone on a 40-yard pass, sending the score to 24-10 after the Boswell extra point. While not the score the Owls were hoping for heading into the locker room, 24-10 was certainly bet ter than what the 17-0 first quarter could have led to.
"When you start a game with three turn overs on your first three possessions, and you start in a 17-0 hole, it is hard to get out of it," Head Coach David Bailiff said. "But you watch the video, and you see the de fense played really well, holding Tulsa to 3.7 a carry... I thought the defense kept us in it. I thought we were playing well enough on special teams and defense."
The third quarter essentially was a wash, as both teams had difficulty moving the ball. Fanuzzi managed to move the Owls into field goal territory at one point, result ing in another long Chris Boswell field goal, making score 24-13.
A Tulsa touchdown in the opening min utes of the fourth hampered the Owls' comeback, with a three-yard rushing touchdown making it a three-possession game at 31-13.
Fanuzzi orchestrated another touchdown capped by a two-yard run from sophomore running back Turner Petersen, bringing the Owls within 11 points. One more passing touchdown from Tulsa senior quarterback, G.J. Kinne—his third of the day—would end the scoring and leave the game at 38-20.
Rice lost the yardage battle by 120 yards. The scoreboard indicated much more, how ever, as the three turnovers at the start skewed the statistics. Fanuzzi's touchdown and 237 yards were a pleasant surprise com ing off the bench for the Owls.
Bailiff understands the role that turn overs are playing in the losses.
"Offensively, we have got to quit mak ing the mistakes and having the turn overs that are getting us out of them," Bailiff said. "We just have to keep work ing hard with Taylor [McHargue] on his ball security and eliminating some of those mistakes and keep getting this ball team better. It is a process where we are not where we want to be, but we are get ting better each week."
This week, the Owls took on the un defeated and eighteenth-ranked Univer sity of Houston in a televised night game yesterday. Houston has one of the best quarterbacks in the nation in sixth-year player Case Keenum.
Senior defensive tackle John Gioffre knows that this will be a tough test for the Owls.
"You look at them on film, they're a force to be reckoned with," Gioffre said. "They're getting the ball, they're fast, peo ple are making plays and you see a lot of missed tackles... like I say every week, you gotta stay within the scheme. You gotta do your job."
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