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Football wins 52-14 against Louisiana Tech

By Dan Elledge     11/18/13 6:00pm

The Rice University Owls rebounded from their previous loss against the University of North Texas with a convincing 52-14 win against Louisiana Tech University Saturday, Nov. 16.   

Redshirt senior running back Charles Ross led the Owls with a season-high 215 yards and scored five touchdowns. After his performance, Ross was named the Conference USA offensive player of the week. Redshirt senior kicker Chris Boswell was named the special teams player

of the week.

Redshirt junior running back Turner Petersen said he was excited to see Ross top the 1,000-yard rushing mark for the year, which was one of Ross' goals from the beginning of the season.

"It was an exciting feeling to be a part of this offense, seeing what we were truly capable of doing," Petersen said. "I'm really excited for our buddy [Ross] as he passed that 1,000-yard mark."

It was a tough few days for Head Coach David Bailiff, who dealt with the death of his father earlier in the week. Emotionally, Bailiff said he could not be more proud of the way the team played and that the players picked him up when he needed it the most.

"I was really proud of them, each and every one of them," Bailiff said. "The dressing room was very emotional after that game, and I'm just blessed to be around these type of men that have the ability to put other people first and the ability to put this football team first."

Bailiff also attributed the tremendous effort to the long layoff the team had. Rice had not played since Oct. 31, an unusually long gap of 17 days, and Bailiff said time off was vital for the team to rest up and get healthy for the stretch run in the next few weeks.

"That rest we had after the [UNT] game was needed," Bailiff said. "Our entire football team was fresh and ready to go to work."

The Owls are on a short week with a Thursday night game, Nov. 21, against the University of Alabama, Birmingham. The Blazers are 2-8 this season with a 1-5 record in C-USA play and are currently riding a four-game losing streak. This is the first time UAB and Rice have met since Nov. 27, 2010 when the Owls won 28-23 at Rice Stadium.

Bailiff said UAB's poor record is deceiving and that the coaching staff will get the Blazers ready to play. He said the Blazers still have talent on both sides of the ball, and they showed it in a near-win against Middle Tennessee State University a few weeks ago.

"They have struggled at 2-8, but they had an opportunity to beat Middle Tennessee at home, and they've come close in several ball games," Bailiff said. "You can tell that coach [Garrick McGee] and their staff is working hard."

Bailiff said the Owls should be careful of this trap game. Rice has a major conference home game Nov. 30 against Tulane University, so Bailiff said getting caught looking ahead could spell disaster for the Owls.

"We have to go there, and it's tough to win on the road," Bailiff said. "You have to have a mentality like we did last Saturday because if we do not, the game will not go our way."

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