Dallas Colleges: Rice Owls

Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl keys

December, 29, 2012
Here are three keys to today's Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl between Rice and Air Force (11:45 a.m. ET, ESPN):

1. Keep that momentum going: Rice enters today's game on a four-game winning streak and having won five of its past six games. Remember, this was a team that started the season 1-5 and was just getting eaten up by opposing rushing attacks. From that low point, the Owls completely transformed when it came to stopping the run, allowing teams to average a measly 116.2 yards over the final six games and giving up just nine total rushing touchdowns. The Owls outscored opponents by 80 points during their final five victories and averaged 432 yards of offense during their four-game winning streak. How well that rushing defense plays will be crucial against Air Force, which ranks second nationally in rushing offense (328.8 yards per game) and has 37 rushing touchdowns on the season. If the Owls can contain that triple-option rushing attack, they'll have a good chance to get a win in their first bowl game since 2008.

2. Hold on to the ball: The Falcons might be able to run the ball down other teams' throats, but they have really struggled in the turnover department of late. During its first eight games of the season, Air Force turned the ball over just 12 times. But during the Falcons' 1-3 finish, they handed the ball to opponents 14 times. With how well Rice is playing right now, and with how efficient the Owls have been on offense, Air Force can't afford to turn the ball over and expect to win. With the way the Falcons can run the ball, and given how much Rice struggled earlier in the season to stop the run, it could be a major advantage for the Falcons if they can just keep feeding running back Cody Getz, who became the first player in school history to register three 200-yard rushing games in a single season, and have quarterback Connor Dietz make plays with his feet to keep that option attack going. Grinding it out will wear Rice down.

3. Act like you've been there before: This is Air Force's sixth consecutive bowl game, while Rice is making its first trip to the postseason since 2008. That year, the Owls throttled Western Michigan 38-14 in the Texas Bowl. For the Owls, it's all about not getting cold feet and letting the nerves take hold. They had to work extremely hard to get six wins after the 1-5 start, so it's not the time to let the bright bowl lights intimidate them. As for Air Force, the Falcons have a ton of bowl experience, but the confidence might be lacking after such a bad end to the season. This team has to realize that it has been here before. It knows how to handle the magnitude of the final game of the season. Rice hasn't been in this situation in a while, so the Falcons will have the advantage when it comes to nerves today.

SMU to play in Hawaii Bowl on Christmas Eve

November, 26, 2012
With five bowl-eligible teams, Conference USA has announced its contingency plan heading into the league's championship game this Saturday. And, under both scenarios, the SMU Mustangs will be playing in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl on Christmas Eve.

Here are the scenarios.

If Tulsa wins the championship game, this will be C-USA's bowl lineup:

Tulsa: AutoZone Liberty Bowl, Dec. 31, Memphis, Tenn.
Rice: Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl, Dec. 29, Fort Worth
SMU: Sheraton Hawaii Bowl, Dec. 24, Honolulu, Hawaii
East Carolina: R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl, Dec. 22, New Orleans
Central Florida: Beef `O' Brady's Bowl, Dec. 21, St. Petersburg, Fla.

If UCF wins the championship game, this will be C-USA's bowl lineup:

Central Florida: AutoZone Liberty Bowl, Dec. 31, Memphis, Tenn.
Tulsa: Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl, Dec. 29, Fort Worth
SMU: Sheraton Hawaii Bowl, Dec. 24, Honolulu, Hawaii
Rice: R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl, Dec. 22, New Orleans
East Carolina: Beef `O' Brady's Bowl, Dec. 21, St. Petersburg, Fla.

Conference USA basketball preview

October, 24, 2012
Before we get to the Blue Ribbon team-by-team previews for Conference USA, here is Eamonn Brennan's quick wind sprint through the league:

Blue Ribbon breakdowns of all 12 teams in C-USA:

East Carolina

Southern Miss
UTEP Insider Free

More Conference USA content:

-- Andy Katz with five things he can't wait to see in Conference USA
-- John Gasaway answers five burning questions for the league Insider
-- Eamonn Brennan's Three Big Things on Memphis
-- Brennan on the improved shot of Memphis' Adonis Thomas and Myron Medcalf's five questions for Thomas
-- Brennan rates and analyzes the nonconference schedules of the C-USA
-- Katz on Marshall star DeAndre Kane and the unexpected tragedy he had to face in the offseason
-- Medcalf on how new Tulsa coach Danny Manning is counting on Bill Self's lessons
-- Paul Biancardi identifies the top freshmen and potential recruits in C-USA Insider
-- Katz and Greenberg's conversation with new SMU coach Larry Brown
-- ESPN.com's Summer Shootaround preview of C-USA
-- See where Memphis and Houston ranked in our "50 in 50" series, which attempted to identify the 50 most successful programs of the past half-century
-- For more coverage of Conference USA in the Nation blog, click here.

Big 12 Week 2 primer

September, 8, 2012
You may be asking yourself, who is this guy? Or maybe not.

Either way, my name is Brandon Chatmon. I'll be helping out on the Big 12 blog today with our main man David Ubben in Manhattan, Kan., for the Wildcats' battle with The U. Follow me on Twitter @bchatmon and I'll have plenty of Big 12 updates throughout the day.

Enough about me, let's jump straight into football.

  • Miami (Fla.) at No. 21 Kansas State, noon ET, FX
  • Iowa State at Iowa, 3:30 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network
  • Rice at Kansas, 3:30 p.m. ET, Fox Sports Net
  • Grambling State at No. 20 TCU, 7 p.m. ET, Fox Sports Net
  • Texas Tech at Texas State, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN3/WatchESPN
  • Florida A&M at No. 5 Oklahoma, 7 p.m. ET, PPV
  • New Mexico at No. 17 Texas, 8 p.m. ET, Longhorn Network
  • No. 18 Oklahoma State at Arizona, 10:30 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Network
  • Manhattan, Kan. -- Sunny skies, game-time temperature of 67 degrees, north and northwest winds at 5 mph
  • Iowa City, Iowa -- Sunny skies, game-time temperature of 72 degrees, northwest winds at 11 mph
  • Lawrence, Kan. -- Sunny skies, game-time temperature of 76 degrees, north and northwest winds at 8 mph
  • Fort Worth, Texas -- Partly sunny skies, game-time temperature of 84 degrees, north winds at 16 mph
  • San Marcos, Texas -- Partly sunny skies, game-time temperature of 83 degrees, north and northeast winds at 13 mph
  • Norman, Okla. -- Partly sunny skies, game-time temperature of 78 degrees, north winds at 10 mph
  • Austin, Texas -- Partly cloudy skies, game-time temperature of 78 degress, north and northeast winds at 10 mph.
  • Tucson, Ariz. -- Cloudy skies, game-time temperature of 83 degrees, southeast winds at 9 mph.


In case you missed it, Ubben's coverage this week should have you primed and ready for kickoff:

Rice holds off SMU in defensive struggle

February, 11, 2012
HOUSTON -- Tamir Jackson scored 12 points and Arsalan Kazemi added 11 points and 10 rebounds as Rice defeated SMU 43-39 on Saturday night.

Kazemi had his 42nd career double-double for the Owls (15-11, 6-5 Conference USA) to tie the league record of Kelly Wise of Memphis from 1999-2002.

Shawn Williams scored 11 points and Robert Nyakundi and Rodney Clinkscales nine each for the Mustangs (11-14, 2-8). SMU was without point guard Jeremiah Samarrippas, who suffered an ankle sprain during practice on Friday.

Both teams shot miserably.

Rice, which did not register a field goal in the last 9:48, when Jackson made a 3-pointer to give his team a 39-30 lead. The Owls made 15 of 46 (32.6 percent) shots from the floor; SMU was 13 of 40 (32.5 percent).

After Kazemi gave Rice a 42-37 advantage with two free throws with 4:40 remaining, neither team scored until SMU's Ryan Manuel made a jumper with 23 seconds left.

Two UT games to air on Longhorn Network

July, 5, 2011

Two Texas football games will air exclusively on the Longhorn Network this season thanks to a programming agreement with Fox, ESPN announced Tuesday.

The Longhorns' home game against Rice game will air at 6 p.m. Sept. 3. In addition, the network will also air a Big 12 game to be determined.

Texas leads the all-time series with Rice, 70-21-1, including a 41-8 mark at home.

Fox, which holds the Big 12's cable rights, granted a limited waiver to allow ESPN to shift the games from ABC to Longhorn Network this season.

Viewers seeking information about the Longhorn Network, which launches Aug. 26, can visit GetLonghornNetwork.com. At launch, the site LonghornNetwork.com will be the broadband network home for the Longhorn Network.

Baylor advances to Houston regional final

June, 4, 2011
HOUSTON -- Baylor's Josh Turley scattered seven hits in a complete-game 3-2 victory over Rice in the Houston regional on Saturday night.

Turley (4-5) gave up two runs and struck out seven as Baylor (31-26) moves on to the regional final Sunday. The Bears will next play the winner of the California-Rice elimination game.

Austin Kubitza (6-5) gave up three runs and five hits in 7 1/3 innings for Rice (42-20), the No. 8 national seed.

Baylor scored all of its runs in the first three innings, while Rice got two in the sixth. The Owls threatened in the seventh and eighth innings, putting two on with two outs, but Turley induced groundouts both times.

Max Muncy was 2-for-4 with an RBI to lead Baylor, while Anthony Rendon was 2 for 4 with an RBI for Rice.

Horns add Terps, finalize schedule

September, 22, 2010
The Texas Longhorns have added a home-and-home series with Maryland Terrapins in 2017 and 2018, the school announced Wednesday.

Texas will host the Terrapins on Sept. 2, 2017, and travel to Maryland on Sept. 1, 2018.

The Longhorns also set four other non-conference games and adjusted the years on two others to finalize its non-conference schedule through 2017.

UT has added games with New Mexico on Sept. 8, 2012, New Mexico State on Aug. 31, 2013, North Texas on Aug. 30, 2014 and Rice on Sept. 12, 2015. In order to accommodate some scheduling issues, the Horns moved their game with UCF from 2011 to 2017 and UTEP from 2012 to 2016.

A look at UT's non-conference schedule through 2018 (the non-conference schedule decreases to three games next season as the Big 12 contracts to 10 teams):

9/3 RICE
9/10 BYU
9/17 at UCLA

9/15 at Mississippi

9/7 at BYU

9/6 BYU
9/13 at Arkansas

9/5 at Notre Dame
9/12 RICE
9/19 CAL

9/10 UTEP
9/17 at CAL

9/9 UCF
9/16 at USC

9/1 at Maryland
9/8 TBA
9/15 USC

Tommy Tuberville: ‘What better way to start?’

September, 13, 2010
A quirky schedule for the second consecutive season will pit the No. 6 Texas Longhorns against the Texas Tech Red Raiders.

Texas has won two of the last three meetings, but no one has forgotten the 2008 battle in Lubbock when Texas nearly sealed the game and the Big 12 South championship with a late interception, only to be foiled by a Michael Crabtree touchdown in the waning seconds.

"I watched the game myself," first-year Tech coach Tommy Tuberville. "I think it was one of the best college football games I've seen in a long time...

"For me, my first game in the Big 12, what better way to start?"

But, is either team, although both being 2-0, ready for this one, this early? Texas has played two offensively unimpressive games against Rice and Wyoming, while Tech has shown great bursts as well as letdowns in wins over SMU and New Mexico.

"It has pluses and minuses," Tuberville said of the September matchup. "We need to find out where we're at in terms of a football team. We've had two non-conference games and you got to start playing [conference games] some time. Back when I was at Auburn, not always, but most of the time we played LSU around the third game, which was either a good start or slow start depending on how you play the game."

In the Big 12 South, one loss can mean elimination from the championship hunt. If Texas loses, the Horns will feel enormous pressure on Oct. 2 at Dallas for the annual Red River Rivalry against a seventh-ranked Oklahoma squad that just hammered Florida State.

For the Red Raiders, a loss Saturday won't be as detrimental to the overall picture in Tuberville's first season, but a victory over Texas would go a long way toward repairing a fractured bandwagon and getting it firmly behind the former Auburn coach. It could also get Tech on a roll in the Big 12. The Raiders have an unusual schedule this season in that it will continue with Big 12 play from now until Nov. 20 when they finish the regular-season schedule with consecutive home games against Weber State and Houston.

After the Longhorns, Tech gets a nicely timed bye week before heading into three key conference games: at Iowa State (Oct. 2), at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas against Baylor (Oct. 9) and at home against Oklahoma State.

"I think [the Texas game] gets us more focused on what we're doing earlier," Tuberville said. "The first two games went fairly well for us, but we didn't play up to our potential and hopefully this week we'll find out a lot more about our team."

How often will Horns run it vs. Rice?

September, 2, 2010
Texas Longhorns coach Mack Brown has promised a scheme change that puts more emphasis on the rushing attack. Yet, in 2009, Texas averaged 36.6 carries a game and 39.1 carries in 2008. Hardly small rushing numbers.

Those numbers, however, are wildly skewed when talking a bona fide rushing game. In each of the last two seasons, quarterback Colt McCoy has led Texas in both carries and rushing yards. Texas finished 2009 ranked 61st in the nation in rushing, averaging 147.6 yards a game.

If first-year quarterback Garrett Gilbert winds up as the Horns' leading rusher this season, bet that Texas will have had an awful season. The plan is to utilize three running backs. A slimmed-down Cody Johnson won the starting job for Saturday's opener at Reliant Stadium against Rice. Behind him are Tre' Newton and Fozzy Whittaker.

"I don't know how the carries are going to be distributed," Texas running backs coach Major Applewhite said. "[Johnson's] getting the start not because he's lost weight or body fat. He's getting the start because of the production he's provided in fall two-a-days and spring ball as well. He's done a lot of different things. He's allowed himself to be an every-down back. Some of the things we had to pull him out of the game for last year -- we're going to run this pass, we're going to use this screen -- he was not fit for that play. He's allowed himself to be in the game and stay in those situations. If he continues to produce, he'll continue to get a full amount of carries."

So how many carries will the new ground-oriented Longhorns rack up Saturday against the Owls? Two years ago, the Horns ran it 44 times in a 52-10 thumping of Rice and the next week ran it 50 times against Arkansas. With Gilbert making his starting debut, and expected to do so much of the time under center instead of in the shotgun, and with new faces on the offensive line, Texas surely plans to use undermanned Rice to get physical.

The half-century mark for rushing attempts is clearly in play.

And unlike two years ago, when McCoy led the team in rushing against the Owls with 87 yards on eight carries, it would be a a major stunner if Gilbert finishes with more rushing yards than any of his three tailbacks.

UT's Cody Johnson earns starting TB nod

August, 30, 2010
The Texas Longhornsare promising a rejuvenated rushing attack to help ease in first-year starting quarterback Garrett Gilbert. That's no surprise. The surprise is which of the three Texas tailbacks will initially accompany Gilbert in the backfield Saturday when the No. 5 Horns open the season against the Rice Owls at Reliant Stadium in Houston.

It won't be Tre' Newton or Fozzy Whittaker, the two backs that seemed to have the edge heading into the spring. Newton finished last season as the starter and the team's leading rusher with 552 yards on 116 carries.

Make way for 5-foot-11, 250-pound junior Cody Johnson.

"They're both playing well, so Fozzy and Tre' didn't do anything differently. It's just the power that Cody brings to us," Texas coach Mack Brown said. "He can pass protect. He can catch the ball, run routes out of the backfield. But, with the power running attack that we're looking at now and the downhill runs, he's just a real load when he gets straight ahead."

Johnson has trimmed down and Brown said he lost five percent of his body fat during the offseason, adding more quickness to his obvious power. He rushed 87 times last season for 335 yards and 12 touchdowns. In two seasons, he has 673 yards on 163 carries and 24 touchdowns.

All three tailbacks are expected to see time against the Owls.

Back to business, Baylor sets times

June, 16, 2010
Baylor finalized kickoff times for its first two games of the 2010 football season. Home games against Sam Houston State (Sept. 4) and Buffalo (Sept. 11) will both kick at 6 p.m. at Floyd Casey Stadium. The Buffalo game will be televised on Fox College Sports (FCS).

Times are now set for all four non-conference games, including road games at TCU (3:30 p.m., Sept. 18) and at Rice (7 p.m., Sept. 25).

For Baylor's complete 2010 football schedule, click here.

Was Boise State add, the MWC's Colorado?

June, 12, 2010
The Mountain West Conference opted not to add Boise State last weekend during its summer meetings to gauge the changing landscape around it, but then quickly moved to get the Broncos in on Friday, expanding MWC membership to 10.

We all know that the Pac-10 and Colorado moved quickly to get the Buffaloes in to avoid a coming political power play by Texas lawmakers to get Baylor invited to the Pac-10 party. Did the MWC virtually do the same and lock out Baylor by adding Boise State?

Think about this: Does TCU, spurned by Baylor and the Big 12 in 1994, and which would directly battle Baylor for recruits if they competed in the same conference, want Baylor in? Grudges are grudges, but recruiting is a program's lifeblood. As great a job as Gary Patterson has done recruiting Texas and finding hidden gems passed over by the bigger programs, Baylor, athletically, is on an upswing in large part due to men's basketball coach Scott Drew, as well as optimism created by football coach Art Briles, who is excited to have dual-threat quarterback Robert Griffin back in the fold this season. If TCU and Baylor went head-to-head in the MWC, especially an MWC with an automatic BCS bid, recruiting would be cut-throat. A Baylor program reduced to a lower-level conference is far less threatening.

The MWC, like the Pac-10, has choices -- assuming the Big 12 dissolves as expected by Tuesday. Immediately out of the mega-conference mix would be Missouri, Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State and Baylor. If Texas A&M chooses to join the SEC instead of the Pac-10, Kansas could be the beneficiary and get the Pac-10 invite. If A&M goes to the Pac-10, the MWC would eye Kansas, Missouri, Kansas State and Iowa State for a 14-team league that would be attractive for BCS acceptance. Even if Kansas goes to the Pac-10 or another high-profile conference, the MWC could expand by two to get to 12 and still feel confident of becoming a BCS conference.

Such a scenario only makes the Baylor picture look more bleak. Where do the Bears go in such a case? Does the WAC hold Boise State's vacancy for the Bears? Is that an option Baylor would even considers? But, what's left besides sifting through the rubble to form a revamped SWC? Could Baylor pull together Rice, SMU and Houston, with perhaps North Texas, UTEP, Tulsa and perhaps Tulane or Louisiana-Lafayette for at least an eight-team league with other regional schools perhaps in the mix to take the total to 10?

Certainly, the appeal might not be there, but in this emerging, new landscape it appears the choices might not be there either for Baylor.

These are crazy times. Sixteen years after the formation of the Big 12, it appears TCU's and Baylor's fortunes could very well be reversed.

Local updates: ORU eliminates Cal

June, 5, 2010
-Oral Roberts defeated two seed Cal this afternoon 9-8 to eliminate the Golden Bears from the Norman Region. The Golden Eagles, meanwhile, will face the loser of tonight's Oklahoma-North Carolina game, which the Sooners are currently leading 5-2 in the seventh.

-Texas A&M was crushed, 14-1 in a 1 vs. 2 seed matchup against Miami in Coral Gables. Texas A&M will play Dartmouth at 11 a.m. Sunday, with the winner advancing to face Miami on Sunday afternoon (3 p.m.).

-Texas beat Louisiana-Lafayette 4-2 to stay perfect on the weekend. Texas will wait for the winner of a Rice/ULL rematch at 1 p.m. The Longhorns will play at 6:30 p.m.

OU wins in extras; Rice blanked

June, 4, 2010
In the Norman Regional: Oklahoma's Chris Ellison hit a walk-off single with the bases loaded to give Oklahoma a 7-6 win over fourth seeded Oral Roberts in 10 innings. Oklahoma starter Michael Rocha gave up five runs over five innings before giving way to relievers Jeremy Erben (3 2/3 innings) and Duke Ryan (1 1/3).

In the Austin Regional: No. 2 seed Rice was upset after Zach Osborne pitched a five-hit shutout to lead Louisiana-Lafayette to a 1-0 win. Rice will play the Texas/Rider loser in the first game Saturday.