NCF Nation: Taylor Cox

One team survived, the other did not.

RICE 25, KANSAS 24: Kansas surrendered a 24-13 lead to the Owls at home on Saturday, after Rice's Chris Boswell kicked a 45-yard field goal as the final horn sounded.

Missed field goals and a critical interception of Dayne Crist doomed KU, which looked to have control of the game entering the fourth quarter. Bryce Callahan intercepted Crist after the Owls had cut the lead to 24-22 with a 7-play, 93-yard drive on their previous possession.

Desperately needing a stop, KU couldn't get one in the final five minutes as Rice drove 26 yards to give Boswell the opportunity to kick the game winner.

As disappointing as the loss was for the Jayhawks, remember the names Tony Pierson and Taylor Cox. Pierson, a sophomore, finished with 19 carries for 120 yards while Cox had 15 carries for 79 yards in the loss. While the pair was going against a Rice defense that allowed 343 rushing yards to UCLA in its season opener, they each sent the message that they plan to be contributors on the Jayhawks offense even when James Sims returns from his three-game suspension against Northern Illinois on Sept. 22.

IOWA STATE 9, IOWA 6: The Baltimore Ravens would have been proud.

The Cyclones' defense stepped up when it mattered after both defenses dominated this in-state rivalry game. Neither team seemed to find a consistent rhythm on offense throughout the game.

Protecting a 3-point lead, ISU forced Iowa punts on back-to-back possessions early in the fourth quarter then -- helped by dropped passes by Hawkeye receivers -- forced a turnover on downs with 3:02 remaining in the game. They sealed the deal when Jake Knott intercepted James Vandenburg's pass with the Hawkeyes driving in the final two minutes.

ISU had some success through the air, recording 241 passing yards, but struggled to capitalize when it mattered, going 2-of-5 in the red zone including a critical interception late in the fourth quarter. The Cyclones’ defensive effort should bring a smile to the face of Paul Rhoads as A.J. Klein and company buckled down in the final quarter despite being put in difficult positions.

The Cyclones dominated the first half, spending the majority of the 30 minutes on the Iowa side of the field. Yet, ISU held a six-point lead at halftime, an early sign that the defense might have to shoulder the load.

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