3:00 PM ET, November 11, 2006
Skelly Stadium, TULSA, OK
TULSA, Okla. (AP) -- Former Tulsa defensive coordinator Todd Graham brought an opportunistic defense back to his old stomping grounds.
The result was his Rice Owls took advantage of four Tulsa turnovers and a blocked punt in a 41-38 double-overtime victory over Tulsa.
Rice (5-5, 4-2 Conference-USA) recorded its fourth consecutive win although Tulsa quarterback Paul Smith threw for a career-high 308 yards and TU had two backs rush for more than 100 yards.
Graham, the first-year head coach at Rice who was Tulsa's defensive coordinator the past three years, sealed the win when quarterback Chase Clement found Jarett Dillard for a 25-yard touchdown pass in the second overtime.
"We knew Tulsa would move the football, we just had to make sure we got turnovers," Graham said. "I am really proud of how the defense is coming along, they kept us in the game for the most part.
"And offensively, we scored 28 points on the number one defense in the league. I coached those guys and know how good they are. But we were not going to be denied," he said.
The overtime grab was the third touchdown reception of the game for Dillard, who also caught an 11-yard strike from Clement in the first overtime and a career-long 65-yard scoring pass late in the first half that gave the Owls a 20-7 halftime lead.
Tulsa rolled up a season-high 568 yards but had little to show for it. Smith completed 17 of 29 passes including seven receptions for 145 yards by Ryan Bugg. Tarrion Adams ran for 116 yards and Coutney Tennial added 109 yards, including two rushing touchdowns and a third on a 36-yard screen pass.
"We did make some mistakes today, but again our guys continued to battle back," said Tulsa coach Steve Kragthorpe. "You have to congratulate Rice, they made a play at the end. I thought our guys showed a lot of heart and a lot of character, but today we just came up a little short."
Tulsa had to drive 86 yards to tie the game toward the end of regulation after Rice capitalized on TU's fourth turnover, a dropped punt by Idris Moss at the TU 21-yard line.
Clement scored on a 9-yard run and Quinton Smith bulled in for the two-point conversion to put Rice ahead 28-21 with 2:52 to play.
Smith put together a masterful drive to tie the game, completing four-of-four passes for 80 yards and covering the final three yards on a bootleg.
Both teams scored touchdowns in the first overtime, Rice first on the 11-yard grab by Dillard. Tulsa had to go to fourth down twice, but Smith completed a 17-yard pass to Donnie Johnson on fourth-and-7, then scored on fourth down from inside the 1 on a quarterback sneak.
Tulsa had to settle for a 39-yard field goal by Jarod Tracy in the second overtime. Rice went to third-and-10 before Clement found his favorite target.
Dillard now has a Rice record 21 career touchdown grabs, a league-leading 16 in 2006 and has caught at least one touchdown pass in a nation-leading 14 consecutive games.
Clement completed 14 of 36 passes for 209 yards and the three touchdowns. Dillard had eight receptions for 137 yards.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||5-15||5-12|
|4th Down Conversions||0-0||2-3|
|TD||11:25||COURTNEY TENNIAL 36 YD PASS FROM PAUL SMITH (JAROD TRACY KICK)|
Drive info: 7 plays, 59 yards.
|TD||2:52||QUINTON SMITH 10 YD RUN (CLARK FANGMEIER KICK)|
Drive info: 5 plays, 73 yards.
|FG||9:56||CLARK FANGMEIER 29 YD FG|
Drive info: 6 plays, 23 yards.
|FG||4:14||CLARK FANGMEIER 37 YD FG|
Drive info: 12 plays, 54 yards.
|TD||0:57||JARETT DILLARD 65 YD PASS FROM CHASE CLEMENT (CLARK FANGMEIER KICK)|
Drive info: 3 plays, 64 yards.
|TD||14:35||COURTNEY TENNIAL 3 YD RUN (JAROD TRACY KICK)|
Drive info: 9 plays, 45 yards.
|TD||7:26||COURTNEY TENNIAL 8 YD RUN (JAROD TRACY KICK)|
Drive info: 7 plays, 80 yards.
|TD||2:52||CHASE CLEMENT 9 YD RUN (QUINTON SMITH 2PT RUSH)|
Drive info: 4 plays, 21 yards.
|TD||1:19||PAUL SMITH 3 YD RUN (JAROD TRACY KICK)|
Drive info: 6 plays, 86 yards.
|TD||0:00||JARETT DILLARD 11 YD PASS FROM CHASE CLEMENT (CLARK FANGMEIER KICK)|
Drive info: 5 plays, 25 yards.
|TD||0:00||PAUL SMITH 1 YD RUN (JAROD TRACY KICK)|
Drive info: 5 plays, 25 yards.
|FG||0:00||JAROD TRACY 39 YD FG||35||38|
|TD||0:00||JARETT DILLARD 25 YD PASS FROM CHASE CLEMENT|
Drive info: 3 plays, 25 yards.