Scores

Final

Rice 32

(1-1, 1-0 away)

North Texas 31

(0-2, 0-1 home)

7:00 PM ET, September 11, 2010

1 2 3 4 T
RICE 16 7 3 632
UNT 7 14 7 331

Top Performers

Passing: N. Tune (UNT) - 285 YDS, 3 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: L. Dunbar (UNT) - 17 CAR, 105 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: T. Stradford (UNT) - 4 REC, 111 YDS, 1 TD

Nick Fanuzzi rescues Rice offense as Owls nip North Texas

ESPNDallas.com

DENTON, Texas -- Backup quarterback Nick Fanuzzi sparked a sputtering Rice offense, leading the Owls to a 32-31 win over North Texas in a sloppy, back-and-forth game Saturday at Fouts Field.

Fanuzzi, who went 12-for-23 for 189 yards and a touchdown, helped orchestrate the game-winning drive midway through the fourth quarter. Running back Charles Ross scored from 2 yards out to put Rice up for good.

"We were having a hard time running the ball," Rice coach David Bailiff said. "Nick has a little more velocity on the ball. It was time for a change."

Fanuzzi entered the game for Rice (1-1) late in the second quarter, partly because Rice's offense struggled and partly because starter Taylor McHargue suffered a shoulder stinger late in the second quarter.

North Texas (0-2) had an opportunity to take the lead in the final minutes, but quarterback Nathan Tune suffered a dislocated hip on a hard hit on the drive, which ended in a turnover on downs at midfield.

The loss of their quarterback added injury to insult for the Mean Green, who never found a rhythm because of penalties, drops, turnovers and miscues.

"We just made too many mistakes to win that football game -- in all three phases," said North Texas head coach Todd Dodge. "I'm disappointed because it's a game we should have won."

Rice jumped out to an early 10-0 lead when McHargue hit Sam McGuffie for a 51-yard touchdown on the Owls' first play from scrimmage. Rice added a field goal after recovering a UNT fumble on the first playing following Rice's touchdown.

UNT managed to cut into Rice's lead thanks to strong defensive play that limited the damage from three first-half turnovers and a blocked punt.

Lance Dunbar got North Texas on the board with a 4-yard reception from Tune, who also threw a touchdown to Jamaal Jackson in the second quarter that kept the Mean Green on Rice's heels.

The Owls couldn't collect more than field goals despite fantastic field position throughout the first half, but Fanuzzi threw a 22-yard touchdown to Luke Willson to give Rice a 23-14 lead on the first possession after McHargue left the game.

The Owls took a 23-21 lead into halftime after UNT linebacker Jeremy Phillips intercepted Fanuzzi in the end zone in the waning seconds of the half.

After the horrible start, North Texas (0-2) took a 28-23 lead on its opening possession of the second half when Tyler Stadford caught a 75-yard pass from Tune, but the Mean Green managed only 3 more points for the rest of the game.

Jeff Andrews covers college football for ESPNDallas.com.

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Team Stat Comparison

 
RICE
UNT
1st Downs1317
Total Yards351420
Passing245296
Rushing106124
Penalties6-547-58
3rd Down Conversions8-216-17
4th Down Conversions0-01-2
Turnovers23
Possession30:1229:48

Passing Leaders

RiceC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Fanuzzi12/231898.211
North TexasC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Tune20/372857.731

Rushing Leaders

RiceCARYDSAVGTDLG
Smith12927.7048
McGuffie14181.304
North TexasCARYDSAVGTDLG
Dunbar171056.2134
Dodge471.804

Receiving Leaders

RiceRECYDSAVGTDLG
McGuffie49122.8151
Willson48621.5127
North TexasRECYDSAVGTDLG
Stradford411127.8175
Jackson46917.3128

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERRICEUNT
TD13:26Sam McGuffie 51 Yd Pass From Taylor McHargue (Chris Boswell Kick) 70
FG11:15Chris Boswell 50 Yd 100
TD06:30Lance Dunbar 4 Yd Pass From Nathan Tune (Trent Deans Kick) 107
FG03:17Chris Boswell 23 Yd 137
FG00:26Chris Boswell 50 Yd 167
SECOND QUARTERRICEUNT
TD09:43Jamaal Jackson 14 Yd Pass From Nathan Tune (Trent Deans Kick) 1614
TD03:18Luke Willson 22 Yd Pass From Nick Fanuzzi (Chris Boswell Kick) 2314
TD01:59Lance Dunbar 4 Yd Run (Trent Deans Kick) 2321
THIRD QUARTERRICEUNT
TD12:32Tyler Stradford 75 Yd Pass From Nathan Tune (Trent Deans Kick) 2328
FG05:36Chris Boswell 24 Yd 2628
FOURTH QUARTERRICEUNT
FG13:44Trent Deans 24 Yd 2631
TD06:22Charles Ross 2 Yd Run (Two-Point Pass Conversion Failed) 3231