HOUSTON -- Taylor McHargue threw for a touchdown and Jawon Davis ran for one on the next possession and Rice held on for a 17-13 win over Tulane to reach the Conference USA championship game for the first time.
The Owls (9-3, 7-1) dominated the game statistically but a date next weekend with East Division champion Marshall was in doubt until the end. BCS rankings will determine the game site.
The Green Wave (7-5, 5-3) opened the scoring with a Cairo Santos field goal but McHargue hit Turner Petersen for a 19-yard score late in the first quarter. Then early in the second Davis bolted 16-yards to make it 14-3. Standout kicker Chris Boswell made it 17-3 7 seconds before halftime.
Despite holding Tulane to 123 yards of offense, a 1-14 effort on third down and holding the ball for 18 more minutes, Rice struggled to close the deal.
Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher hopes quarterback Sean Maguire is ready to go full speed by the middle of June.
Graduate transfer quarterback Davis Webb has officially joined California, giving the Golden Bears an experienced option to replace No. 1 overall NFL draft pick Jared Goff.
First-year football coach Dino Babers, hired by former Syracuse AD Mark Coyle, is on the committee that will search for Coyle's replacement.
Hugh Freeze has some major holes to fill on offense with the departures of Laremy Tunsil and Laquon Treadwell, but there is Chady Kelly and good depth.
After transferring in from Montana State, Dakota Prukop has a checklist he's working from as he prepares to compete for the Oregon job.
The destination for Week 6 of the Big 12 Ultimate Road Trip is unanimous, as all three conference reporters would head to the Red River Rivalry.