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November 4, 2012
Owls Escape Green Wave Surge 49-47
Taylor Cook recovered a Tulane on-sides kick to help the Owls hold off the surging Green Wave, and escape with a 49-47 C-USA road victory.Big plays by the Tulane Offense almost flooded Rice's slim bowl hopes Saturday. But Tight End
In the first half the Owls looked like they'd run away with the game, posting a 28-7 lead at one point, nearly extending that to 35-7 before fumbling on the Tulane 2 yard line. That fumble seemed to wake Tulane up - as momentum shifted, their Offense kicked into high gear behind Quarterback Ryan Griffin in what would be a record setting performance in defeat.
Griffin threw for 341 yards and 3 touchdowns in the second half, rallying Tulane to a 38-35 at the end of the 3rd quarter after trailing 28-10 at the half.
The game was full of big plays by both teams. Gabe Baker returned an interception 55 yards for a touchdown - but Tulane's Ryan Travis also returned a tipped Taylor McHargue pass 73 yards for a score.
In the end, Rice made just enough plays to pull it out though. None was bigger than Owl CB Phillip Gaines' pass break-up of a 2-point conversion attempt that would have tied the game.
With the victory the Owls keep on a path that must see them win out to qualify for bowl eligibility.
- Rice allowed Tulane ZERO yards rushing; unfortunately they allowed 476 yards passing. That yardage total by Ryan Griffin set a school record.
- Phillip Gaines is tied for 2nd nationally in pass break-ups. By rule, his PBU of the Tulane 2-pt conversion did not count as an official defended pass (un-timed play).
- Freshman Running Back Luke Turner scored his first touchdown as an Owl early in the 4th quarter. He added another later in what turned out to be the game winner.
- The Owls were plagued by penalties against Tulane, they were flagged 9 times for 100 yards. They were costly: Julius White had an interception nullified by a roughing the passer penalty; Charles Ross had a 36 yard touchdown run called back by a holding penalty; Taylor McHargue also had a 36 yard touchdown called back for holding; clinging to an 8 point lead the Owls appeared to have held Tulane on a 4th and 9 play - but Gabe Baker was flagged for pass interference to extend the drive.
- An Achilles heel for them all year, Rice was also victimized by big plays. In the 3rd quarter Tulane scored on three drives of only 4, 4, and 5 plays.
- Defensive End Cody Bauer intercepted a Ryan Griffin pass on the first play of the 3rd quarter. In a nifty move he batted the ball up then deftly came down with the pick.
- Rice Defensive Tackle Hosam Shahin posted a huge sack in the 4th quarter. The play stalled a Green Wave drive, forcing a field goal. He also had 2 quarterback "hurries". Shahin leads the team with 5 sacks. He also leads all Owl DL with 39 tackles.
- Rice turned the ball over twice - each of which had touchdown consequences. Fortunately, Tulane turned the ball over 5 times.
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