HOUSTON (Nov. 16, 2013) – Louisiana Tech struggled to stop a Rice running game that accumulated 415 yards and six touchdowns as the Bulldogs fell to the Owls, 52-14, Saturday night at Rice Stadium in Houston.
Ross posted 215 rushing yards and five touchdowns in the dominating performance that Louisiana Tech (4-6, 3-3 Conference USA) struggled to stop.
Sterling Griffin recorded 80 yards receiving on two catches – including a career-long 74-yard touchdown reception from Ryan Higgins in the third quarter – to lead LA Tech’s offense. Higgins was 9-for-15 for 138 yards with a touchdown. Scotty Young, who played the majority of the first half, was 6-for-15 for 43 yards and an interception.
Thomas McDonald led the Bulldog defense with 10 total tackles and two pass break-ups.
Tevin King led the ground game with 43 yards rushing on 13 attempts. Kenneth Dixon ran for 12 yards on two carries in the first quarter before leaving the game with a knee injury.
Rice drove down on its first drive as Taylor McHargue connected with Dennis Parks on a 41-yard touchdown pass to give the Owls a 7-0 lead.
LA Tech was in position to even the score after a 26-yard run by Paul Harris put the Bulldogs at the five-yard line, but the quarterback fumbled on the ensuing play giving the ball back to Rice.
The Owls capitalized on the turnover, upping the lead to 14-0 on a Charles Ross 2-yard run for a touchdown. That capped off a wild series where, earlier in the drive on a single play, McHargue fumbled with Daniel Cobb recovering before he fumbled on the return and Rice regained possession.
Early in the second quarter the Owls had a chance to score another touchdown but Thomas McDonald made a crushing hit at the one-yard line to break up a pass and save the touchdown. However, Chris Boswell would connect on a 30-yard field goal to give Rice the 17-0 lead.
Ross was unstoppable again with 1:54 remaining in the half as McHargue pitched him the ball and he ran it into the end zone for a five-yard score to extend the Owl lead to 24-0. He would add another touchdown at the 7:45 mark in the third quarter on a two-yard run as Rice upped its lead to 31-0.
Late in the third quarter Ryan Higgins would connect to Sterling Griffin on a 74-yard touchdown pass to put the Bulldogs on the board and cutting Rice’s lead to 31-7.
Rice would answer with a 17-play, 93-yard drive lasting 6:32 that would be capped off by a Ross 1-yard touchdown run giving the Owls the 38-7 advantage with 14:55 remaining in the game.
Ross would notch his fifth touchdown of the night with a 19-yard run just three minutes later upping the Owl lead to 45-7.
Luke Turner would add the final Rice score with 3:59 remaining on a 1-yard run.
Marlon Seets would score the final touchdown for the Bulldogs with a 9-yard run with under two minutes to go.
Louisiana Tech hosts Tulsa next Saturday, Nov. 23 at 6 p.m. at Joe Aillet Stadium.
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