Owls outlast Eagles in a 45-40 shootout

By Yolande Lezine
Updated: October 22, 2008

Rice Owls HOUSTON — It was heart-stopping, breath-taking, and mind-boggling, but in the end the Rice Owls held on to defeat a stubborn Southern Mississippi team with a 45-40 victory at Rice Stadium.

The Owls, 4-3 (3-1 in Conference USA), posted 586 yards of the 1,159 total yards that the two teams produced in the game.

“I’m going to have to talk to our athletic director about hanging a sign at the game that says if you have an irregular heartbeat, a pacemaker or are pregnant, you may not want to attend these football games,” Rice head coach Dave Baliff said jokingly.

Rice, who took a 17-12 lead at halftime started to have everything go wrong for them in the game. After holding its own on third down, the Owls defense started to break after the half.

Southern Miss freshman receiver DeAndre Brown got loose for 12 catches for 221 yards and a school-record four touchdowns.

However, the trio of Chase Clement, Jarrett Dillard, and James Casey countered along with receiver Toren Dixon as they combined for 372 receiving yards and five touchdowns in the game.

Clement completed 30-of43- passes for 444 yards and six touchdowns. Dixon, was the unsung hero of this game as his seven receptions moved the chains and his 28-yard touchdown in the third quarter helped to give the Owls just enough margin to hold on to a win.

With the loss, the Eagles fall to 2-5 (0-3).

Saturday, The Owls will face the Tulane Green Wave at 2 p.m. at Rice Stadium.