TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ Benji Wood scored three touchdowns and rushed for 85 yards Saturday as Rice ran away with a 42-24 Western Athletic Conference win over Tulsa.
Michael Perry led Rice (3-2 overall, 1-1 WAC) with 95 yards rushing, and quarterback Chad Nelson added another 60 yards and a touchdown.
Tulsa (0-4, 0-1), making its season conference debut, continued to have trouble holding onto the ball. Quarterback John Fitzgerald fumbled twice and threw three interceptions, two that led to Rice touchdowns.
Charlie Higgins gained on 175 yards rushing for Tulsa and scored on two touchdowns. Fitzgerald completed 22 of 36 passes for 319 yards.
Kevin Brabham’s interception and 30-yard return midway through the first quarter helped put Wood in position for a 2-yard touchdown run.
Wood scored again early in the second quarter on a 3-yard run set up by a 70-yard scoring drive that included 38 yards rushing for Perry. Perry added 18 more yards during a third-quarter drive that Wood capped with a 1-yard touchdown run.
The Owls led 21-3 at the half.
Tulsa held Rice quarterback Chad Nelson, who had averaged 104.3 yards rushing, to just 60 yards.
But Nelson found Byron Godfrey wide open at midfield just two minutes into the second half for a 50-yard pass that Godfrey ran in for the touchdown. Nelson also scored on a 6-yard run with 9:21 to go in the game.
A punt by Tulsa’s James Anderson capped a 76-yard drive, including a 35-yard run by Higgins, to make the score 14-3 midway through the second quarter.
Higgins scored on a 1-yard run with 9:10 to go in the third quarter and again in the fourth quarter on a 7-yard run.