Rice 42, Tulsa 14
HOUSTON (AP) _ Chad Nelson overcame a sprained left ankle with touchdown runs of 10 and six yards as the Rice Owls beat the Tulsa Golden Hurricane 42-14 Saturday, winning their seventh game for the first time in 35 years.
Rice (7-4, 6-2 in Western Athletic Conference) last had seven victories when they finished 7-4 and then loss to Kansas in the Bluebonnet Bowl in 1961. Tulsa finished 4-7 and 2-6.
Nelson played in only one play of last week’s game but he was ready for the Gold Hurricane. He rushed 128 yards on 16 carries and had a 52-yard touchdown called back by a holding penalty.
The Owls went straight to their running game to build a 21-0 lead in the second quarter on touchdowns of four yards by Benji Woods and 49 yards by Jamey Whitlock in the first quarter and 10 yards by Nelson with 8:43 to go in the first half.
James Anderson kicked field goals of 26 and 37 yards for the Golden Hurricane in the second quarter and Troy DeGar hit Wes Caswell with a 14-yard touchdown pass with 4:40 left in the game.
The Owls rushed over 400 yards for the fifth time this season.
Nelson’s six-yard run put the Owls ahead 28-6 in the third quarter and reserves put the game away in the fourth quarter on touchdown runs of two yards by Rodd Newhouse and one yard by Mike Gingrich.
Cornerback LaDouphyous McCalla gave the Owls their first break when he recovered a fumble by Tulsa tight end Tony Fisher, who caught a 20-yard pass to the Rice 40 where he fumbled and McCalla recovered.
Chad Richardson completed a 34-yard pass to Whitlock on the first play, setting up Woods’ touchdown with 10:10 to go in the first quarter. Whitlock broke 49 yards for his touchdown on the first play after a Tulsa punt.