(Saturday, October 18th)
Final Score: Rice 45, Southern Mississippi 40
Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Chase Clement threw for 444 yards and had six touchdown passes to lead the Rice Owls to a 45-40 victory over the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles in a Conference-USA battle at Rice Stadium.
Jarett Dillard grabbed seven passes for 141 yards and three touchdowns in the Rice (4-3, 3-1 C-USA) victory, while Toren Dixon and James Casey also pulled in seven balls for 118 and 113 yards, respectively, for the Owls. C.J. Ugokwe tallied 90 yards on the ground with just 17 carries.
Austin Davis threw for 461 yards and four touchdowns, all of which went to DeAndre Brown, who finished with 12 catches for 221 yards for Southern Mississippi (2-5, 0-3). Damion Fletcher ran for 120 yards and a score for the Golden Eagles in the losing effort.
Clement capped an eight-play, 56-yard opening drive with a 17-yard strike to Dillard to give the Owls a 7-0 lead.
The Golden Eagles responded midway through the period with a six-yard touchdown run by Tory Harrison. The extra point attempt was blocked however, and Southern Miss trailed, 7-6.
Rice took a 10-6 lead following a 36-yard field goal from Clark Fangmeier early in the second quarter.
Clement found Casey with a 26-yard toss just minutes later to extend the Rice advantage.
Davis hit Brown for an eight-yard touchdown toss in the closing seconds of the half, but a two-point conversion attempt failed and the Golden Eagles trailed Rice, 17-12, heading into the break.
Clement and Dillard connected once more early in the third period, a 51-yard completion that gave Rice a 24-12 lead.
A 28-yard strike from Clement to Dixon less than a minute later gave the Owls a 31-12 advantage.
Southern Miss got on the board again late in the frame following a three- yard run from Fletcher.
Davis and Brown hooked up once more early in the final period of play, a 16- yard connection that pulled the Golden Eagles to within five.
But the Owls responded just minutes later with a 44-yard toss from Clement to Dillard to gain a 38-26 lead.
A 26-yard touchdown pass from Clement to Casey midway through the frame extended the Rice advantage to 45-26.
Davis and Brown connected for a third time in the contest with a 42-yard completion late in the frame, as the Golden Eagles trailed, 45-33.
The Davis and Brown connection struck yet again with just 17 seconds remaining in the contest, a 17-yard completion that proved too little too late as Rice held on for the 45-40 victory.
10/18 19:50:58 ET