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September 8, 2012The Rice Owls walked in their sleep, stubbed their toes, stumbled around, and generally ignored all attempts by Kansas to give them a victory as the two teams played today in Lawrence, Kansas.
That is until the 4th quarter arrived and the Owls awoke as if suddenly they heard an alarm going off in their heads - wake up, you can win...wake up, you CAN WIN...WAKE UP, YOU CAN WIN!!!
And awaken they did, scoring 12 unanswered points in the 4th quarter, capped off by junior kicker Chris Boswell.
With 5 seconds left, and after Kansas tried to "ice" him with a time-out, Boswell calmly nailed a game winning 45 yard field goal as time ran out. The Owls won 25-24, Rice coaches and players swarming the field in celebration as they had just beaten a Big 12 opponent for the first time since that league formed.
Boswell accounted for 14 of the Owls points; making 4-of-4 on field goals (47, 29, 29, 45), and two extra points. He's now tied with James Hamrick for the most career field goals in the Owl record books.
Though Boswell's effort was no doubt heroic, it was just the last in a series of heroic plays the Owls made late in the 4th quarter.
Junior QB Taylor McHargue led the way, shaking off an up and down day to make several HUGE plays as led the Owls' rally to overcome an 8 point 4th quarter deficit.
These were highlights, we'll expand more on each:
- The running of Charles Ross and Turner Petersen. Each got stronger as the game went on...
- The Rice Defense led by Defensive Coordinator Chris Thurmond. They struggled all day to stop the one-two punch of Kansas Running Backs Tony Pierson and Taylor Cox. Late in the game however the Owls shut down the pair - allowing them only 4 yards rushing on 4 attempts over the Jayhawks' final two drives, twice stopping them for losses...
- Vance McDonald had 2 big 4th quarter receptions. He made a huge 38 yard catch and run on the Owls touchdown drive. Then converted a crucial 4th down conversion with a sure catch and shifty move to keep Rice's chances alive as they tried to get into field goal range. Taylor McHargue made a fantastic read and throw off his back foot to get him the ball on that play. McDonald caught the ball near the sideline and with the footwork of a running back got the 4 yards needed to keep the chains moving...
- Jordan Taylor made some big catches as he led the team in receiving. None was bigger than the 29 yard grab he made on the Owls 4th quarter TD drive. McHargue delivered the ball between two KU defenders, Taylor used his 6-5 frame and leaping ability to make a beautiful adjustment for the catch - setting up Rice at the 2 yard line...
- Bryce Callahan made his second interception of the day at the Rice 47 yard line with just under four minutes to play. That set the Owls up for their final drive into Kansas territory, where Boswell nailed the game winner...
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