Rice and Marshall squared off for a football contest at Rice Stadium on November 2, 2019. Marshall is a university located in Huntington, West Virginia. I remember them because I used to live in NW West Virginia. Going into this game, I really thought this could be a win for Rice, but I was wrong.
I do not think that Marshall ever took their engine out of first gear. The game started out easy enough – Marshall kicks a field goal and is up by 3 points. Then, Rice rallies back with a short touchdown pass to Trammel, and suddenly, I am getting thoughts of victory. Delusions of grandeur.
At this point, you see Marshall shift into second gear – they are motivated now. Marshall springs right back with a 63 yard bomb from Green to Gaines that puts the ball on the one yard line. They score a touchdown on the next play. I suddenly felt a heaviness in the air. All the enthusiasm had gone right out of me.
The reason for my change in spirits was because I could see just how easily Marshall could make this adjustment. The pass by Green and the catch by Gaines were effortless – they can turn it off or on at will. Out of nowhere, Marshall exhibited superior speed, agility, and precision. All they had to do was just tap into it.
The next touchdown by Marshall in the first half is a replay of the first. Green passes to Keaton in the Rice endzone. Keaton slices though the secondary leaving everyone behind and Green gets him the ball with a slight flick of the wrist. It was all just so easy. It was clear that Marshall just wanted to ensure they locked up the game for themselves. They never really took the engine out of first gear.
I did get to see the Rice University Dean of Engineering at the game, Reginald DesRoches. You get to meet some interesting folks at the Rice games. The next Rice home game is against North Texas, 11/23/2019. See you there.