POW!!! That is about the only way to describe the game at Rice Stadium on Saturday, September 25. Rice University lined up against Texas Southern University, which is the last non conference game for the Owls this season and the first time Rice has played TSU. The Owls have lost all their preconference games: Arkansas, Houston, and Texas. To be honest, Rice got smashed in these games.
On Saturday, however, Rice started a new chapter. The photo at the very top of this article pretty much says it all. POW!!! It looked like the Owls had all kinds of pent up energy to unleash after 3 humiliating defeats. TSU won the toss and chose to kick; Rice got the ball. Then, POW!!!, Constantine threw a 73 yard pass to Patterson for a Hooter touchdown on the very first play.
The rest of the game pretty much went the same way: hard hitting and competitive. Although TSU rallied, Rice kept a consistent lead in the game. Note TSU has a fine team as well.
I do not think that I have ever seen Rice look so good and I have been watching Rice football for decades. It was not business as usual. You know, a replay film of the Rice Keystone Cops. Rather, this team showed some real precision and execution. No fumbler bumblers, nor Wrong Way Marshalls. In a nutshell, the game was fun to watch.
Some may want to say that the game on Saturday was a fluke. I disagree. Sure Texas scored 58 points on Rice. But also consider, that on the same Saturday that Rice played TSU, Texas scored 70 points on Texas Tech. It is hard to believe that Texas is not ranked in the top 10. What I am trying to say is that this season still has a lot of shaking out to do. The season may have started out slow for Rice, but it may end very differently. Stay tuned.