A Blog devoted to all things SWC, the greatest college athletic conference. Updated weekly with the SWC Game of the Week during football season. Other relevant SWC News will appear from time to time as well.

Friday, September 14, 2007

SWC Game of the Week: Texas Tech at Rice

Every team gets a chance to be featured and this week it’s Rice. If you have never been to Rice Stadium you should go. It is a classic old time stadium and a great place to watch football. It doesn’t have the luxury suites and other modern amenities, just a football game. The men’s rooms are old time trough style as well. Rice is actually coming off a season that saw them play in a bowl, before their first year coach bolted for Tulsa. He is dead to us SWC fans, so his name will not be mentioned. There is history in Rice football, just none of it in our lifetime. Still, they are in a conference now that they should compete in, and it would be nice to see the Owls get something going. Texas Tech, a SWC newcomer (only Houston joined later) and they still seem to be searching for respect from the big boys. This is a nice trip for their Houston alums as well.

THIS WEEK’S GAME:

This week’s game is Texas Tech at Rice. Tech leads the all time series 25-20-1, although the last game was in 1995, a 31-26 Tech win in Lubbock. Rice has won the last 3 meetings at Rice Stadium however. Rice is coming off two losses to open the season, one surprising (Nicholas State at home) and one not so surprising (Baylor in Waco). Both Rice and Texas Tech run the spread offense, an offense suited to compete with lesser athletes. Accuracy is a key to quarterbacking this system, not arm strength. Rice’s version is headed by junior signal caller Chase Clement. Clement will try to get the ball in the hands of All American receiver Jarett Dillard. Dillard’s consecutive games with a touchdown streak ended at 15 against Nicholas State as he failed to score. This streak is the second longest in NCAA history, trailing only Larry Fitzgerald’s streak of 18 from 2002-2003. If the game gets ugly, Rice could sub in John Shepard at QB who looked good against Baylor at the end of the game, going 3 for 4 for 32 yards and rushing 5 times for 7 yards. Rice’s first year head coach David Baliff has installed the 4-2-5 defense he used while defensive coordinator at TCU. All-Conference USA linebacker Brian Raines leads the defense and has 2.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage so far this year. True freshman Scott Solomon leads the team with 3 solo stops behind the line from his defensive end position. Texas Tech for the first time in Mike Leach’s tenure returns a starting quarterback, junior Graham Harrell. Harrell threw for 38 touchdowns last year and has started this year with 8 TD passes in 2 games. He is completing 74% of his passes and thrown for 903 yards already. Tech will have to replace some key figures on defense from last season and need some players to step up. The secondary should be a strength and the Red Raiders hope to improve upon the 86th ranked rush defense from last year. Senior starters at linebacker, Kellen Tillman, Paul Williams and Chad Hill will be charged with stopping the run and Williams leads the team with 14 tackles. But with Tech, it’s always been about stopping the offense.

COTTON BOWL MEMORIES:

The 1954 Cotton Bowl featured SWC Co-Champ Rice (8-2) vs. the Crimson Tide from Alabama. This game will forever be remembered for Rice tailback Dicky Maegle being tackled by Tommy Lewis. The only problem, Lewis was not in the game at the time, coming off the bench as Maegle ran by. Maegle would be awarded a touchdown, given the last 40 yards on a 95 yard rush. Maegle would total 265 rushing yards (a Cotton Bowl Record to this day) and two other touchdown runs of 79 and 34 yards. All of this was accomplished on 11 carries, for an average of 24.1 yards per carry. That’s a pretty good day. The #6 (yes, #6) Rice Owls would dominate Alabama and win the New Year’s Day Classic 28-7. Rice coach Jess Neely used 13 different men to rush the football that day, averaging 7 yards a carry. Alabama QB Bart Starr could never get the Tide rollin’. Rice played in the Cotton Bowl game after tying Texas by means of their 18-13 victory over the Horns in Austin. The only Rice defeats that year were to SMU and a Kentucky squad coached by Bear Bryant (his last year at Kentucky before joining the SWC fun at Texas A&M.) Maegle overshadowed his All American teammates, fullback Kosse Johnson and tackle John Hudson. This was Rice’s fourth post season win in as many tries. Maybe that’s why they have such a big stadium.

OTHER GAMES THIS WEEK:

Arkansas at Alabama (Aggies ask, “Can Fran go back to ‘Bama?”)

Texas State at Baylor (Texas State lost a Southwest didn’t they?)

Houston at Tulane (Winner gets to spend the night at the Astrodome)

SMU at Arkansas State (Ponies try to build on victory over Big Green Machine)

Texas at UCF (Why does Texas have to travel for this game? Oh yeah, recruits, the Florida guys are all going to play for Texas next year)

La Monroe vs Texas A&M (A&M, inspired by the SWC Game of the Week, has decided to not throw a pass the rest of the season)

TCU at Air Force (TCU tries to recover from the lose to Texas)

RESULTS FROM LAST WEEK:

SWC Game of the Week, Week 2:

Texas 34 TCU 13 (Hey, TCU had them down 10 – 0 at the half, then the Show Band intimidated them)

Other Games:

Baylor 42 Rice 17 (Bears look good against Rice)

SMU 45 North Texas 31 ((SMU, Kings of Big D)

Texas A&M 47 Fresno State 45 (This newsboy and MOA friends attended this match, it was ugly. I sweated a Drew Bear)

Texas Tech 45 UTEP 31 (Out in the West Texas Town of El Paso…)

STANDINGS:


Conference:

Overall:


W

L

W

L

Texas

1

0

2

0

Texas Tech

1

0

2

0

Texas A&M

0

0

2

0

Arkansas:

0

0

1

0

TCU

1

1

1

1

Baylor

1

1

1

1

SMU

0

1

1

1

Houston

0

0

0

1

Rice

0

1

0

2

FINAL WORD:

That’s a wrap for this week. Please feel free to forward to your friends, send me emails of those that should be included that aren’t, and submit your additions to the weekly newsletters (favorite SWC memories, player bio’s, funny old SWC stories, mascot hijinks, etc.) If you are receiving this note and you don’t want to, shame on you, but let me know, I’ll take you off the list.

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1 comment:

Bubba's Sis said...

I would love to see Rice win - I hate TT.