Late kickoffs, bad weather, turf monsters, injuries, and all else aside, we took on a fundamentally sound defending conference champion and beat them by four touchdowns. The disappointment we feel speaks to the level of expectations we've arrived at this season. Here's a look at some of the numbers from the game:
0. Turnovers forced. And with Kyle Allen's pick late in the game this marks the second week in a row that we've lost the turnover battle. The missing defenders showed, and the unit as a whole seemed just a half-step slower and they didn't have the same aggressiveness they've had in the first two games. We'll need to force turnovers in the SEC, so hopefully next week we'll see some.
1/1. Field goals. Lambo connected on a career-long 47-yarder, and it was a nice-looking kick. It's very reassuring knowing we've got a dependable weapon in the kicking game. We will need him in SEC play as well.
2. Carries by Trey Williams. All three running backs had been getting a fairly equal distribution of carries thus far, but Carson seemed to shoulder the load in this game.
3. Hill bills. Kenny finished with 300 passing yards on the nose and threw in 38 rushing yards just to keep it interesting.
4. Kaser punts, for a 43-yard average. Drew more than doubled his season punt total in this game, even if his average dipped a little.
55. Rushing attempts by Rice. We had 59 offensive plays total to Rice's 91.
6. Receivers with a catch. That's about half of what Hill has been averaging.
7. Catches for Malcome Kennedy. Mr. Dependable has 24 grabs on the season and is averaging nearly 90 yards per game.
8. Penalties on Rice, for 66 yards. Somehow, they had more than we did (we had 6 for 60). It seemed like we had twice as many as the Owls.
9. RSJ added another TD reception, but he also blocked the field goal that led to that bizarre penalty at the end of the first half.
10. Third down conversions by Rice, on 21 attempts. That old sense of helplessness about not being able to get off the field on defense started creeping back in at times last night.
14. Tackles by Howard Matthews. I know we pick on him about the wheel route, but Howard is an outstanding strong safety in the box on run support.
15. MYLES GARRETT. He gets his own entry here for 8 tackles, 3.5 TFL, and 2.5 sacks. Pretty nice little Saturday.
23. ARMANI WATTS. Even though it was negated by a DUMBASS PENALTY, #23 electrified a stagnating environment by picking up that blocked field goal and weaving through the befuddled Rice (and A&M) players all the way to the end zone. More of this, please.
43:14: Time of possession for Rice. Fran would be proud of fellow former SWT coach David Bailiff.
481. Total yards for Rice. We had 477.
Six days until we play SMU, y'all.