The defenses held serve early, with back-to-back-to-back three and outs to start the game. On Rice’s second drive, Owls QB Sam Glaesmann fumbled, and the ball was recovered Dae’Von Washington for La Tech. The Dawgs would march down the field to score the game’s first points, and Tech led 7-0 after one quarter.
Following a Rice punt, Tech would march and score their second touchdown of the game, both coming from Scott. Rice would respond on their next drive, and Glaesmann would take it himself from the one yard line. A few drives later, Kam McKnight would catch a touchdown pass from J’Mar Smith. Glaesmann would then be picked off by L’Jarius Sneed to make the halftime score 21-7 Dawgs.
Things would get more interesting after halftime, as there was only one punt the entire second half. The first three drives all resulted in touchdowns, and those three drives took the entire third quarter. After a Tech punt, Rice would go for it on 4th and 12 and 51 yards later, Aaron Cephus would take Glaesmann’s pass to the house to tie the game at 28 apiece with 4:33 to play.
Tech would respond with an 11-play drive capped off by Boston Scott’s third score of the game with 1:00 to play. Three plays later, Glaesmann was picked off by Trey Spencer who took it to the house to put the Dawgs up by 14. The Owls put up a valiant effort to respond, but were intercepted yet again, this time in the end zone by Darryl Lewis with nine seconds to play, and that sealed the 42-28 win for La Tech.
Although it wasn’t pretty, La Tech needed this win after dropping their last two games. The Bulldogs climb to 4-4, 2-2. They need two more wins to be bowl eligible, and three of their remaining games are at home. J’Mar Smith had a nice bounce back game, going 21/32 for 237 yards and a touchdown. He also had eight rushes for 27 yards. He looked much more comfortable than he did a week ago, and Tech will need him to play like that to finish this season the right way. Boston Scott’s 17 carries went for 87 yards and three scores. Jarred Craft had 13 for 67 and one score. The offense looked much more balanced and capable. Not to mention, this was Tech’s second time this season scoring over 34 points.
However, Rice did well offensively, too. They racked up an astounding 247 rushing yards using jet sweeps and QB runs. Quarterback Sam Glaesmann led the team in rushing with 68 yards off 13 carries for two touchdowns. Freshman wide receiver Jordan Myers was second in rushing, with 10 carries for 47 yards. In fact, all of Rice’s running backs combined for just 17 carries. Very interesting game plan from the Owls. Glaesmann only passed 16 times, completing 7 of them for 187 yards and a touchdown, but with two picks. Jackson Tyner also attempted a pass, which was intercepted.
Rice falls to 1-7 and will not go to a bowl game yet again this year. The toughest part is how they looked like they might have a shot, but then couldn’t execute in the final four minutes. Hard to think that David Bailiff will be the Rice coach next year.
However, if their offense can run the ball this well down the stretch, it’s fair to think they might pick up another win this season, but only if they can protect the football. Hard to win with four turnovers.
As for Tech, the run defense was definitely suspect and will need to be addressed before facing some very good running backs the next two weeks. However, the offense didn’t turn the ball over a single time, and Tech led time of possession, an area where they were well behind last week. If the Bulldogs can put it all together in November, a shaky season can still have a happy ending.
Louisiana Tech returns home for their homecoming game next week, which is (yet again) against North Texas. Rice, meanwhile, will travel to Birmingham to face UAB.