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Louisiana Tech Handles Business, Downs Rice 28-13

Rice made it tough early, but Tech was just too much for the Owls in the long run.

Louisiana Tech v Florida Atlantic Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The Louisiana Tech Bulldogs had to sweat a little for a half, but they were able to take care of the Rice Owls on military appreciation night.

It was an ugly first half, and the game was scoreless after the first quarter. After the two teams combined for three straight turnovers, Rice struck first with a field goal. Tech took the lead on a late touchdown from Jaqwis Dancy, and Rice missed a field goal at the halftime horn.

NCAA Football: Rice at Southern Mississippi
Shawn Stankavage
Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Rice would retake the lead on the opening drive of the second half as Shawn Stankavage hit Austin Walter for a 68-yard score. After the teams traded punts, the Bulldogs took over.

La Tech’s next three drives would go for touchdowns. Dancy would record two more scores to complete the hat trick, and J’Mar Smith would get on the board with a simple shovel pass to Alfred Smith.

Rice would get a field goal in the middle of this, but nothing more. After the Smith to Smith touchdown pass from the Dawgs, the teams would trade three straight picks before Tech took a knee to end it.

It wasn’t exactly a pretty performance from Louisiana Tech, but it got the job done. Tech still has a shot to win C-USA West if UAB can lose their final two conference games.

J’Mar Smith threw for 314 yards and a touchdown, but he had two picks. Adrian Hardy had a huge game, making 10 grabs for 160 yards. Jaqwis Dancy had just 15 carries, but he found the end zone three times.

Shawn Stankavage for Rice threw for 216 yards and a touchdown, but his three interceptions killed any chance the Owls may have had.

NCAA Football: Louisiana Tech at Mississippi State
Adrian Hardy (6) and J’Mar Smith (8)
Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

Prudy Calderon of Rice and Collin Scott of Louisiana Tech both had a pair of interceptions in this game, which was not a passing clinic by any definition. Tech’s L’Jarius Sneed had the other pick.

A big part of this game was Tech’s third down defense. The Owls only converted three of 15 third downs, while Tech converted seven of 15. Both teams were perfect on fourth down, however. Rice converted once, Tech, twice.

Rice falls to 1-10, 0-7. They showed some fight, but they still have a lot of work to do. Louisiana Tech, meanwhile, is now 7-3, 5-1. Like this game, the wins haven’t been pretty, but they all count the same.

Rice has a date with LSU next week, then they finish at home against an Old Dominion team that is hard to predict. The Bulldogs, meanwhile, hit the road for a big rivalry showdown with Southern Miss before returning home to face Western Kentucky.