After debuting conference play on the road in Week 4, the Rice Owls host their first-ever AAC matchup this weekend when East Carolina strolls into town.
When the Owls take the field at Rice Stadium, they’ll be donning a look with historical significance to the venue. Rice unveiled its alternate uniforms for Saturday’s matchup, consisting of silver helmets, white pants, and most notably highlighted by the “Luv Ya Blue” jerseys made famous by the Houston Oilers. The Oilers played at Rice Stadium from 1965-67 and won the 1967 AFL East division title.
Several Pro Football Hall of Famers, including George Blanda, Ken Houston, and John Henry Johnson, suited up for the Oilers during their brief residence at Rice Stadium, before the franchise relocated to the Astrodome for the 1968 season.
“We look forward to bringing this game and this team into Historic Rice Stadium this Saturday and playing what’s going to be a great college football game,” Rice head coach Mike Bloomgren said. “We’ll be wearing special jerseys to pay homage to our NFL ties in this town. I think it will be really exciting for our players and staff in addition to having this great AAC game Saturday.”
To usher in the excitement surrounding the uniforms, Rice released a hype video narrated by Houston-based rapper Scarface, and this Saturday’s look is depicted toward the end:
Here are several screen grabs from the video featuring still close-ups of Rice’s Oilers-inspired uniforms:
Rice is the second college football team from the city of Houston to unveil “Luv Ya Blue” uniforms this season. The Houston Cougars also wore uniforms inspired by the Oilers’ look in their Week 1 non-conference victory against UTSA.
One-time alternate uniforms are becoming a fixture for the Owls, which wore special “Artemis 1” space-themed uniforms last September to pay homage to Houston’s ties to the space program and John F. Kennedy’s “We choose to go to the moon speech,” which took place at Rice Stadium in 1962.
“This is another Houston tribute, and it’s one just like last time that has close ties to Rice University and Historic Rice Stadium,” Bloomgren said of the powder blue alternates.