Second Half Opens with UTSA

Oct. 21, 2017

Rice (1-5) vs. UTSA (3-2) 6:00 p.m (central)
Stadium on Facebook / KMYS-CW 35 (CW 39 in Houston)
Sportsmap 94.1

Rice and UTSA take to the field for the sixth consecutive year on Saturday night, looking to extend a trend of tightly fought games that have come to define the meetings between the two schools.

For Rice, the game represents a chance to restart a season that began before most NFL teams began their training camps and took the Owls half a world away while Hurricane Harvey ravaged Houston. The Owls come out of their bye week with a 1-5 mark, but a 1-1 mark in C-USA action.

For UTSA (3-2/0-2), Saturday is Homecoming and a t chance to shake off the lingering aftereffects of a pair of conference losses in the game's final moments.

Fans not able to attend in person will have a unique opportunity of their own, as the game will be broadcast by two outlets, KNWS CW 35 in San Antonio (CW 39 in Houston) as well as Stadium on Facebook.

Saturday's game marks just the fifth time Rice has played a game in San Antonio in 106 seasons, with Rice first visiting in 1913 to play Trinity, but the influence of the Alamo City on the Owls is far more profound.

Generations of Rice fans have thrilled at the exploits of countless sons from region who have come to Houston to play for the Owls.

College Football Hall of Famers Tommy Kramer and Weldon Humble are two of the most honored Owls to come from the area. Four of the Owls seven career passing yardage leaders were products of Alamo City schools (Chase Clement, Kramer, Mark Commalander and Nick Fanuzzi) while another San Antonio QB product, Tobin Rote, was the only quarterback to win both NFL and AFL championships.

Jarett Dillard, the NCAA's career touchdown reception record holder (60) and his brother Darik (2013-16) who added 26 of his own to set an NCAA mark by combined touchdowns by siblings, were both San Antonio products. Ironically, Darik broke the record with a 3-yard TD during the Owt trip to town to face UTSA. Former NFL standouts ND Kalu and Darryl Grant as well as current NFLers Phillip Gaines and Andrew Sendejo came east from the San Antonio area to play for the Owls.

The current group of Rice seniors have experienced the full gamut of emotions in their careers against UTSA, winning 17-7 at Rice Stadium in 2014 to clinch a third consecutive bowl berth and then seeing that streak come to an end with a 34-24 loss to the Roadrunners in 2015 in the Alamodome.

Rice carries a 3-2 advantage in the series, including a split of four games as members of Conference USA.

The first meeting between the two came on a day when Rice celebrated its Centennial and the Owls, who entered the game with a 1-5 mark, used the 34-14 win as the springboard to a stirring second-half surge that saw them finish 5-1 in the second half to earn a berth in the Armed Forces Bowl.

In the next four meetings, each team has won once by 10 (17-7 Rice in 2014, 34-24 UTSA in 2015), Rice has won by six in 2013 and UTSA escaped with a one-point win last year (14-13).

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