Aaron Cephus

Football Chuck Pool (cpool@rice.edu)

Game 11: Cajun Two-Step Opens in Ruston

Game #11
What: Rice (1-9, 0-6 C-USA) vs. LA Tech (6-3, 4-1 C-USA)
When: Saturday, November 10
Where: Ruston, Louisiana
Stadium: Joe Aillet Stadium (28,562)
Television: ESPN+ ($) Lyn Rollins (play-by-play), Doug Anderson (analyst), Madison Kaufman (sidelines)
Where to Find the Game: WatchESPN
Rice Radio: SportsMap 94.1 FM. JP Heath (play-by-play), Nate Griffin (analyst).
Audio Streaming: Stretch Internet, Rice Game Day App, TuneIn app
Live Stats: RiceOwls.com
Series Information: Tech leads 7-4

S18, 1965     W       14-0             Rice Stadium
O27, 2001     L        41-38 ot        Ruston
O5, 2002      W       37-20            Rice Stadium
N27, 2003     W       49-14            Ruston
N29, 2004     L        51-14            Reliant Stadium
S 15, 2012    L        56-37            Ruston
N 16, 2013    W       52-14            Rice Stadium
N 29, 2014    L        76-31            Ruston
O30, 2015     L        42-17            Houston
O29, 2016     L        61-16            Ruston
O28, 2017     L        42-28            Houston

Series Notes
This 12th meeting between the two schools and the sixth consecutive meeting in the series.
• LA Tech leads the series 7-4, including a 4-1 mark in Ruston. 
• The schools split two non-conference meetings as well as four matchups while in the WAC... The Bulldogs have won four of five as members of C-USA
• The series began in 1966 at Rice Stadium with a 14-0 Rice win that later became more notable as the college debut of Phil Robertson of  "Duck Dynasty" fame.  
• Rice won the first three at Rice Stadium before the Bulldogs snapped that streak with a 42-17 win.
• The two schools also played once at Reliant (now NRG) Stadium, with LA Tech winning 51-14 in 2004. 
 • LA Tech's Skip Holtz will be facing Rice for the 8th time, the most of any C-USA coach.  He was 1-1 in two games with East Carolina (2006, 2009) and is 4-1 with the Bulldogs.
Reliable Target
Austin Trammel has caught 18 passes for 206 yards and two touchdowns in the last two games to vault into the Owls' season top ten. He has 55 receptions this season and has moved into a tie with David Houser (1977) and Jordan Taylor (2013) for ninth on the Rice single-season list... Taylor (2012) and Doug Cunningham (1976) are tied for seventh with 57 and James Sykes (1976) is sixth with 76. He caught eight for 112 yards and two touchdowns vs. UTEP, reaching the century mark for the first time. His yardage total was the most by a Rice receiver since 2016.
Reliable Targets
In addition to Austin Trammell's 55 receptions, Austin Walter (35) and Aaron Cephus (33) have also reached career-highs this season and give the Owls their first trio of receivers with more than 30 catches since 2016. The last time the Owls had three receivers with more than 40 receptions was 2008 when James Casey set a school record with 111, followed by Jarett Dillard (87) and Toren Dixon (50). Walter has 396 receiving yards this year and needs four to join Trammell (590) and Cephus (484) give the Owls three receivers with at least 400 yards since 2012 (Jordan Tayor, 824; Sam McGuffie 603; Vance McDonald 458).
Reliable Target
Austin Trammel reached career-highs at North Texas with 10 receptions for 94 yards.  He leads the Owls with 47 receptions and 478 yards.  He is tied for 8th in C-USA with 5.7 receptions per game.  Trammell's 47 receptions are the most by an Owl since current Denver Bronco Jordan Taylor had 54 in 2014 and are eight away from tying David Houser (1977) and Taylor (2013) for 9th on the Rice single season list. 
Seven teams on Rice's 2018 schedule have already reached bowl eligibility (FIU, Hawai'i, Houston, LA Tech, LSU, North Texas and UAB) while Wake Forest moved to within one game with a win at North Carolina State on Thursday and Southern Miss is two wins away.
Two More for the Road
Today's game is the first of two straight in Louisiana for the Owls. After facing the Bulldogs today, Rice will make the trek east on I-10 next week to take on LSU at 6:30 on November 17.  The season wraps up at Rice Stadium on November 24 when Rice hosts Old Dominion.     
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