|Date of game: 11/1/2014
Recap: FIU vs. Rice
Miami, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Driphus Jackson threw for two touchdowns and ran for a team-high 66 yards, as the Rice Owls continued their winning ways with a 31-17 victory over FIU in Conference USA play at FIU Stadium.
The win was the fifth in a row for the Owls (5-3, 3-1 C-USA) after the defending conference champs started the year 0-3. Jackson completed 11-of-24 passes for 230 yards and averaged 7.3 yards on his nine carries. Owls defensive end Zach Patt was a menace on the other side of the ball, as he finished with five sacks and three forced fumbles.
Alex McGough completed only 8-of-19 passes for 132 yards and a touchdown for the Panthers (3-6, 2-3), who have dropped three straight. McGough was sacked four times.
Patt came up with a sack, forced fumble and recovery on the game's third play from scrimmage. Jowan Davis capitalized with a 19-yard touchdown scamper on Rice's first offensive snap.
Following a 40-yard field goal by Owls kicker James Farrimond midway through the opening frame, Rice extended its lead to 17-0 on a 63-yard scoring strike from Jackson to Jordan Taylor at the 4:12 mark of the first quarter.
FIU answered with a 52-yard touchdown pass from McGough to Glenn Coleman on the ensuing series.
The Panthers trimmed the margin to 17-14 on an 11-yard touchdown run by Napolean Maxwell at the 10:01 mark of the second quarter, which capped a seven-play, 73-yard drive.
Rice pushed its lead back to 10 on another long touchdown pass by Jackson just over a minute later, this one from 69 yards out to James Mayden.
FIU responded with a 16-play drive that chewed 7:30 off the clock but had to settle for a 22-yard field goal by Austin Taylor, as the Panthers went into the locker room trailing, 24-17 at intermission.
After a scoreless third quarter, Rice made it a 31-17 game on Luke Turner's one-yard touchdown plunge with 11:25 to play in regulation. The Owls defense held strong the rest of the way, forcing two straight three-and-outs and then recovering a fumble to seal the outcome.
This was the first-ever meeting between these two programs. FIU is in it second year in C-USA after moving over from the Sun Belt prior to last season.Game Notes