Rice routs Western Michigan in the 2008 Texas Bowl
The Ellis County Press
The Rice Owls faced the Western Michigan Broncos in the 2008 Texas Bowl.
Now in its third year, the Texas Bowl is held at Reliant Stadium home of the NFL’s Houston Texans.
The inaugural bowl pitted Rutgers against Kansas State with Rutgers prevailing 37-10.
Last year’s bowl featured TCU against Houston with TCU coming out victorious 20-13.
The 2008 bowl teams both had records of 9-3 on the season, with Rice going 7-1 in Conference USA play and WMU 6-2 in the Midwestern Athletic Conference.
Rice’s most recent bowl appearance was in the 2006 New Orleans Bowl where they fell 41-17 to Troy (AL).
Western Michigan also saw its last bowl appearance in 2006 at the International Bowl losing to Cincinnati 27-24.
A crowd of 58,880, the second largest behind the 62,000 plus that attended last year, was on-hand as children and their families from the DePelchin Children’s Center, the charity donation recipient, unfurled a larger than life American flag that covered 50 yards of the field during the national anthem.
Rice scored their first touchdown with 5:21 left in the first on a 26-yard quarterback keeper from Chase Clement, game MVP, and then added a late quarter 30-yard field goal to take a 10-0 lead.
In the second quarter Clement first found WR Toren Dixon for a six yard TD pass and then WR James Casey for a 45-yard TD pass to increase Rice’s lead to 24-0 after the first half.
The third quarter did not bode any better for WMU as their defense was practically nonexistent. Frustration reigned as more than one Bronco was penalized for roughing and unsportsmanlike conduct.
Rice capitalized on the penalty yards with another Clement TD pass, this time to WR Jarett Dillard for 13-yards putting Rice up 31-0.
Dillard would end the night with 60 career touchdowns.
He is now the first player in NCAA history to have two 20 touchdown seasons.
Rice’s final score came in the fourth quarter with another Clement TD.
WMU was able to muster a half-hearted comeback attempt scoring two touchdowns close together in the fourth, but that was all Rice would allow them.
With the 38-14 victory, Rice is now 5-4 in bowl play and the loss brought WMU to a record of 0-4 in bowl games.