College Football Week 14 News: Rice’s defensive effort stymies 15th-ranked Marshall in 20-0 domination

Rice’s defense intercepted five Grant Wells passes and held Marshall’s high-scoring offense to just 245 yards of offense as the Owls earned its first victory over a ranked opponent since 1997, shutting out the 15th-ranked Thundering Herd, 20-0.

After the teams traded possessions to start the game, Treshawn Chamberlain picked up Rice’s first interception of the game, returning it across midfield. Rice then went 47 yards in 10 plays, capped off by Jordan Myers’ one-yard touchdown run to get on the board. Rice forced a punt, and the Owls again used a 10-play drive, this time for 66 yards, resulting in a Collin Riccitelli 39-yard field goal. Six plays later, Josh Pearcy earned his first career interception and Rice went into the half with a 10-0 lead.

The teams traded punts to start the second half. After Jake Bailey returned the ensuing punt to the Marshall 27, the Thundering Herd defense held Rice to a 40-yard field goal, increasing its lead to 13-0. Three plays later, the Owl defense struck again, as Naeem Smith picked off his third career pass and returned it 36 yards for a touchdown and a 20-0 Rice lead. But the defense wasn’t done. On the next two possessions, Rice picked off two more passes, first by Blaze Alldredge (second career) and then Andrew Bird (third career) to finish off three interceptions on three straight possessions. From there, Rice held Marshall to just two more possessions, keeping it off the board for its first shutout since 1995 and its first against a conference opponent since 1973.

Postgame Notes
Team

  • This was the eighth meeting between Rice and Marshall. Rice improved to 3-5 all-time against the Thundering Herd and 1-3 in Huntington.
  • The victory was the first by a Texas school at Marshall in 14 tries.
  • Rice defeated a ranked opponent for the first time since a 27-14 win over No. 21 BYU on Nov. 11, 1997 (30 games).
  • Rice defeated a ranked opponent on the road for the first time since a 20-7 win at No. 8 Baylor on Oct. 12, 1991 (32 games).
  • Rice shut out a ranked opponent for the first time since a 7-0 victory over No. 16 Texas on Oct. 22, 1960.
  • Rice shut out a ranked opponent on the road for the first time since defeating No. 18 Florida, 10-0, on Oct. 8, 1960.
  • Rice handed Marshall it’s first-ever shutout at Joan C. Edwards Stadium.
  • Rice earned its first shutout since defeating UNLV, 38-0, on Sept. 2, 1995.
  • Rice shut out a conference opponent for the first time since a 27-0 win against Baylor on Dec. 1, 1973.
  • Rice held Marshall to just 245 yards, more than 200 yards below its average.
  • Marshall won the toss and elected to receive.
  • Rice has scored first in each of its last seven games dating back to last season.
  • Rice has not allowed its opponent to score on its first possession in its last 13 games.
  • Rice has shutout its opponents in the first quarter in all four games this year.
  • Rice’s five interceptions were the most since recording five against Hawaii on Oct. 21, 2000.

Individual

  • RB Ari Broussard led Rice with career-highs of 19 rushes for 62 yards.
  • RB Khalan Griffin rushed 17 times for 56 yards.
  • QB JoVoni Johnson made his first start of the year, finishing 10-of-14 for 86 yards.
  • Jordan Myers scored on a one-yard touchdown in the first quarter. It was his second rushing touchdown of the year and first since 2017.
  • LB Treshawn Chamberlain recorded his first interception of the season and third of his career.
  • LB Blaze Alldredge recorded 10 tackles. It was his third double-digit tackle game this season and the eighth of his career.
  • Alldredge recorded a half tackle for loss. He now has 28 tackles for loss in his career, tying Rashad Reynolds (1995-98) for 10th-place on Rice’s all-time list.
  • Alldredge also recorded an interception in the third quarter. It was the second interception of his career.
  • Collin Riccitelli connected on field goals of 39 and 40 yards. He has six field goals this year and seven in his career.
  • Chamberlain and DT De’Braylon Carroll combined for a sack in the second quarter.
  • Carroll had a career-high 1.5 sacks. He has 5.5 sacks in his career.
  • DE Josh Pearcy recorded his first career interception in the second quarter.
  • Naeem Smith returned an interception 36 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter.
  • It was Smith’s third interception of his career.
  • It was also the first interception returned for a touchdown since Brandon Douglas-Dotson returned an INT 75 yards against North Texas on Nov. 25, 2017.
  • CB Andrew Bird recorded his first interception of the season in the third quarter and second of his career.
  • LB Garrett Grammer’s seven tackles are a career-high.

GAME RECAP COURTESY RICE ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS

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