Lots of Lott expected at Tulsa-Rice game

Friday, November 7th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ Rice halfback Thomas Lott not only has a key role in a big victory to propel him against Tulsa on Saturday. He's got genes Oklahomans haven't forgotten.

Lott's father, Thomas Lott Sr., gained notoriety at Oklahoma for the red bandanna he wore under his helmet and the run-and-pitch quarterbacking that helped the Sooners lead the nation in rushing yards and scoring in 1978.

The younger Lott is a different player than his father ``but they both have great speed and they both have good football instincts,'' Rice coach Ken Hatfield said. ``They are both winners.''

Lott doesn't wear a bandanna, but he ran for 128 yards last Saturday, averaging 10 yards a carry in the Owls' 52-42 victory over Nevada.

Like his father, Lott used to be an option quarterback. Rice recruited him as a quarterback but decided to move him into the lineup quicker as a halfback.

He's had double-digit carries in two games and run for more than 100 yards on both occasions.

Lott said he used to watch highlight tapes of his dad to get fired up for games. He said he has been compared with his father ever since he was a child.

``I try to honor both my parents by going out there and playing my best and trying to show the world the talent they gave me,'' Lott said.

The elder Lott ran for nearly 2,000 yards in two-and-a-half years as a starter at Oklahoma.

Lott Sr. would like to see his son rewarded with more carries. The sophomore, however, has been hampered in learning to block. He also missed a game because of a staph infection.

``Right now he is not close to being where he can ultimately be if he gets enough carries to get in the flow of the game,'' the elder Lott said.

Eight Rice players have rushed for more than 100 yards against Tulsa since 1996. The Owls (2-6, 2-2 Western Athletic Conference) rank fourth nationally in rushing but last in passing.

The Golden Hurricane (5-4, 3-2 WAC) will play without running back Uril Parrish, who was Tulsa's leading rusher before a knee injury ended his season last week against Texas-El Paso.