Rice 59, Tulsa 32

Saturday, November 10th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

HOUSTON (AP) _ The Rice Owls put on their best offensive performance ever Saturday, relying on some big passing plays to get out to an early lead en route to a 59-32 win over Tulsa.

``Our offense was executing well and we had a good game plan,'' said quarterback Kyle Herm. ``Everything was going the way we wanted it to.''

Herm passed for two touchdowns and rushed for another. He was 4-of-6 for 129 yards and ran for 75 yards on eight carries before leaving the game midway through the third quarter.

The Owls racked up a school record 653 yards in total offense. Eight players scored touchdowns for Rice (7-3, 4-2 Western Athletic Conference), which scored its most points ever in a conference game.

``It was a long game, maybe the longest I've been a part of. I thought our passing game got us going with some big plays early in the game,'' said Rice coach Ken Hatfield.

``We jumped out and played real well early, then they came back and their quarterback gave us some problems,'' Hatfield said. ``There were a lot more big plays in this game than we've had in a long time.''

Vincent Hawkins led the Rice rushing attack with 115 yards on eight carries.

``It starts with the offensive line and ours was tremendous today. We were explosive because of them,'' Hawkins said.

Derek Crabtree was successful on all eight of his extra point attempts to give him 81 career PATs to pass Froggie Williams (75) for the Rice career record. He also had a school single-game record.

Rice scored on its first six possessions on its way to a 38-13 halftime lead.

Early in the game, Herm scored on a 42-yard run to give the Owls a 7-0 lead.

Tulsa (1-8, 0-6) responded with a 49-yard touchdown run by quarterback Tyler Gooch.

The Owls scored on a 24-yard field goal by Derek Crabtree and a 58-yard pass from Herm to Leroy Bradley to lead 17-7 going into the second period.

A 19-yard TD pass from Herm to Gavin Boothe and a 4-yard scoring run by Jamie Tyler increased the Rice lead to 31-7 with 11:39 left in the first half.

Tulsa cut the margin to 31-13 on an 18-yard TD pass from Gooch to Jarrett Nixon.

Rice added a touchdown to make it 38-13 with 4:50 left in the first half on a 26-yard scoring pass from Greg Henderson to Gilbert Okoronkwo.

The Owls scored on a 75-yard run by Clint Hatfield and a 4-yard run by Vincent Hawkins to increase their lead to 52-13 in the third quarter.

Tulsa scored three fourth-quarter touchdowns and Rice added one.