And after the game ended - that's exactly what transpired. Funny thing is it was the Owls doing all the running in the Superdome Saturday.
Rice rushed for a season high 230 yards and scored 28 points in a span of just over 4 minutes to take control of the game; and would never again look back, winning 42-17 over Tulane.
The game was extremely well played by the Owls on both sides of the ball. Rice held Tulane's rushing Offense to just 34 yards - total. Green Wave Running Back Andre Anderson was averaging 142 yards a game coming into Saturday's match-up. The Owls would force Anderson out early with just 12 yards and a separated shoulder. Tulane did put up some hefty passing yards in the second half, but all was too late as the Owls added another touchdown in the 3rd quarter to seal the 35-0 halftime lead they built.
You have to be encouraged with the way the Owls won as much as the score itself.
Rice has struggled to run the ball all year - they rushed for 230 yards Saturday against a Green Wave Defense that held Alabama to just 180 yards of Offense earlier this season.
Rice has also struggled to defend the run - they held Tulane to just 34 yards total.
The Owl coaching staff had the team ready Saturday, and to their credit they executed as well as could have been planned. The win was maybe the most impressive overall performance by the team all year. But, as the coaches would tell you, each game is a must win for the team, and they must win against UTEP next week. Preparations have already begun..
Here are some game notes form Saturday's victory...
Once again Travis Bradshaw led the team in tackles in a Rice game Saturday - he totalled 12 tackles against Tulane; 9 of them solo.
Scott Solomon blocked Ross Thevenot's 40 yard field goal attempt with just seconds remaining on the clock in the first half. Chris Jones scooped up the block and returned it 55 yards for a touchdown as time before half expired.
The Rice OL paved the way for a 6.8 yards per rush average Saturday, easily the best rushing numbers of the season. They also did not allow a sack.
Cornerback Joseph Leary got his first start of the season Saturday, posting 1 pass break-up and 1 tackle.
Though Jarett Dillard caught 4 passes for 41 yards Saturday, he did not catch a touchdown pass for the first time in 11 games.
Chase Clement completed passes to 8 different Owl Receivers Saturday.
Defensive Lineman Brian Stacey logged his first tackle as a Rice Owl Saturday.
Running Back Justin Hill saw his first action of the season in the backfield Saturday - he had 3 carries for 14 yards.
James Casey now has over 1000 All-Purpose yards on the season. With 4 games remaining he has 1045 yards.
Though Andrew Sendejo did not play for the second consecutive game Saturday, he still holds the team lead in tackles with 50.
Rice beat Tulane in time of possession Saturday 30:07 to 29:53. Tulane had been second in the country in that statistic coming into the game.
The Owls hit the road again this coming weekend when they travel to El Paso to take on UTEP in the Sun Bowl at 8:05 CST Saturday night.