COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Rice put up a fight against seventh ranked Texas A&M, but the actual grass on Kyle Field put up a bigger fight.
Texas A&M eased past the Owls 38-10 to pick up their 17th consecutive victory in the series, but rain Friday in College Station coupled with new grass led to sloppy conditions. The field crew replaced "divots" in the grass like a grounds crew on a golf course throughout the night.
The Owls dominated time of possession throughout the game but could not put points on the board. The Aggies did, and in a hurry. Kenny Hill led three touchdown drives in the first half, ending them with scoring connections with Speedy Noil, Ricky Seals-Jones, and Josh Reynolds to give the Aggies a 21-7 halftime lead.
Hill and Reynolds hooked up again early in the third on a 20-yard touchdown toss for a 28-7 lead. Tra Carson punched in the Aggies final touchdown of the night from a yard out late in the third.
Hill threw for 300 yards and four touchdowns and also ran for 38 yards on the night. He has 1,094 yards passing this season to become the first player in school history to throw for 1,000 yards in the first three games of a season.
Driphus Jackson threw for 212 yards and a touchdown and ran for 84 yards for Rice (0-2).
The Aggie defense bended but did not break, giving up 481 yards but just the 10 points to the Owls. The Texas A&M offense picked up 477 yards.
Texas A&M will return to action Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at SMU. The Mustangs and Aggies game can be seen on ABC/ESPN2.
Rice at No. 7 Texas A&M + Kyle Field, College Station, Texas + Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014
ABOUT THE WIN ...
• The Aggies improve to 3-0 for the first time since the 2010 campaign, when team went on to claim a share of the Big 12 South Championship.
• Texas A&M started the season with three wins by 20 or more points for the first time since the 1997 season.
• The Aggies scored their 18th consecutive win over Rice and improved to 52-27-2 all-time against the Owls.
Points galore ...
• The Aggies have scored 163 points in the first three games of 2014, which is most since College Football Hall of Famer D.X. Bible’s 1917 team scored 184 points in the first three games.
• True freshman LB Josh Walker started his first career game at middle linebacker in place of the injured Jordan Mastrogiovanni. Walker became the third true freshman to start a game for the Aggies in 2014 joining WR Speedy Noil and SAF Armani Watts. He is the fourth member of the Aggies’ 2014 signing class to earn starts this fall -- JC transfer WR Josh Reynolds has started every game.
• Noil’s first quarter TD catch was the first of his Texas A&M career. He became the second member the 2014 signing class (joining Reynolds).
• True freshman Myles Garrett equaled the school record for QB sacks by a freshman in just his third career game. With 2.5 on the evening, Garrett’s tally increased to 5.5 to match the record set by Sam Adams in 1991 and equaled by Damontre Moore in 2011.
Texas A&M freshman QB sacks
Myles Garrett___ 5.5__ 2014
Damontre Moore__ 5.5__ 2011
Sam Adams_______ 5.5__ 1991
Aaron Wallace____ 5.0__ 1986
Alex Morris_______ 4.0__ 1985
• A total of 21 scholarship freshmen have seen action in 2014, including 14 true freshmen.
• Senior OL Ben Comptom started his first career game in place of starting center Mike Matthews. Compton began his career on the defensive line in 2011, but has been at offensive line since his sophomore season.
• With two receiving TDs vs. Rice, Reynolds became the second newcomer and third Aggie with multiple TDs in a game in 2014, joining junior RB Tra Carson’s three rushing TDs vs. South Carolina and redshrt freshman RB James White’s two rushing scores vs. Lamar.
• Sophomore QB Kenny Hill matched his career high with four TD passes against the Owls, while also connecting on 20 of 31 passes for 300 yards. Hill became the first Aggie to throw for over 1,000 in the first three games of a season. His tally of 1,094 bested Johnny Manziel’s record of 984 set in 2013. It marked Hill’s second career 300-yard performance.
• Hill has attempted 92 passes without an interception in the first three games of 2014. For his career, Hill has attempted 139 passes without a pickoff.
• Senior PK Josh Lambo’s 47-yard field goal in the fourth quarter was career-long. His previous career-long was a 45-yarder last season against Duke in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.
• Senior WR Malcome Kennedy moved into sixth place on A&M’s career list for receptions with 121. He passed Bethel Johnson (117 - 1999-2002).
RECORD STUDENT CROWD
• Texas A&M broke the national college football record for student attendance at a game with 39,271 student tickets being issued for tonight’s #RICEvsTAMU game. It breaks the record of 38,800 from last week’s game vs. Lamar.
• Total attendance for #RICEvsTAMU was 103,867, which is the No. 2 crowd in Kyle Field history after last week’s attendance of 104,728.
GAME CAPTAINS, 12TH MAN
• Game captains were seniors Malcome Kennedy and Deshazor Everett, and juniors Julien Obioha and Drew Kaser. Rice won the toss and elected to receive the opening kickoff.
• Junior Sam Moeller was the Aggies’ 12th Man for the 16th straight game.
HEAD COACH KEVIN SUMLIN
On the slow start…
"I think people have become spoiled with our offense. If we don't score on the first play then the sky is falling. To have the ball for sixteen minutes and score 38 points, I can't be mad at that."
On Myles Garrett…
"He's tied the school record for most sacks in a season by a freshman and we've only played three games. I think it's safe to say the future is bright for that young man."
On the defensive performance…
"Well just look at the scoreboard. We held them to ten points.”
On Armani Watts…
"You're never going to accuse him of not playing hard."
On Tra Carson…
"Tra was very good. He was very physical, and it pulled the defense in, that's why you saw the deep ball being thrown."
JUNIOR RUNNING BACK TRA CARSON
"I think we did good but I know we can do better as a whole. Next week we have to play better and prepare better."
On playing again…
"It felt great. Last week it was kind of hard to sit out there and watch my team go to war and not being able to play with them. So it felt great."
On ankle tackles…
"I was very close, I think that comes with not playing last week. I feel like I was rusty so hopefully that gets better next week."
SOPHOMORE QUARTERBACK KENNY HILL
"I think we started off slow. We never want to start it off slow. We are going to work on that and fix that and be better next week. We just weren't really clicking and we weren't executing the way that we want to. Like I said we are going to get that fixed and be ready to go. All the stuff we were doing offensively was working."
On sophomore wide receiver Edward Pope…
“He is very important to our offense. He is a great player and he loves to play. He comes out there and plays hard every single day. He is a baller. He is someone you can send out there and if you need a big play you can trust him to get things done."
JUNIOR DEFENSIVE LINEMAN JULIEN OBIOHA
"Rice is a really good team. We knew what we were getting ourselves into. We knew that they might get some yardage on us and they did. When they got into the redzone we just buckled down and made sure that they didn't get any more yardage and made sure not to let them convert."
On the field conditions…
"It’s a new field. We have to get used to it. Conditions are not always perfect."
FRESHMAN WIDE RECEIVER RICKY SEALS-JONES
“The field was kind of bad but both teams had to play on it so you can't say that the field was bad and that's why we didn't play as good as we could have. Both teams had to play on it and perform on it.”
On what improvements can be made…
“I think we did good but we can always be better so we've just got to go back in on Monday, watch film, and get back to work and get ready for next week’s game.”
SENIOR LINEBACKER JUSTIN BASS
“It was decent but I feel like we could have played better. We need to be sharper on our assignments, better execution, just be a smart defense overall.”
On the Rice offense…
“Anytime you play a dual threat quarterback there is some difficulty to it. I mean I've been used to it since I've played him in high school so I was kind of expecting that coming out, but it's just being more disciplined being able to know when he might break down and try to make a play.”
On how the defense can improve…
“It's more being smarter, executing better, knowing what you have and where your eyes are supposed to be, just a more focused defense. Because that's what coach asks us to play smart and play fast and we didn't play as smart as we could tonight.”
Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014 – College Station, Texas
Texas A&M vs. Rice
Selected Rice Post-Game Quotes
NOTE: Full MP3 audio and video will be available later on 12thMan.com.
HEAD COACH DAVID BAILIFF
“Coming here knowing they are the seventh ranked team in the country, but you come here dreaming big, hoping to win this one. I thought our players really prepared to come here and win a football game. I was extremely proud of this football team with the effort we played with offensively and defensively, and on special teams. Where it went wrong, we had six drives of over eight plays where we only had three points. We had a drive of 14 plays where we didn’t get points. Time of possession, we had the ball for 43 minutes. Time of possession is important when you’re getting points out of those drives. If you’re not scoring points, then it really doesn’t help you. One of the things we did last year is we got points at the end of those drives. We’ll get better. We’re going to be a good football team. All of our goals are intact.”
JUNIOR QUARTERBACK DRIPHUS JACKSON
On finishing drives…
“We just have to finish the drive. It’s a little disappointing to be out there for 43 minutes and only put up 10 points. But, I think the offense played well. We responded from last weekend, especially the receivers. Even with the field conditions, they were able to keep their feet and make plays. We just have to do a better job of putting points on the board. We have to take the stress off of the defense. I think we will do that going forward. It hurts not winning. You always want to win the big games. But, we understand this is a learning process, and our goals are still intact. We want to be conference champions.”
SENIOR DEFENSIVE END DYLAN KLARE
On keeping the game close…
“We wanted to keep executing what was called. Obviously, they are a high-powered offense, so keeping them contained was our main goal. I felt like we hunted together very well. We executed calls, kept up with their pace. I was proud of the defense today.”