Recap: Rice vs. Old Dominion
Houston, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Ricky Segers' only field-goal attempt of the day was good from 25 yards out as time expired, lifting the Old Dominion Monarchs to a dramatic, 45-42 win over Rice in the Conference USA opener for both teams at Rice Stadium.
Taylor Heinicke threw for 430 yards and five touchdowns for the Monarchs (3-1, 1-0 C-USA), who were coming off their first-ever FBS victory last weekend against Eastern Michigan and now have their first-ever C-USA victory. Heinicke also added a score on the ground, while Zach Pascal headlined the receiving corps with 111 yards and a TD on six grabs.
Darik Dillard ran for 70 yards and three TDs for the Owls (0-3, 0-1) in their home opener. Jowan Davis carried 24 times for a game-high 150 yards in the loss, while Driphus Jackson threw for 175 yards and two scores.
ODU marched right down the field on the game's opening possession, and Heinicke scored on a five-yard run to give the Monarchs a quick, 7-0 lead.
Rice answered right back on its first possession, as Jackson found Zach Wright for a 31-yard touchdown pass.
ODU's offense went right back to work as Heinicke hooked up with Melvin Vaughn for a 22-yard scoring strike to make it a 14-7 game midway through the opening frame.
The score would remain that way until the 14:20 mark of the second quarter, when Rice's Luke Turner capped a 12-play, 86-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown plunge to tie the score.
However, ODU closed out the first half with two unanswered touchdowns. Heinicke found Antonio Vaughan for a 45-yard TD pass with 6:50 remaining until halftime, then he tossed a 44-yard TD to Nick England with 22 seconds on the clock to send the Monarchs into the locker room with a 28-14 advantage.
ODU made it a 35-14 game at the 11:02 mark of the third quarter on another TD pass from Heinicke, this one to Pascal from 18 yards.
Rice finally stopped the bleeding on its next possession as Jackson connected with Turner for an 18-yard scoring strike.
The Owls cut the deficit to 35-28 in the final minute of the third quarter on a four-yard touchdown run by Dillard, which capped a 13-play, 65-yard drive that lasted more than six minutes.
The Monarchs made it a 42-28 game early in the fourth quarter on a four-yard pass from Heinicke to Vaughan for the duo's second TD connection of the day.
But Rice battled back with a pair of touchdown runs by Dillard (2 yds, 7 yds) to even the score at 42-42 with 1:05 to play in regulation.
However, that proved enough time for the Monarchs to put together a six-play, 67-yard drive that ended with Segers' game-winner.
The Monarchs lost despite outgaining the Owls in total yards, 530-526.Game Notes