Sep 4, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Cougars head coach Dana Holgorsen reacts during the first half against the Texas Tech Red Raiders at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

News Articles

Rice, Houston seek first season wins in rivalry game

It will require time for Rice first-year offensive coordinator Marques Tuiasosopo to leave his imprint on the Owls’ offense, but given his extensive experience, an impact seems inevitable.

The Owls (0-1, 0-0 Conference USA) will host the Houston Cougars (0-1, 0-0 American) on Saturday at Rice Stadium in the 40th edition of the Bayou Bucket Classic (and 43rd meeting overall) on the 50th anniversary of the first meeting between the crosstown rivals. The Cougars lead the series 31-11, have won the past five meetings, and are seeking to match their longest win streak in the series (1987-92).

Tuiasosopo joined the Rice staff last February after spending the previous 12 seasons coaching in the Pac-12. He played eight seasons in the NFL, and the Owls are hoping to capitalize on that track record while attempting to build a formidable offense in Conference USA.

The tandem of Wiley Green and Luke McCaffrey passed for 227 yards and a touchdown in the Owls’ 38-17 loss to Arkansas Sept. 4. That represented the first step on the road to progress.

“I think he’s got some really good ideas in the pass game,” Rice coach Mike Bloomgren said. “There are so many concepts that aren’t going to be different. We all connect the Xs and Os on the board largely the same in this game. There’s not a lot of innovations really going on in 2021.

“But, you may read it differently and you may express it to the quarterback in a different way. And since he’s been a quarterback and was a quarterback in the National Football League he’s got such a great way to disseminate that information to those quarterbacks — and I just love watching those guys and the confidence and the clarity you see in their feet to their throwing motion to getting the ball out on time.”

Houston coach Dana Holgorsen expressed some reservations over playing Texas Tech in the opener, at least from the perspective of familiarity serving as a detriment. Holgorsen spent eight seasons on staff with the Red Raiders, and several members of their current staff either shared a coaching history or philosophy with Holgorsen from years past when their paths crossed.

The Red Raiders dominated the second half last Saturday, blanking the Cougars 31-0 following the intermission en route to a 38-21 victory. Texas Tech had touchdown drives of 71, 60 and 48 yards and also returned an interception for a score while rallying from a 14-point halftime deficit.

Still, Holgorsen has reason to remain optimistic over the maturation of his team. Defensively, the Cougars returned eight starters from last season although some were demoted following intense competition during camp, a competition that should improve Houston in the long run.

“I feel good about where our depth is on defense more than anything,” Holgorsen said. “As far as defense and leadership I obviously feel much better about that. We have four or five defensive team captains.”

Holgorsen will lean on those defensive captains — seniors Deontay Anderson, Marcus Jones and Damarion Williams, junior Donavan Mutin, and sophomore Hasaan Hypolite — to help the team turn the page from a disappointing season opener. The need to rebound against Rice is apparent.

“Rice is a good football team and we’re going to have to flip that switch,” Holgorsen said. “That’s really where I hope their leadership kicks in.”

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
Sport Writer & Editor
FLM has a North American focus while tying into regional and hyper-local resources – providing the ability to distribute compelling content through the writing of professional journalists. As the U.S. sports content provider to dozens of digital and print media publishers through strategic partnerships with the likes of Reuters and Nielsen Sports, FLM covers the nuts and bolts with a breaking news desk and game event coverage.

Sportsbooks

Rated 5/5

Rated 5/5

Rated 5/5

Rated 5/5

Upcoming Games

Aug 27th, 12:00 PM

Austin Peay

WKU

@

Aug 27th, 12:30 PM

Nebraska -10.5 -107

Northwestern +10.5 -107

@

Aug 27th, 3:30 PM

Idaho State

UNLV

@

Aug 27th, 3:33 PM

Nevada -16.5 -110

New Mexico State +16.5 -110

@

Aug 27th, 4:00 PM

Wyoming +8.5 -110

Illinois -8.5 -110

@

Aug 27th, 4:00 PM

UCONN +29.5 -110

Utah State (24) -29.5 -110

@

Aug 27th, 5:00 PM

Duquesne

Florida State

@

Aug 27th, 7:00 PM

Charlotte +5.5 -110

Florida Atlantic -5.5 -110

@

Aug 27th, 8:15 PM

Florida A&M

North Carolina

@

Aug 27th, 9:00 PM

North Texas -4 -110

UTEP +4 -110

@

Aug 27th, 10:30 PM

Vanderbilt -4.5 -110

Hawaii +4.5 -110

@

Sep 1st, 6:00 PM

St. Francis-PA

Akron

@

Sep 1st, 7:00 PM

Ball State +27.5 -110

Tennessee -27.5 -110

@

Sep 1st, 7:00 PM

Central Michigan +19 -110

Oklahoma State (7) -19 -110

@

Sep 1st, 7:00 PM

West Virginia +7.5 -107

Pittsburgh (13) -7.5 -107

@

Sep 1st, 7:00 PM

South Carolina State

UCF

@

Sep 1st, 7:00 PM

Bryant

Florida International (FIU)

@

Sep 1st, 7:00 PM

LIU

Toledo

@

Sep 1st, 7:30 PM

VMI

Wake Forest (15)

@

Sep 1st, 8:00 PM

LA Tech +16 -107

Missouri -16 -107

@

Sep 1st, 8:00 PM

Penn State -3.5 -107

Purdue +3.5 -107

@

Sep 1st, 8:00 PM

Eastern Illinois

NIU

@

Sep 1st, 8:00 PM

Alabama A&M

UAB

@

Sep 1st, 9:00 PM

New Mexico State +37.5 -107

Minnesota -37.5 -107

@

Sep 1st, 10:00 PM

Northern Arizona

Arizona State

@

Sep 1st, 10:30 PM

Cal Poly

Fresno State

@

Sep 1st, 10:30 PM

Portland State

San Jose State

@

Sep 2nd, 7:00 PM

Virginia Tech -7.5 -107

Old Dominion +7.5 -107

@

Sep 2nd, 7:00 PM

Western Michigan +20 -107

Michigan State (9) -20 -107

@

Sep 2nd, 7:00 PM

Eastern Kentucky

Eastern Michigan

@

Sep 2nd, 7:00 PM

William & Mary

Charlotte

@

Sep 2nd, 7:30 PM

Temple +6.5 -110

Duke -6.5 -110

@

Sep 2nd, 8:00 PM

Tennessee Tech

Kansas

@

Sep 2nd, 8:00 PM

Illinois +3.5 +103

Indiana -3.5 +103

@

Sep 2nd, 10:00 PM

TCU -9 -107

Colorado +9 -107

@

Sep 3rd, 12:00 PM

Sam Houston State

Texas A&M

@

Sep 3rd, 12:00 PM

Rutgers +9 -110

Boston College -9 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 12:00 PM

NC State (20) -10 -110

East Carolina +10 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 12:00 PM

North Carolina -4 -110

Appalachian State +4 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 12:00 PM

South Dakota State

Iowa (23)

@

Sep 3rd, 12:00 PM

Buffalo +20.5 -110

Maryland -20.5 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 12:00 PM

Colorado State +30 -110

Michigan (3) -30 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 12:00 PM

Central Connecticut State

UCONN

@

Sep 3rd, 12:00 PM

Delaware

Navy

@

Sep 3rd, 12:30 PM

Richmond

Virginia

@

Sep 3rd, 1:00 PM

Northern Iowa

Air Force

@

Sep 3rd, 2:00 PM

Southeast Missouri State

Iowa State

@

Sep 3rd, 2:30 PM

Bowling Green +3 -110

UCLA -3 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 3:30 PM

Cincinnati (4) +7.5 -107

Arkansas (21) -7.5 -107

@

Sep 3rd, 3:30 PM

Oregon (22) +16.5 -107

Georgia (1) -16.5 -107

@

Sep 3rd, 3:30 PM

Arizona +10 -110

San Diego State (25) -10 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 3:30 PM

UTEP +39 -110

Oklahoma (10) -39 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 3:30 PM

Bethune-Cookman

Miami-FL

@

Sep 3rd, 3:30 PM

North Dakota

Nebraska

@

Sep 3rd, 3:30 PM

Houston (17) -6.5 -110

UTSA +6.5 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 3:30 PM

Tulsa -1.5 -110

Wyoming +1.5 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 3:30 PM

Norfolk State

Marshall

@

Sep 3rd, 4:00 PM

Troy +21.5 -110

Ole Miss (11) -21.5 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 4:00 PM

UC Davis

California

@

Sep 3rd, 4:00 PM

BYU (19) -13 -110

USF +13 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 5:00 PM

Nicholls State

South Alabama

@

Sep 3rd, 5:30 PM

Texas State +11 -110

Nevada -11 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 6:00 PM

Rice +33.5 -110

USC -33.5 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 6:00 PM

Middle Tennessee +4.5 -110

James Madison -4.5 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 6:00 PM

Morgan State

Georgia Southern

@

Sep 3rd, 6:00 PM

Florida Atlantic -1 -110

Ohio +1 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 7:00 PM

Mercer

Auburn

@

Sep 3rd, 7:00 PM

Utah (12) -1.5 -107

Florida +1.5 -107

@

Sep 3rd, 7:00 PM

Miami-OH +20 -110

Kentucky (18) -20 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 7:00 PM

Elon

Vanderbilt

@

Sep 3rd, 7:00 PM

South Dakota

Kansas State

@

Sep 3rd, 7:00 PM

Albany-NY

Baylor (5)

@

Sep 3rd, 7:00 PM

Illinois State

Wisconsin

@

Sep 3rd, 7:00 PM

Massachusetts +31.5 -110

Tulane -31.5 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 7:00 PM

Army +3 -110

Coastal Carolina -3 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 7:00 PM

Liberty -4 -110

Southern Miss +4 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 7:00 PM

Grambling State

Arkansas State

@

Sep 3rd, 7:00 PM

Southeastern Louisiana

Louisiana-Lafayette (16)

@

Sep 3rd, 7:30 PM

Utah State (24) +34.5 -106

Alabama (2) -34.5 -106

@

Sep 3rd, 7:30 PM

Memphis +12.5 -110

Mississippi State -12.5 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 7:30 PM

Georgia State +11 -110

South Carolina -11 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 7:30 PM

Notre Dame (8) +13.5 -107

Ohio State (6) -13.5 -107

@

Sep 3rd, 7:30 PM

SMU -7.5 -110

North Texas +7.5 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 8:00 PM

Colgate

Stanford

@

Sep 3rd, 8:00 PM

Louisiana-Monroe +37 -110

Texas -37 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 8:00 PM

Murray State

Texas Tech

@

Sep 3rd, 8:00 PM

Louisville -4 -110

Syracuse +4 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 8:00 PM

Maine

New Mexico

@

Sep 3rd, 9:30 PM

Idaho

Washington State

@

Sep 3rd, 10:30 PM

Boise State +4 -110

Oregon State -4 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 10:30 PM

Kent State +21.5 -110

Washington -21.5 -110

@