Bailiff proud of Rice effort against Texas

Rice may have ultimately lost Saturday's game to Texas, but the Owls certainly didn't go down without a fight.

"I'm very pleased with the character of this football team," Rice head coach David Bailiff said on Monday. "You're down 21-0 on the road. To fight back, to get it to 21-14, with an opportunity to tie it up right before halftime, I love the grit that this football team showed.

"We're going to keep dreaming big," Bailiff continued. "We're going to win our share, but in the loss, I am very, very pleased with how we continued to compete as a football team throughout that football game until time expired on the clock."

UT won by a final margin of 42-28, but the Longhorns were outgained in yardage 462-277 by a balanced Owls attack that included 130 rushing yards and two scores by Rice's Sam Stewart.

"They couldn't stop our running game," Bailiff said. "Sam Stewart was absolutely incredible.

"He had a 46-yard kickoff return," Bailiff elaborated. "He had two receptions for 17 (yards). He had 193 total yards and that's a redshirt freshman that's performing that way. I'm just so pleased with Sam."

"It seemed like every time we called zone, there were one or two big holes that were just wide open up the middle," Stewart said. "So I have to give props to all the O-linemen for that. I just got the ball and ran wherever they let me."

However, the overwhelming yardage could not mask the mistakes Rice made in the game.

"We turned the ball offensively five times," Bailiff said. "You can't do that anywhere. You can't do that at home. You can't do it on the road. It doesn't matter who your opponent is. One of our fumbles led to immediate points that the Longhorns took back for a touchdown. But to have three interceptions and two fumbles, that's way too many."

Rice opens up conference play this Saturday against North Texas.


Bailiff also announced on Monday that starting defensive end Graysen Schantz is out for the season. Schantz will need ACL surgery in the upcoming weeks after getting hurt last Thursday. Derek Brown will step up in his place as he did Saturday night against Texas. Schantz is a redshirt sophomore. He had five tackles, including two tackles for loss, in Rice's season-opening win over Wagner.