HOUSTON (AP) TJ McMahon threw two late touchdown passes - including a 3-yarder to Cedric Patterson III with 61 seconds remaining - and Rice rallied for a 35-31 victory over Louisiana Tech on Saturday.
Rice (4-8, 3-5 Conference USA) led 14-10 at halftime, but JD Head connected with Smoke Harris for a 5-yard score to give Louisiana Tech (3-9, 2-6) a 17-14 lead midway through the third quarter. The Owls regained the lead on Cameron Montgomery's 7-yard TD run on the ensuing possession, but Head scored on a 22-yard run and the Bulldogs took a 24-21 lead into the final quarter.
Head hit Griffin Hebert for a 6-yard score and Louisiana Tech led 31-21 with 13:10 left to play. McMahon pulled the Owls within three points on a 31-yard scoring strike to August Pitre III with 4:12 remaining. Rice forced a punt with 1:19 to go and Sean Fresch returned it 48 yards to the Louisiana Tech 18-yard line. Three plays later McMahon hit Patterson for the go-ahead score. Head drove the Bulldogs to a first down at the Rice 33, but Gabe Taylor came up with an interception with 12 seconds left to preserve the win.