Owls fly by Miners, 45-7 in Houston
El Paso, TX — Taylor McHargue threw for a career-high four touchdowns and 259 yards as the Rice extended their its streak to five games with a 45-7 win against UTEP on Saturday afternoon at Rice Stadium.
McHargue completed 8-of-19 passes for 259 yards, including a 72-yard touchdown strike to Jordan Taylor in the third quarter as the Owls (6-2, 4-0 C-USA) handed the Miners (1-6, 0-4 C-USA) their fifth straight loss of the season. Taylor also set a career high with 185 yards on four catches and tied his career best with three trips to the end zone. Rice's Charles Ross rambled for 152 yards and a touchdown.
Junior Ian Hamilton posted a career high in yards (108) and caught his first-career touchdown. His previous high was 81 yards against NM State earlier this season. With the score 10-0, Hamilton got the Miners on the board when he caught a 50-yard touchdown pass from sophomore Blaire Sullivan in the second quarter. But the Owls answered with a four-play 45-yard drive that ended with a 17-yards touchdown pass from McHargue to Dennis Parks.
Freshman Aaron Jones picked up his third 100-yard game of the season as he shattered his career best with 186 yards on 29 carries. His previous high was 127 in the season opener against New Mexico. The El Paso native sprinted 81 yards (eight longest in school history) to the Rice three-yard line with the score 17-7, but coughed up the ball to the Owls at the one-yard line. Rice took the ball 99 yards on 11 plays to extend the lead 24-7 and never looked back.
Sullivan came in relief of junior Jameill Showers, who got hurt on a sack in the second quarter, and threw his first touchdown pass since one year ago when he tossed two at Houston on Oct. 27, 2012.
Rice racked up 524 yards of total offense, including 265 yards on the ground. The Miners gained 364 yards of total offense, including 248 yards rushing.
Next, the Miners will face national power Texas A&M on Nov. 2 (7 p.m. MT).