Boswell Kicks Owls to Victory Over Kansas
HOUSTON, Texas – Rice scored 10 points in the fourth quarter, including a go-ahead 56-yard field goal by Chris Boswell and a rushing touchdown by Charles Ross – the only offensive touchdown given up by Kansas in the game – to rally past the Jayhawks, 23-14, at Rice Stadium Saturday night.
KU’s defense held Rice out of the end zone for three quarters and picked off a pair of passes in the second half, but for the second year in a row Boswell’s leg provided the difference. The Rice senior also connected on field goals of 40 and 28 yards Saturday night, helping the Owls keep the Jayhawks winless on the road since 2009.
Ben Heeney led the Kansas defense with a career-best 15 tackles and Isaiah Johnson and Dexter McDonald both pulled in their first career interceptions in the loss. Johnson’s interception set-up a short field for Kansas late in the third quarter and allowed quarterback Jake Heaps to maneuver the Jayhawks on a go-ahead scoring drive.
Kansas led 14-13 after Heaps completed a desperate, third-and-12 pass to Tre’ Parmalee, then punched it in himself on a one-yard sneak. For the second year in a row, however, the fourth quarter belonged to the Owls.
KU’s defense held tight through the opening minutes of the fourth quarter and stopped just inside Kansas territory with a little more than eight minutes to play, but it was close enough for Boswell to knock through his 12th career field goal from longer than 50 yards and give the Owls the lead again. Ross, who finished the game with a career-high 157 yards rushing, made it a two-score game and effectively put the game out of reach with an eight-yard scamper with 3:28 to play.
Kansas was outscored 9-0 in the fourth quarter in Lawrence last season and Boswell booted a 45-yarder as time expired to lift the Owls to a 25-24 win.
The Jayhawks seemed to be battling the four-year, road hex from the outset, forcing a Rice punt on the opening drive of the game before a tipped Heaps pass turned into six points the other way. Rice linebacker Michael Kutzler tipped a Heaps attempt into the air, tracked it into his hands and rumbled 52 yards for the first score of the game.
The Jayhawks were held scoreless in the first quarter for the second consecutive game, but broke through with a tying tally in the second period. Heaps hit Tony Pierson, who scurried 77-yards for KU’s longest pass play since 2007 with 9:20 to play in the first half. Pierson finished the game with a career-best 95 yards on four catches.
Boswell kicked his first two field goals before halftime and the Owls entered the break with a 13-7 advantage.
Kansas running back James Sims rushed for 109 yards in the loss and moved past John Riggins (2,659) and Gale Sayers (2,675) into fifth on KU’s career rushing chart with 2,685 yards.
Kansas returns home and will continue non-conference play against Louisiana Tech Saturday, Sept. 21, at 11 a.m. That game will be televised on FS1.
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SERIES INFORMATIONKansas fell to 1-2 against Rice all-time.KANSAS CAPTAINS: Jake Heaps (QB), Ben Heeney (LB), James Sims (RB) and Keon Stowers (DL)DEBUTS AT KU: None.FIRST-TIME STARTERS AT KU: None.TEAM NOTES• Kansas dropped to 574-581-58 all-time.• The Jayhawks are 27-63-4 all-time against teams from Texas and have lost 14-straight games against teams from the Lone Star state.• With the loss, Kansas’ losing streak in games away from Memorial Stadium extends to 23-straight, including 20-straight true road games. • This was Kansas’ first trip to Rice Stadium since downing the Owls, 33-7, on Dec. 16, 1961, for the Bluebonnet Bowl.• For the eighth-straight game, Kansas’ opponent scored first and the Jayhawks trailed at the end of the first quarter.OFFENSIVE NOTES• On Kansas’ opening drive, quarterback Jake Heaps threw his first interception of the season which was returned 51 yards for a touchdown. It was the first interception returned for a touchdown against Kansas since the Baylor game in 2010.• Heaps’ 77-yard touchdown pass to Tony Pierson was the longest of each of their respective careers. It was also the longest passing play by the Jayhawks since Nov. 10, 2007 when Todd Reesing completed an 82-yard touchdown pass to Marcus Henry against Oklahoma State. Heaps previous longest was 68 yards against Colorado State when he played for BYU.• James Sims busted loose for a 39-yard run with just over six minutes remaining in the third period. He finished the game with 109 yards on 19 carries. With his 109 yards, Sims now has 2,685 yards for his career which ranks No. 5 all-time in Kansas history. It was his 12th career 100-yard rushing game.• Heaps 1-yard touchdown plunge with 1:01 left in the third quarter marked his first rushing touchdown at Kansas and the third in his career.• Tre’ Parmalee matched his career high with two catches. He finished with 23 yards receiving. • Heaps’ 14 completions and 157 passing yards were each his personal bests in a Kansas uniform.• Kansas finished with 100 rushing yards, which was the fewest by the Jayhawks since rushing for 77 against TCU last season.• The Jayhawks had more passing yards (170) then rushing yards (100) for the first time since the Oklahoma State game last season.DEFENSIVE NOTES• Junior linebacker Ben Heeney posted 10 tackles in the first half and finished with a career-high 15 stops. It marked the sixth double-digit tackle effort in Heeney’s career.• Dating back to last season, Heeney has collected a sack in each of his last three games – marking the first three quarterback sacks of his career. Heeney also recorded a pair of pass breakups equaling his career total entering the game.• Sophomore Isaiah Johnson collected his first-career interception in the third quarter, which was the second by the Jayhawks this season. Johnson also finished with a career-best nine tackles. • Junior Dexter McDonald also picked up his first-career interception at the 13:30 mark of the fourth quarter. The pick gave Kansas two interceptions for the first time in five games with the last coming against Texas last season.SPECIAL TEAMS NOTES• Junior Trevor Pardula booted a 59-yard punt late in the first quarter, which marked his longest kick in his KU career.