After a slow start and controversial halftime performance from the Rice band, the No. 21 ranked Bears rolled past the Owls, 38-10.
“We’re not very consistent right now, that’s our problem,” said interim coach Jim Grobe. “It’s obvious we’ve got some talent, and I think we can be a really good football team but right now we’re just so inconsistent.”
The Bears (3-0) struggle to get things going early on last week appeared to roll over to last night’s game against Rice (0-3).
“We’ve preached start fast, and we haven’t done that the past three games,” said senior quarterback Seth Russell. “It’s pretty disappointing. It’s just something that we can grow on. It’s an aspect of the game we need to get better at.”
After various punts, both teams would go scoreless in the first quarter. However, it was the Owls who got on the board first with a made field goal early in the second quarter.
“I thought their kids played really, really, hard. I think they’re a good football team,” Grobe said. “I think they had a good plan that kept us off-balance a little bit early. Doing the wild-cat with the receiver was really good on their part. I thought defensively they hung in there really, really well. They chased the football, and did a lot of good things.”
Freshman running back JaMycal Hasty stepped up for the Bears with 7:27 remaining in the second with a 16-yard run to put the Bears on top.
“Defensively we just missed some fits inside – on two or three of their good runs we didn’t hit the right gaps. I think those are things we to continue to improve on, but I think a lot of the issues that we have are that they are young guys who have not been out there a whole lot,” Grobe said.
After a botched punt by the Owls, the Bears took full advantage on the possession, and after driving down the field, a 10-yard pass from Russell to junior wide receiver KD Cannon extended the Bears lead, 14-3.
The Owls answered right back to close the gap to three, however the Bears continued with the momentum as sophomore running back Terence Williams ran for 24-yards to end the third quarter on top, 24-10.
After the half, the Bears shut down the Owls. With junior placekicker Chris Callahan’s 23-yard field goal and a 22-yard touchdown pass from Russell to junior tight end Jordan Feuerbacher, the Bears went into the fourth quarter with a comfortable lead.
It was Cannon once again with 9:54 remaining in regulation who sealed the deal for the Bears after a 28-yard pass from Russell.
Cannon made his mark on the field with nine caught passes for 213 yards and two touchdowns. However, Cannon said that the inexperience from some of the players aided to the slow start.
“Just being young and not knowing what to do,” Cannon said. “It’s something we have to get better at.”
Although the Bears still have things to work out as a team, they continue to stay undefeated on the season as the took the win, 38-13.
“We were a little bit soft on a couple of drives but overall I thought our defense played well tonight,” Grobe said.
The Bears next test will come at 6:30 p.m. next Saturday where they will host Oklahoma State at McLane Stadium.