Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Texas Bowl 2008: 1st Half Recap

(Rice quarterback Chase Clements rushed for 61 yards in first quarter action at the 2008 Texas Bowl. Photo by Darla Tamulitis-Copyright 2008 La Vita Loca Photography)
By Robert H. Kelly
Copyright 2008 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (December 30, 2008) Rice’s Chase Clement (Alamo Heights/Alamo Heights, Texas) continued to dominate the field, throwing for two touchdowns to extend the Owls lead to 24-0 over the Western Michigan Broncos.

Clement connected with Toren Dixon (Robinson/Robinson, Texas) on a six-yard pass with 6:53 left in the half to extend Rice’s lead to 17-0 with the conversion by Fangmeier.

Clement again found the air to his liking by finding wide receiver James Casey on a 46-yard pass to take the score to 23-0. Fangmeier’s conversion was again good to make the score 24-0 to round out scoring for the half.

Defensively, Rice held the Broncos to 90 total yards offensively on only six first downs. Western Michigan was 1 for 7 on third down conversions and was held to 8 minutes 58 seconds for possessions.

Clemens completed 16 of 24 passes for 169 yards and rushed for 61 yards (250-yards total) on offense.

Rice Routs Western Michigan 38-14 in Texas Bowl

(Rice quarterback Chase Clement threw 307 yards and rushed for 72 more in Rice's rout of Western Michigan. Photo by Darla Tamulitis-Copyright 2008 La Vita Loca Photography)

By Robert H. Kelly
Copyright 2008 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (December 30, 2008) During the lead up to the 2008 Presidential election, candidate Ron Paul’s supporters were considered the most vocal and highly spirited around.

The Western Michigan Broncos could have used the support of fans of that caliber in their 38-14 thrashing by the Rice Owls in the 2008 edition of the Texas Bowl.
Rice quarterback Chase Clement threw three touchdown passes, ran for another and caught a TD pass from Jarett Dillard to lead the Owls to their first bowl win since 1949.

Clement’s performance earned him the Most Valuable Player award and showed the talent that should make him a high round draft pick for the NFL.

He threw for 307 yards, completing 33-of-44 passes, and ran for and additional 72 yards, leading the Owls to their first recorded double-digit wins since the 1949 season.

The game was Western Michigan second straight bowl game, but just the fourth in the school's history.

Unfortunately for WMU, all four of the Broncos' postseason appearances ended in defeat, including 2007 in the International Bowl, as WMU was beaten by Cincinnati by the score of 27-24.

Bronco’s quarterback Tim Hiller completed 19-og 42 passes for 198 yards and two Brandon West led the way on the ground with 56 yards on 15 touches. Jamarko Simmons had 92 yards on six catches, while Schneider Julien and Kirk Elsworth recorded touchdown catches.

Clement has praise for everyone around and stated he felt this season would inspire the younger players to achieve higher goals.

“When you sit down and look back and see how everything has unfolded, it’s a special opportunity and just what we’ve been able to accomplish. It really sets this program in the right direction. Hopefully, those guys that are younger than us have seen what it takes to win and what it takes to be successful and hopefully they can get that going,” Clement was quoted in the post-game press conference.

There was a bit of gold in the dark cloud that hovered over the Broncos the entire game. Before the contest, Western Michigan announced that Head Coach Bill Cubit agreed to a new five-year contract.

Texas Bowl 2008: 1st Quarter Recap

(The Rice Owls take the field before the kickoff of the 2008 Texas Bowl. Photo by Darla Tamulits, Copyright 2008 La Vita Loca Photography)
By Robert H. Kelly
Copyright 2008 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (December 30, 2008) After 15 minutes of play in the 2008 Texas Bowl, Rice quarterback Chase Clement (Alamo Heights/Alamo Heights, Texas) showed the form that got Rice to their second owl bowl appearance in three years by giving the Owls a 10-0 lead over Western Michigan University.

Clement scored with 5:21 left in the first quarter on a 26-yard keeper to give the Owls the lead. Clark Fangmeier’s (North Mesquite/Mesquite, Texas) conversion was good to take the score to 7-0.

Fangmeier again found the uprights at the 3:02 mark, kicking a 30-yard field goal to extend Rice’s lead to 10-0 at the quarter.

Clement rushed 50 yards on 4 carries and went 7 for 9 and 69 yards passing.

Western Michigan sputtered on offence, managing a mire 50-yards total offense.

Thursday, December 25, 2008


HOUSTON, TEXAS (Decemeber 25, 2008) FOX Sports Houston provides an in-depth look at the creation and impact of the Texas Bowl in MAKING OF THE TEXAS BOWL, a 30-minute special that premiered on Thursday, Dec. 18 at 7:00 PM CT.

The show chronicles the creation of the game, which replaced the defunct Houston Bowl in 2006. Houston Texans owner Bob McNair, Houston Texans President Jamey Rootes, and current Chairman of the Texas Bowl Board of Directors John Huff discuss the challenges and successes the bowl has experienced in the rapid process from dream to reality.

The program also features the emphasis the Texas Bowl places on the importance of a positive experience for the participating schools and for the Houston community, and explains the team selection process.

Texas Bowl Board Member and FOX Sports Houston Sr. Vice President and General Manager, Steve Tello said, “So many people have worked so hard to make the Texas Bowl a success; it’s turned into a great story. This 30 minute special presentation celebrates the hard work of those involved.”

Bart Enis and Patti Smith also break down this year’s game featuring Rice and Western Michigan in a one-hour 2008 TEXAS BOWL PREVIEW special on Friday, Dec. 26 at 11:00 PM CT. They’ll highlight Rice’s high-powered offense led by quarterback Chase Clement and All-American receiver Jarett Dillard, and recap one of the most productive seasons in school history.

The Texas Bowl is played every December at Reliant Stadium, the home of the Houston Texans, and has partnerships with the Big 12 Conference and Conference USA. The Texas Bowl drew over 50,000 fans in it’s inaugural game in 2006, and drew over 62,000
in 2007. The 2008 game pre-sold over 50,000 tickets before the competing teams were announced. Each year the Texas Bowl makes an economic impact of $25 million into the Houston economy.

(All times listed are Central)

Making of the Texas Bowl
Thursday, December 18, 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, December 24, 7:30 p.m.

2008 Texas Bowl Preview
Wednesday, December 24, noon
Thursday, December 25, 7:00 p.m.
Friday, December 26, 11:00 p.m.
Sunday December 28, 6:00 p.m.
Monday, December 29, 11:00 p.m.
Tuesday, December 30, 11:00 a.m.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Western Michigan Accepts Invite to Play in 2008 Texas Bowl

HOUSTON, TEXAS (December 7, 2008) Western Michigan University has accepted an invitation to play Rice University in the third annual Texas Bowl on Tuesday, Dec. 30, in Reliant Stadium, bowl manager Heather Houston announced Sunday evening.

“The Broncos and Owls are two of the most exciting football teams in the nation,” Houston said in making the announcement. “I think that fans can look forward to another thrill-packed Texas Bowl game.”

The Broncos will bring a 9-3 record into the game, their fourth bowl game ever and the second under head coach Bill Cubit. Western Michigan finished second behind Ball State in the Mid-American Conference's tough Western Division.

WMU is led by quarterback Tim Hiller, who ranks 14th nationally with 294.1 total offense yards per game. Receiver Jamarko Simmons is third nationally with 8.17 receptions per game and Brandon West is sixth nationally with 167.6 all-purpose yards per game. Twelve Broncos earned all-MAC honors this season, three as members of the first team.

“We are proud to be able to represent our University and the MAC in one of the best new bowl games in America,” WMU athletic director Kathy Beauregard said in accepting the bid. “Our student-athletes and fans are looking forward to this experience. It’s a great day to be a Bronco.“

Rice University, which tied for the championship of Conference USA’s Western Division, was announced as a bowl participant last week. The Owls, under coach David Bailiff, will also bring a 9-3 record into the game.

“Our game will be one of only five non-BCS games that will match two nine-win teams,” Houston added. “This will be one of the better match-ups of the bowl season.”

The 2008 Texas Bowl will be televised live nationally on NFL Network. The game will also be broadcast nationally by Westwood One radio and locally on KTRH 740 AM.

TCU defeated the University of Houston 20-13 on in the 2007 Texas Bowl before a crowd of 62,097. The audience was the third-largest crowd ever to see a college bowl game in Houston. The 2007 Texas Bowl attracted the eighth-largest crowd among non-BCS bowls last year. The Texas Bowl outdrew matchups such as Tennessee vs. Wisconsin in the Outback Bowl, Texas Tech vs. Virginia in the Gator Bowl and Alabama vs. Colorado in the PetroSun Independence Bowl.

The inaugural Texas Bowl was played on Thursday, December 28, 2006 at Reliant Stadium. Rutgers defeated Kansas State 37-10 before a crowd of 52,210, the largest crowd to witness a bowl game in Houston not involving a Texas team since 1972.

Tickets went on sale to the general public on Nov. 8 following an exclusive pre-sale window for those who bought tickets to the 2007 Texas Bowl. Tickets, which start at just $15, may be purchased online at TicketMaster.com, on the phone at 832-667-2390 or in person at the Reliant Stadium box office inside Budweiser Plaza. Game tickets will also grant fans admittance to TexFest, a Texas-sized pregame party featuring a number of well-known local and national Texas music artists as well as “team spirit walks” when the teams arrive.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Rice Accepts Bid to Play in 2008 Texas Bowl

HOUSTON, TEXAS (December 3, 2008) Rice University accepted a bid to play in the 2008 Texas Bowl, the Texas Bowl Committee announced today. Texas Bowl officials offered the Owls a bid to play in the game today and the team accepted on the spot.

The Owls have a 9-3 record this season, including a 7-1 mark in Conference USA action. This is Rice’s second bowl appearance in the last three seasons. Rice’s nine wins are the school’s most since 1953 and the most in regular-season play since 1949.

Rice head coach David Bailiff is in his second season at the helm and has posted a 12-12 record. The Texas Bowl will be Bailiff’s first bowl game as a head coach and the fourth of his coaching career. He coached in the 2001 Galleryfurniture.com Bowl, 2002 Liberty Bowl and 2003 Fort Worth Bowl as an assistant at TCU, and he led Texas State to the semifinals of the Division 1-AA playoffs in 2005 as the Bobcats head coach.

The Owls feature one of the nation’s top offensive attacks. They rank fifth in the nation in passing (327.8 yards per game), eighth in scoring (41.6) and 10th in total offense (472.3). Quarterback Chase Clement is second among active passers with 96 career touchdown passes and he has teamed with wide receiver Jarett Dillard to set an NCAA career record for most touchdown passes by a duo (50). Dillard is the NCAA’s career leader with 59 touchdown receptions and is the Conference USA career record holder in receiving yards (4,052). Tight end James Casey is second in the nation with a conference record 104 receptions.

“We are absolutely thrilled to be able to invite Rice to play in the Texas Bowl,” said Texas Bowl manager Heather Houston. “Rice has had an amazing season and is one of the most exciting teams in the country. It will be a treat for football fans in Houston to see the Owls cap off this tremendous run right here at home.”