RUSTON, La. (AP) — J'Mar Smith passed for 314 yards and a touchdown and Jaqwis Dancy ran for 80 yards and three TDs to help Louisiana Tech pull away in the second half for a 28-13 victory over Rice on Saturday night.
Adrian Hardy finished with 10 catches for 160 yards for the Bulldogs (7-3, 5-1 Conference USA), while Alfred Smith hauled in three passes for 56 yards and a TD.
Rice took a 3-0 lead on Haden Tobola's 42-yard field goal 4 seconds into the second quarter. The Bulldogs answered with Dancy's 11-yard TD run with 3:02 left in the second quarter to take a 7-3 lead at halftime.
The Owls moved back in front 10-7 when Shawn Stankavage hooked up with Austin Walter for a 69-yard score just 1:28 into the third quarter. But Louisiana Tech regained the lead on the ensuing possession when Dancy plowed into the end zone from a yard out. Dancy added an 18-yard TD run with 1:13 left in the quarter for a 21-10 advantage. Tobola's second field goal — a 29-yarder — cut the Owls' deficit to 21-13, but J'Mar Smith put the game out of reach with a 10-yard TD toss to Alfred Smith with less than 6 minutes to play.
Louisiana Tech handed Rice its 10th straight loss after the Owls (1-10, 0-7) opened the season with a 31-28 win over FCS-member Prairie View A&M. Rice has also dropped 13 straight C-USA games. The Owls last conference win was a 31-14 victory over UTEP in the conference opener last season.