GAMEDAY College Football

Middle Tennessee 40, Rice 34

HOUSTON - Asher O'Hara crashed through a defender at the goal line to score on a 14-yard keeper, lifting Middle Tennessee to a 40-34 walkoff win in double overtime against Rice on Saturday.

The Blue Raiders (2-5, 2-3 Conference USA) needed last-gasp heroics twice in the final moments in order to get past Rice, which was finally playing its season opener after coronavirus issues caused seven previously scheduled games to be cancelled or postponed.

Rice seemed on the brink of victory when Mike Collins, who went 18-35-242 passing with four touchdowns, led the Owls on an 83-yard drive to grab a 34-31 lead with 34 seconds left in regulation. Collins hooked up with Austin Trammell for a 48-yard gainer when the drive appeared stalled, found Tammell for the 20-yard score and then the two-point conversion.

Middle Tennessee was not out. Crews Holt kicked a 48-yard field goal as time expired in regulation to knot the game at 34. The Blue Raiders went first in OT but Holt missed a 50-yarder.

Rice once again seemed on the verge of a win but Collin Riccitelli's 40-yard FG try was partially blocked by Jalen Jackson and bounced three times off the goalposts before falling back onto the field.

Three plays later O'Hara rolled left for the game-winner.

Associated Press

October 24, 2020