Owls rally to edge UTEP

November 21, 2009 7:04:51 PM PST
Charles Ross rushed for three touchdowns, including two in the fourth quarter, and Rice took advantage of six turnovers in a 30-29 come-from-behind victory over Texas-El Paso on Saturday. The Owls (2-9, 2-5 Conference USA) rallied from deficits of 13-0, 20-10 and 29-17 to win their second straight after starting 0-9. Ross scored the winning TD with 7:45 remaining.

Donald Buckram led the Miners (3-8, 2-5) with 147 rushing yards and three touchdowns but fumbled twice in the closing minutes, including once on the goal line with 5:02 to go. The play resulted in a touchback. He fumbled again with 2:03 left and UTEP at the Rice 39.

Despite his turnovers, Buckram broke school record for yards in a season. He now has 1,569 yards. Fred Wendt set the previous record of 1,546 yards in 1946.

Tyler Smith ran for 127 yards and score for the Owls.

Buckram scored all of his touchdowns in the first half, but the Owls outscored the Miners 20-9 in the final 30 minutes.

UTEP quarterback Trevor Vittatoe made it 29-17 with a 40-yard strike to Donavon Kemp early in the fourth quarter, but the Owls got within 29-24 on Ross' second score of the game -- a 3-yard run -- with 9:05 left.

After forcing another UTEP turnover, the Owls took their first and only lead of the game when Ross ran it in from 1 yard out for the game-winning score.

Vittatoe finished 17 of 26 for 244 yards.