Scores

Final

Rice 63

(2-2, 1-1 C-USA)

San Jose State 70

(2-2, 1-1 MW)

9:00 PM ET, October 2, 2004

SPARTAN STADIUM (CA), SAN JOSE, CA

1 2 3 4 T
RICE 21 13 15 1463
SJSU 7 21 14 2870

Top Performers

Passing: D. Rogers (SJSU) - 359 YDS, 5 TD, 3 INT

Rushing: M. Rucker (RICE) - 23 CAR, 201 YDS, 2 TD

Receiving: R. Skillern (SJSU) - 4 REC, 115 YDS, 2 TD

Teams set D-I regulation scoring record

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- In the highest-scoring regulation game in Division I-A history, Brian Nunez returned an interception 28 yards with 2:18 left for the last of 19 touchdowns in San Jose State's 70-63 victory over Rice on Saturday night.

The Spartans (2-2, 1-1 Western Athletic) got 28 points and two key interceptions in the fourth quarter of an astonishing exhibition of big-play offense -- and a whole lot of horrendous defense and special-teams play.

"This is one of the wildest things I've seen," San Jose State coach Fitz Hill said. "The conventional rules of football did not apply. You had to score to win."

Rice and San Jose State combined for 1,089 yards of total offense, with the Owls (2-2, 1-1) running a school-record 100 plays for 634 yards -- including 570 on 85 rushing plays while setting the NCAA record for most points in a loss.

And to top every incredible development, the Spartans won it on a big defensive play: Nunez's untouched return of Greg Henderson's terrible pass.

The 133 points surpassed the total from Middle Tennessee State's 70-58 victory over Idaho on Oct. 6, 2001, and was just one short of the Division I-A mark for any game set in Arkansas' 71-63, seven-overtime victory over Kentucky on Nov 1, 2003.

The teams also fell just shy of the NCAA regulation record for all divisions, set in Division III North Park's 104-32 victory over North Central, Illinois, on Oct. 12, 1968.

The 19 touchdowns also broke the Division I-A record of 18 that had been accomplished twice, most recently by Middle Tennessee and Idaho in their 2001 game.

"It was just a great game back and forth for the fans to see," Rice coach Ken Hatfield said. "It's what the WAC is all about, a lot of explosiveness."

The Spartans did it all with just 49 plays, controlling the ball for less than 18 minutes and making the most of 211 yards on kickoff returns, repeatedly setting up scoring drives.

"If anything, I was most disappointed with the big plays they made in the kicking game -- those field position plays, those momentum-changers," Hatfield said.

Dale Rogers, playing with a hyperextended left knee and a big cut on his chin, passed for 359 yards and five touchdowns -- on just 10 completions -- after entering the game as the Spartans' third quarterback.

Hill hoped to keep Rogers out because of his injuries, but Adam Tafralis and Beau Pierce were ineffective early on.

"They came to me, and I said, 'If you want me to play, I'll go in there and play," Rogers said.

Rogers eventually rallied the Spartans from an early 27-point deficit and a 14-point hole with eight minutes to play.

Rice used two quarterbacks in its option offense, with Greg Henderson and Joel Armstrong combining for 276 yards rushing and four scores. Marcus Rucker added 201 yards rushing and two more scores.

Rice took a 63-49 lead on Armstrong's 44-yard scoring run with 8:38 left, but Rufus Skillern caught his second TD pass from Rogers just 87 seconds later, scoring from 44 yards out.

With 3:22 left, Eric Wilson recovered Armstrong's fumble at the Rice 18, and Rogers scored on a 1-yard plunge moments later. San Jose State committed a personal foul after the play, but Jeff Carr still drilled the extra point from 35 yards out to tie it at 63-63.

Nunez then intercepted a terrible pass down the right sideline, scoring untouched to give San Jose State its first lead of the night.

"I was in the right place at the right time," Nunez said. "The quarterback rolled out and took me right where he was throwing it."

Rice then drove to the San Jose State 28, but Bobby Godinez intercepted Armstrong's pass with 31 seconds left to preserve the win. The Spartans, whose program is thought to be in danger of discontinuation thanks to budget problems and low attendance, celebrated wildly with the students and band.

Just 4,093 fans attended the game.

Trestin George scored on a 77-yard reverse punt return for the Spartans, and Brian Watje made the first of his two TD receptions on a pass from running back Lamar Ferguson.

Rice scored on its first five possessions, taking a 34-7 lead with 299 total yards before the second quarter was five minutes old. Henderson rushed for three scores, including a 39-yard scramble and an 11-yard run after Tyson Thompson's fumble.

But San Jose State rallied with 141 yards and two scores on its next two plays from scrimmage. Thompson ran for a 74-yard score, and after Henderson threw an interception, Rogers hit John Broussard all alone down the sideline for a 67-yard TD catch.

Broussard made a 64-yard reception shortly before halftime, setting up Watje's 13-yard TD catch on a pass from Ferguson.

Chad Price extended Rice's lead to 49-35 late in the third with a 15-yard interception return for a score.

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Team Stat Comparison

 
RICE
SJSU
1st Downs3315
Total Yards634455
Passing64372
Rushing57083
Penalties6-467-77
3rd Down Conversions10-184-10
4th Down Conversions0-10-1
Turnovers55
Possession42:0217:58

Passing Leaders

RiceC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTQBR
Henderso...4/12645.302-
Armstron...0/300.001-
San Jose StateC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTQBR
Rogers10/1735921.153-
Ferguson1/11313.010-

Rushing Leaders

RiceCARYDSAVGTDLG
Rucker232018.7286
Henderson281565.6339
San Jose StateCARYDSAVGTDLG
Thompson14856.1174
Ferguson4389.5015

Receiving Leaders

RiceRECYDSAVGTDLG
Battle24623.0040
Wood11212.0012
San Jose StateRECYDSAVGTDLG
Skillern411528.8245
Thompson37424.7154

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERRICESJSU
TD11:34GREG HENDERSON 1 YD RUN (BRENNAN LANDRY KICK)
Drive info: 7 plays, 36 yards.
70
TD6:39JOHN WALL 2 YD RUN (BRENNAN LANDRY KICK)
Drive info: 9 plays, 79 yards.
140
TD3:31TRESTIN GEORGE 77 YD PUNT RETURN (JEFF CARR KICK)147
TD1:03GREG HENDERSON 39 YD RUN (BRENNAN LANDRY KICK)
Drive info: 8 plays, 65 yards.
217
SECOND QUARTERRICESJSU
TD12:16MARCUS RUCKER 86 YD RUN (MISSED KICK)
Drive info: 2 plays, 88 yards.
277
TD10:27GREG HENDERSON 11 YD RUN (BRENNAN LANDRY KICK)
Drive info: 4 plays, 24 yards.
347
TD10:06TYSON THOMPSON 74 YD RUN (JEFF CARR KICK)
Drive info: 1 plays, 74 yards.
3414
TD9:06JOHN BROUSSARD 67 YD PASS FROM DALE ROGERS (JEFF CARR KICK)
Drive info: 1 plays, 67 yards.
3421
TD2:32BRYAN WATJE 13 YD PASS FROM LAMAR FERGUSON (JEFF CARR KICK)
Drive info: 4 plays, 62 yards.
3428
THIRD QUARTERRICESJSU
TD10:04MARCUS RUCKER 2 YD RUN (BRENNAN LANDRY KICK)
Drive info: 11 plays, 65 yards.
4128
TD5:55RUFUS SKILLERN 29 YD PASS FROM DALE ROGERS (JEFF CARR KICK)
Drive info: 2 plays, 29 yards.
4135
TD1:26CHAD PRICE 15 YD INTERCEPTION RETURN (ANDY HALL 2PT PASS FROM GREG HENDERSON)4935
TD0:18BRYAN WATJE 39 YD PASS FROM DALE ROGERS (JEFF CARR KICK)
Drive info: 3 plays, 34 yards.
4942
FOURTH QUARTERRICESJSU
TD12:19JORDAN KRAMER 3 YD RUN (BRENNAN LANDRY KICK)
Drive info: 7 plays, 84 yards.
5642
TD10:18TYSON THOMPSON 54 YD PASS FROM DALE ROGERS (JEFF CARR KICK)
Drive info: 4 plays, 65 yards.
5649
TD8:38JOEL ARMSTRONG 44 YD RUN (BRENNAN LANDRY KICK)
Drive info: 3 plays, 47 yards.
6349
TD7:11RUFUS SKILLERN 45 YD PASS FROM DALE ROGERS (JEFF CARR KICK)
Drive info: 3 plays, 57 yards.
6356
TD2:41DALE ROGERS 1 YD RUN (JEFF CARR KICK)
Drive info: 3 plays, 18 yards.
6363
TD2:18BRIAN NUNEZ 28 YD INTERCEPTION RETURN (JEFF CARR KICK)6370