Troy Has Rice-A-Roni Treat
by Mike Mitchell
Troy beat Rice 41-17 in the New Orleans Bowl as the game returned to the Louisiana Superdome after being staged in Lafayette, Louisiana following Hurricane Katrina's devastation last year.
The victory was Troy's first-ever in a bowl game (1-1), while Rice is still looking for its first bowl win since the 1953 Cotton. The Owls were playing in a bowl game for the first time since 1961.
The loss snapped the Owls six-game winning streak which propelled them to bowl eligibility after a 1-5 start. Under first year head coach Todd Graham, Rice went from 1-10 last year to 7-6 this season. It was the program's first winning campaign since 2001.
Troy finished the season with victories in seven of its last eight games after a 1-4 start. The Trojans will take a three-game winning streak into next season.
Quarterback Omar Haugabook led the Trojan attack with four touchdown passes. He also ran for a score while compiling 310 yards of total offense (218 passing, 92 running). Troy scored first and never trailed, extending their lead to 21-7 by the end of the first quarter.
Rice's offensive numbers were equal to Troy but five turnovers cost the Owls severely.