McNeese takes on FBS foe Rice on Saturday evening

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McNeese (0-1) at Rice (0-1)
Saturday, September 10 at 6:30 p.m.
Rice Stadium (47,000) • Houston, Texas

TV: ESPN3 LINK
Radio: 92.9 The Lake
Audio Stream: 929thelake.com
Live Stats: LINK

HOUSTON – McNeese will make its way two hours to the west on Saturday when the Cowboys (0-1) take on the Rice Owls (0-1) in the only FBS contest of the season for the Pokes.

Kick-off is scheduled for 6:30 and the game will broadcast live on ESPN3. McNeese radio will also carry the game on 92.9 The Lake and 929thelake.com.

McNeese is coming off a 40-17 loss at FCS 4th-ranked Montana State in the season opener last weekend while Rice dropped a 66-14 contest at now FBS 10th-ranked USC.

STAT LEADERS
RUSHING:
McNeese – D’Angelo Durham (3 ATT, 82 YDS, 1 TD, 27.3 YPC, 82.0 YPG)
Rice – Cameron Montgomery (6 ATT, 99 YDS, 0 TD, 16.5 YPC, 99.0 YPG)

PASSING:
McNeese – Knox Kadum (11-21, 126 YDS, 1 TD, 2 INT, 126.0 YPG)
Rice – Wiley Green (8-13, 69 YDS, 0 TD, 1 INT, 69.0 YPG)

RECEIVING:
McNeese – Mason Pierce (7 REC, 44 YDS, 0 TD, 6.3 YPC, 44.0 YPG)
Rice – Luke McCaffrey (5 REC, 51 YDS, 10.2 YPC, 51.0 YPG)

TACKLES:
McNeese – Kordell Williams (9 TKLS, 3.0 TFL)
Rice – Kirk Lockhart (6 TKLS)

SERIES vs. RICE AND CUSA
• This will be the first-ever meeting between the Cowboys and Owls on the gridiron.
• McNeese is 0-2 all-time vs. members of the Conference USA (L, 42-32 at Tulane in 2009; L, 48-20 at Southern Miss in 2005).
• In 2012, McNeese dropped a 31-24 decision to UTSA in San Antonio while UTSA was in transition to becoming a CUSA member.
• The Cowboys have played other teams that have been in CUSA at one time or another including beating Middle Tennessee State 27-21 in 2012 and Florida International 30-27 in 2004.
• McNeese went 1-2 against now-CUSA member Western Kentucky as FCS foes, including dropping the 2002 FCS National Championship game to the Hilltoppers.
• CUSA members Louisiana Tech and North Texas are former Southland Conference rivals of the Cowboys.
• McNeese last played Louisiana Tech in 1990 and have never played North Texas since the Mean Green moved up to the FBS ranks.

POKES IN SUPER BOWL VENUES
• Saturday will mark the fifth time and fourth venue the Cowboys will play in a stadium that once hosted a Super Bowl.
• Rice Stadium was the home of Super Bowl VIII when Miami defeated Minnesota 24-7.
• McNeese played in its first Super Bowl stadium in 2000, falling to a Miami Hurricane team, 61-14, and a squad that many consider to be the best football team not to play for a national title.
• The Orange Bowl hosted Super Bowls II (Green Bay 33, Oakland 14), III (NY Jets 16, Baltimore 7), V (Baltimore 16, Dallas 13), X (Pittsburgh 21, Dallas 17), and XIII (Pittsburgh 35, Dallas 31).
• In 2006, the Cowboys played the first of two games at Raymond James Stadium, falling to South Florida 41-10 that year but in 2013, returned to whip the Big East member 53-21.
• Raymond James Stadium has hosted Super Bowl XXXV (Baltimore 34, NY Giants 7), XLIII (Pittsburgh 27, Arizona 23) and LV (Tampa Bay 31, Kansas City 9).
• McNeese played Tulane in the Mercedes Benz Superdome in 2009, losing by a score of 42-32.
•The Superdome has hosted seven Super Bowls – XII (Dallas 27, Denver 10), XV (Oakland 27, Philadelphia 10), XX (Chicago 46, New England 10), XXIV (San Francisco 55, Denver 10), XXXI (Green Bay 35, New England 21), XXXVI (New England 20, St. Louis 17) and XLVII (Baltimore 34, San Francisco 31).

COWBOYS VS. THE FBS
• McNeese has had some success against teams from the FBS level since joining the FCS ranks in the early 1980s.
• Overall, the Cowboys have posted an 8-26-1 record against upper division teams since 1982 with two near wins in the last five outings – L, 30-22 at ULL in 2016 and lost 31-24 at Nebraska in 2014 with less than a minute to play in the game.
• The Cowboys do have a win over a major conference team when in 2013, routed South Florida 53-21 in Tampa. At the time, South Florida was a BCS conference member (Big East Conference). It was the largest margin of victory by an FCS opponent over a BCS team in college football history.
• Three of the games came in Independence Bowl matchups – 1976 (beat Tulsa 20-16 in very first Independence Bowl game; lost 31-7 to Syracuse in 1979 game; lost 16-14 to Southern Mississippi in 1980 game.

KEEPING AN EYE ON THE RECORD BOOK
• With 2 catches last Saturday, WR Josh Matthews now has 70 in his career and needs just two more to move into the top 20 all-time in McNeese history, tying him with Darius Carey and R.C. Slocum.
• Matthews’ TD was the eighth in his career, two short of breaking into the Top 15 all-time while his 76 receiving yards pushed him to 997 in his career, needing just 3 more yards to become only the 26th player in school history to reach the 1,000-yard milestone.
• WR/RS Mason Pierce is tied for the career record with 2 kickoffs returned for TDs, needing one to hold the record alone.
• LB Kordell Williams recorded 9 tackles in the opener, increasing his career total to 229. He needs 14 more to break into the Top 20 all-time.

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