HOUSTON — JT Daniels threw two touchdown passes, including the go-ahead score in the fourth quarter, and Rice held on for a 24-17 victory over East Carolina on Saturday night.
Daniels fired a 44-yard scoring strike to Landon Ransom-Goetz with 6:24 left to play to give the Owls (3-2, 1-1 American Athletic Conference) the lead. The score came four plays after East Carolina (1-4, 0-1) knotted the score at 17 on Rahjai Harris’ 1-yard touchdown run and a 2-point conversion pass.
Daniels completed 18 of 32 passes for 232 yards with one interception for Rice.
Andrew Conrad kicked a 35-yard field goal to give East Carolina the lead midway through the first quarter. Tim Horn answered from 41 yards out for Rice to knot the score at 3-all.
Rice took a 10-3 lead early in the second quarter on Daniels’ 4-yard touchdown toss to Rawson MacNeill. Conrad kicked a 27-yard field goal at the 2:51 mark and a 38-yarder with 13 seconds left to get the Pirates within a point at halftime.
Chase Jenkins scored on a 4-yard run with 46 seconds left in the third quarter to put the Owls up 17-9.
Alex Flinn totaled 246 yards on 21-of-44 passing with one interception for the Pirates. East Carolina drove to the 50-yard line in the closing moments before back-to-back sacks by Demone Green and Chike Anigbogu ended the threat.
East Carolina held Rice to 277 total yards, including just 37 on the ground. The Pirates had 391 total yards with 145 coming via the rush.