Saturday night at Rice Stadium

My neighborhood is heaven for walkers. One can walk west to River Oaks, northwest to Memorial Park, east down the Buffalo Bayou, and (as I did last night) south through the Montrose to Rice University.

For the Rice University walk (about three miles each way), the journey—whether down Mandell, Dunlavy, Woodhead, or Hazard—is every bit as enjoyable as the destination: The walk south runs mostly through tree-lined streets developed in the 1920s and 1930s, with bungalows gradually giving way to mansions.

At the end of the walk is Rice Stadium, one of the few beautiful modernist structures I’ve seen: clean and spare, but elegant rather than brutal. A great place to watch a football game, even when your team plays one of the worst games you’ve ever seen a college football team play.

The final score (Rice 28, San Jose State 24) was deceptively close; without two Rice turnovers in Spartan territory and two lucky San Jose State touchdowns, the Owls would have dominated the score as much as they dominated the last three quarters of the game.

After a good start—touchdowns on their first two possessions—the Spartans just looked bad. On offense, the line didn’t seem to be blocking for the play the quarterback had called, and the problem got worse as the game went on. Against the defense, Rice ran the ball at will, and even had an effective passing game in the fourth quarter. Rice! Completing passes at will! The humiliation…

San Jose State did well last year, going 6-7 after most predicted a 1-12 or 2-11 season. The Spartans’ loss to Rice drops them to 1-4 this season, with their only win being over I-AA Grambling. I hope head coach Fitz Hill can fix the problems, and get the team on track by November 15. A win over Fresno State can make any season a sweet one.

One Response to “Saturday night at Rice Stadium”

  1. Dave Fried Says:

    I feel your pain. Illinois hasn’t beaten a Division 1A team yet either, and we don’t play Indiana until the second week in November.

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