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NCAA Game Summary - Rice at S-M-U



(Saturday, November 7th)

Final Score: SMU 31, Rice 28

Dallas, TX (Sports Network) - Shawnbrey McNeal scored a pair of rushing touchdowns as he helped the SMU Mustangs to a 31-28 win over the Rice Owls in Conference USA action at Gerald J. Ford Stadium.

McNeal carried the ball 21 times and gained 88 yards for the Mustangs (5-4, 4-1 CUSA) as they won their second straight outing. Quarterback Kyle Padron converted 17-of-24 passes for 234 yards and a touchdown as well.

The Owls (0-9, 0-5), who entered the week tied for the third-longest losing streak in the nation, were led by Nick Fanuzzi who connected on 29-of-42 passes for 250 yards and three touchdowns.

McNeal opened the day's scoring for the Mustangs with a seven-yard TD run at the 8:56 mark of the first quarter, but after that the Owls ripped off 20 unanswered points.

The run began with a pair of touchdown grabs by Patrick Randolph, the first an 11-yard effort and the second a 33-yard conversion to make the score 13-7 following a blocked PAT. With 5:23 remaining in the first half Charles Ross hit the end zone on a one-yard run for the Owls, pushing the visitors to a 20-7 advantage .

But before the half could end, Padron and Emmanuel Sanders combined on a 23- yard scoring pass, while Bryan McCann returned a blocked punt 74 yards to close out the period and provide SMU with the slim 21-20 advantage.

SMU added to the lead in the third on a 23-yard field goal by Matt Szymanski and the fourth quarter saw the Ponies go up 31-20 when McNeal reached the end zone on a nine-yard TD run.

With under two minutes remaining, Toren Dixon's four-yard touchdown run, and the subsequent two-point conversion, drew the Owls to within three points at 31-28, but that's as close as they would get.

11/07 19:29:00 ET