Rice beats UTEP, reaches 5 wins for first time since 2015

Nov 3, 2022, 7:53 AM | Updated: 8:03 pm
Rice quarterback TJ McMahon (7) throws a pass as UTEP defensive end Praise Amaewhule (23) closes in...

Rice quarterback TJ McMahon (7) throws a pass as UTEP defensive end Praise Amaewhule (23) closes in during the first half of an NCAA college football game Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)

(AP Photo/Michael Wyke)

              Rice coach Mike Bloomgren disputes a penalty call during the first half of the team's NCAA college football game against UTEP on Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)
            
              Rice wide receiver Luke McCaffrey, middle, is tackled by UTEP linebacker Cal Wallerstedt, cornerback Amier Boyd-Matthews and safety Ty'Reke James, from left, during the first half of an NCAA college football game Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)
            
              UTEP wide receiver Tyrin Smith makes a reception against Rice during the first half of an NCAA college football game Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)
            
              Rice running back Dean Connors (0) looks to avoid the tackle attempt by UTEP defensive end Jadrian Taylor (11) during the first half of an NCAA college football game Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)
            
              UTEP coach Dana Dimel walks along the sideline during the first half of the team's NCAA college football game against Rice on Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)
            
              UTEP quarterback Gavin Hardison (2) passes the ball while under pressure from Rice defensive end Trey Schuman (7) during the first half of an NCAA college football game Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)
            
              Rice quarterback TJ McMahon, center, and fullback Micah Barnett, right, celebrate a touchdown by McMahon against UTEP during the first half of an NCAA college football game Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022, in Houston. At left is tight end Jack Bradley. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)
            
              Rice wide receiver Bradley Rozner (2) pushes off the tackle attempt by UTEP safety Ty'Reke James (3) during the first half of an NCAA college football game Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)
            
              Rice quarterback TJ McMahon (7) throws a pass as UTEP defensive end Praise Amaewhule (23) closes in during the first half of an NCAA college football game Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)

HOUSTON (AP) — TJ McMahon threw for a career-high 334 yards, including a go-ahead 23-yard touchdown to Bradley Rozner with 25 seconds left, and Rice edged UTEP 37-30 on Thursday night.

Rice (5-4, 3-2 Conference USA) reached five wins in a season for the first time since 2015.

UTEP backup QB Calvin Brownholtz ran for a 25-yard score to tie the game at 27-all with 11:17 left in the fourth quarter. The teams traded field goals with UTEP tying it with 2:35 left.

Rice used back-to-back 13-yard plays to get to midfield and McMahon later found Rozner in the corner of the end zone for their sixth connection of the game.

McMahon was 21 of 31 with two touchdowns and one interception, and Rozner had 142 receiving yards and a score. Christian VanSickle made field goals of 43, 21 and 38.

Brownholtz was 7-of-10 passing for 56 yards and he carried it eight times for 64 yards for UTEP (4-6, 2-4). Gavin Baechle also made three field goals, with a long of 51.

___

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Rice beats UTEP, reaches 5 wins for first time since 2015