Charles Ross made a short touchdown dash in the fourth quarter to carry Rice to a narrow 32-31 win over North Texas on Saturday night.
The Owls (1-1) started off strong, leading 23-21 at halftime thanks in part to three field goals from Chris Boswell, two of them coming from 50 yards out, and a 51-yard touchdown pass from Taylor McHargue to Sam McGuffie.
The Mean Green (0-2) took the lead early in the second half with a 75-yard touchdown pass from Nathan Tune to Tyler Stradford.
Boswell hit another field goal in the third quarter, which was matched by one from North Texas' Trent Deans in the fourth.
Despite outgaining the Owls 420-351 overall, the Mean Green could not make up the distance after Ross' TD.