McHargue was named Conference USA Offensive Player of the Week for his 467-yard passing, 153-yard rushing performance in a double-overtime loss to Marshall, but he hurt his shoulder in the game and sat out the Owls 35-14 loss last Saturday to Houston.
Driphus Jackson started in McHargue's place, throwing for 272 yards and two touchdowns, but the dual threat that McHargue poses wasn't there. Rice rushed for just 69 yards and Jackson carried the ball 12 times for minus-20 yards.
"Houston played hard," Rice Coach David Bailiff said. "They game planned against a young quarterback. We knew they were going to blitz us with a freshman quarterback in his first start. They took the off week and threw some things at us that we really weren't anticipating."
Still, Bailiff thought Jackson played well enough to win the game, but offensive execution was lacking overall.
"We did not execute, and that's one of the things we have not been able to do this season is execute," he said. "Way too many dropped passes. We left too many opportunities and points out on the field and you can't do that in college football."
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SMU QUARTERBACK Garrett Gilbert's stat line in the Mustangs' 24-16 loss to TCU looks downright ghastly - 15-of-40 passing for 190 yards, one touchdown and five interceptions. But SMU Coach June Jones isn't piling all the blame on his quarterback.
"He made, I thought, two bad decisions, but he's trying to do the right thing," Jones said. "He was competitive and did make some good throws in some adverse conditions."
Much of the problem, Jones said, came from dropped passes - at least six - by Mustangs receivers.
Contact sportswriter Derek Redd at derek.r...@dailymail.com or 304-348-1712. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/marshall.