Houston has a significant advantage in the passing game that's allowing the Cougars to exploit Rice's defense. UH put up 241 yards of total offense in the first half, while the Owls managed just 121 total yards.
Both teams went into the half with a turnover apiece. Rice lost a fumble on its first offensive possession of the game after Driphus Jackson was sacked by Cougars linebacker Phillip Steward. Piland threw an interception in Houston's third drive of the game but, as the score indicates, the error did not cost the team too much.
Piland has completed 17 of his 26 passes for 183 yards and two touchdowns. Daniel Spencer was on the receiving end of the Cougars' second-quarter score.