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NEW ORLEANS BOWL

Troy earns first bowl victory

The Trojans crush favored Rice, 41-17, thanks in large part to their quarterback, who contributed to five touchdown plays.

December 23, 2006|From the Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS — Omar Haugabook threw four touchdown passes and ran for another to lead Troy to its first bowl victory, 41-17 over Rice on Friday night in the New Orleans Bowl.

It was only the second bowl appearance for the Trojans (8-5), who moved up to Division I-A in 2002. Troy earned the bowl bid with its first Sun Belt title.

Haugabook, the Sun Belt player of the year and unanimous most valuable player of the game, completed 14 of 28 passes for 217 yards.

Rice (7-6), coming off its first winning season since 1993, and making its first bowl appearance since 1961, was seeking its first postseason victory since 1954. The Conference USA representative was favored going into the game, but could not cope with the Trojans' defense.

Rice's Joel Armstrong, pressured all night, had five passes intercepted and was sacked four times. He completed 35 of 54 passes for 305 yards and a touchdown.

Rice receiver Jarett Dillard kept his touchdown streak alive. He caught a one-yard pass in the fourth quarter to stretch the streak to 15 games, dating to last season. His 13-game streak this season set an NCAA record, breaking the mark of 12 set by Randy Moss in 1997 and Larry Fitzgerald in 2003.

Troy, which averaged 21 points a game this year, led 21-7 after the first quarter.

It was the first bowl game played in the Superdome since Hurricane Katrina devastated the city. The New Orleans Bowl was played in Lafayette last year.

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