EL PASO, Texas (AP) -- Quinton Smith ran for 171 yards and two touchdowns to lead Rice to a 37-31 win over Texas-El Paso Saturday night.
Smith also caught a 64-yard scoring pass for the Owls (4-5, 3-2 Conference USA), who kept their bowl hopes alive.
The Owls' Chase Clement threw three touchdown passes and Jarett Dillard caught a touchdown pass for an NCAA-leading 11th consecutive game. Clement finished 19-of-26 passing for 233 yards and no interceptions.
Jordan Palmer rallied UTEP (4-5, 2-3) from a 30-10 halftime deficit, but it wasn't enough.
Palmer completed 16-of-33 passes for 315 yards and four touchdowns. But after his 26-yard scoring pass to Daniel Robinson with 7:30 remaining, Rice ran out the clock with a 13-play drive.
Robinson caught four passes for 97 yards and a pair of touchdowns.