HOUSTON (AP) -- Clark Fangmeier kicked a career-best 40-yard field goal with 3.1 seconds left to give Rice an 18-17 win over East Carolina on Saturday.
East Carolina appeared headed to victory after Kyle Chase and Pierre Parker each intercepted possible scoring passes near the Rice end zone in the second half.
Touchdown catches streak
With a touchdown reception against Eastern Carolina, Rice sophomore wide receiver Jarett Dillard moved into a tie for second-longest streak of games with a TD catch in I-A history. Charles Rodgers is given credit for only 13 straight games because the NCAA didn't count bowl games until the 2002 season.
But Joel Armstrong ran for a seven-yard score to put the Owls (6-5, 5-2 Conference USA) down two with 2:37 remaining. However, Quinton Smith was stopped by the line on the 2-point conversion attempt.
Rice got the ball back with 1:13 left. On 4th-and-10 from the Rice 24, John Shepherd hit Jarrett Dillard for a 40-yard strike with 32 seconds remaining to set up Fangmeier's winning field goal.
Rice was 4-of-5 on fourth down conversions and finished with 458 yards of total offense while allowing East Carolina (6-5, 5-3) just five yards in the fourth quarter and 96 in the second half.
Dillard caught a touchdown in his 13th straight game to tie the second longest streak in NCAA history. Rice has won five straight games for the first time since 1999 and is bowl eligible for the first time since 2001. The Owls haven't been to a bowl game since the 1961 Bluebonnet Bowl.