Petersen's 1-yard touchdown run with 5:34 left in the first quarter capped a 9-play, 69-yard drive to give the Owls (2-3, 1-1 Conference USA) a 7-0 lead. Petersen, who finished with 32 yards rushing, also scored from 1 yard with 4:57 left in the third quarter to make it 28-3.
McHargue was 15 of 22 and rushed for 44 yards. He found Luke Willson for a 15-yard touchdown before halftime to extend the lead to 14-3. Tyler Smith rushed 14 times for 97 yards, and Willson had five catches for 58 yards to lead Rice.
Tannar Rehrer had 11 catches for 89 yards for the Tigers (1-5, 0-2).