Rice football had a tough 2015 campaign, as the Owls went 5-7 on the year with a 3-5 mark in conference play. The good news for the squad was that it went out on a high note with a 27-7 victory over Charlotte to close out the season.
One usually unheralded senior on Rice had an especially good game. Little-used running back Luke Turner had 17 carries for 54 yards, one reception for four yards, and a four-yard passing touchdown. Turner has a pretty great story – he was so lightly recruited in high school that his only scholarship offer was from Rice, according to 247 Sports. He broke his leg in high school, but Owls coach Dave Bailiff honored his scholarship and brought him on board. After Turner had a solid freshman campaign and was named to the All C-USA Freshmen team, Turner saw his role diminish, but kept finding ways to contribute to the team whether it was as a passer, runner, receiver, or returner.
After the win over Charlotte, Turner faced the media and gave one of the most emotional press conferences that we’ve ever seen. He thanked Bailiff for giving him a chance and sticking with him through his leg injury. He then thanked Rice for giving him the opportunity to receive a great education and meet “the best people in the world.” All the while, Turner’s eyes are welling with tears, and his voice cracks a few times. He ends it by walking up to Bailiff and giving him a hug.
Barring Rice being one of the 5-7 squads to get a bowl invite, the Owls’ season is over. If it is, Turner went out with one hell of a press conference.