CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Sept. 22, 2012 was the day Taylor McHargue outgained Johnny Manziel by more than 215 yards.
Yes, there are all sorts of qualifiers. Texas A&M was killing South Carolina State and Manziel donned a ballcap at halftime of that 70-14 mess. Rice needed McHargue to go the distance against a high-scoring Marshall team, and lost when he failed to do so.
Nonetheless, there was a whole lot of flashy quarterbacking taking place 97 miles apart on a sticky Texas day. Manziel and McHargue combined for 813 total yards, with the Rice QB gaining 467.
Marshall won its first-ever game in the Lone Star State, 54-51 in two overtimes. Herd players know they escaped, and left with all the respect for the Owls' quarterback.
That respect has carried into this week, as Marshall is paired with Rice at the Conference USA championship game, back at Rice Stadium. Kickoff is at noon EST Saturday, with the game airing on ESPN2.
Yes, Thundering Herd defensive players had to relive the game in video study early this week. They saw McHargue throw touchdown passes of 43, 31 and 50 yards. They also saw him run for a 43-yard touchdown that drew the Owls to within 41-38.
And they saw the Manziel-esque 45-yard run that was headed to the end zone and a Rice victory, but ended in McHargue injuring his shoulder short of the goal line. McHargue's absence and a Rice false start helped rescue the Herd.
Fourteen-plus months later, several Herd defenders have painful memories of how McHargue befuddled them for 58 minutes, 40 seconds.
"That was a crazy game," said Herd defensive end Alex Bazzie. "And I remember him running down there, getting ready to dive into the end zone and the game would have ended right there. Instead, he fell short and that's what took us to overtime."
The thing is, McHargue had good but not outrageous stats last year. He did run for 11 touchdowns, but threw for only 12 and averaged 239.7 yards per game.