The ballhawking traits Sean Taylor used to become one of the NFL’s most dominant safeties seem to run in the family. Rice defensive back Gabe Taylor, Sean’s younger brother, nabbed a game-sealing interception against Louisiana Tech on Saturday.
Gabe made the play on the 14th anniversary of Sean’s death.
Louisiana Tech was down four, 35-31, at Rice’s 33-yard line with only 19 seconds remaining. Bulldogs quarterback JD Head rolled left then heaved an errant pass toward three Rice defenders, and Taylor came down with the pick.
Knowing the game was over, Taylor slid after a brief return and got tackled by a pair of excited teammates.
Taylor has been a playmaker for Rice long before this week. The freshman from Miami ranks second on the team with three interceptions and forced a fumble against UAB. He earned Conference USA Player of the Week and the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award for his 10-tackle performance against the Blazers.
Hours before Gabe’s game-sealing play, the Washington Football Team announced it would build a physical memorial of Sean at FedEx Field. Washington retired Sean’s No. 21 jersey earlier this year and inducted the two-time Pro Bowler into its Ring of Honor in 2008.
Rice’s win snapped a four-game losing streak and cemented a 4-8 record, its best since going 5-7 in 2015.