Preview 2018: Rice Owls. The New Guy Can Fix This

Preview 2018: Rice Owls. The New Guy Can Fix This

2018 Preview

Preview 2018: Rice Owls. The New Guy Can Fix This

What You Need To Know About The Rice Offense

– It’s an interesting pitch. If Stanford could run the ball well with a bunch of really smart guys, then why can’t Rice? That’s the goal under new head coach and former Cardinal Andrew Luck Director of Offense Mike Bloomgren.

No word on whether or not the same pretentiousness of titles will carry over to the new gig.

The Rice offense that averaged just 332 yards and 16 points per game could use some pop, but for all of the problems, the ground game was fine. Now, it’s going to be better.

– The Owls are loaded with running back options. Throwing in the quarterbacks, all but four of the rushing yards from last season return, starting with the Walter brothers – Aston and Austin – along with leading rusher Nashon Ellerbe. The Owls will spread the ball around. However, they won’t have their main man blocker.

Calvin Armstrong bolted to Texas, leaving Rice with a gaping hole at left tackle. Just two starters return, but there’s decent enough size to pound away and try controlling the clock a little more.

– There wasn’t any passing attack last season, but when the Owls did throw, they went big. Rice led Conference USA in yards per completion, but in the old style there were too many misfires. Fortunately, Aaron Cephus and his 24.9-yard-per-catch average is back, but he only led the team with 25 grabs.

Miklo Smalls was the most accurate passer as he took over late last season, but he threw one touchdown pass with five picks.

Jackson Tyner is the top guy coming out of spring ball, but he only threw two scoring passes with five picks, and Sam Glaesman only hit 44% of his passes when he got a chance. Wait until Vanderbilt grad transfer Shawn Stankavage comes in to take over.

Biggest Key To The Rice Offense

Start by not giving the ball away. Yes, the offensive line has to be great after losing so much talent. Yes, the passing game has to be sharper. Yes, the running game has to work better to control the clock.

But Step One is to simply stop screwing up after giving the ball away 29 times. The Owls don’t have the firepower to turn it over so often, with two or more given up nine times.

NEXT: Defense Breakdown, Top Players, Final Prediction & What Will Happen

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