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2008 Rice Owls Season
Rice QB Chase Clement
Rice QB Chase Clement
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Jan 17, 2009


2008 Rice Owls Season, Game Recaps, Scores and Reviews

2008 Rice Owls

Dec. 30
2008 Texas Bowl
Rice 38 … Western Michigan 14

It was supposed to be a shootout and only one team showed up. Rice was up 38-0 in the fourth quarter thanks to a variety of trick plays including a 13-yard touchdown pass from WR Jarett Dillard to QB Chase Clement. Clements also ran for a 26-yard touchdown and threw three touchdown passes, including an 18-yarder to Dillard and a 45-yarder to James Casey that was intended for Dillard. The potent WMU offense finally got going when the outcome had been decided with two Tim Hiller touchdown passes in the final 6:33.
Player of the Game: Rice QB Chase Clement completed 30-of-44 passes for 307 yards and three touchdowns, led the team with 72 rushing yards and a touchdown on 12 carries, and caught a pass for 13 yards and a score. 
Stat Leaders: Western Michigan - Passing: Tim Hiller, 19-42, 198 yds, 2 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Brandon West, 15-56. Receiving: Jamarko Simmons, 6-92
Rice - Passing: Chase Clement, 30-44, 307 yds, 3 TD
Rushing: Chase Clement, 12-72, 1 TD. Receiving: Jarett Dillard, 8-86, 1 TD
Inside The Box Score ...  5 Thoughts on the Texas Bowl …Western Michigan S Louis Delmas led all tacklers with 10 stops, seven of them solo … Third down conversions: Rice 13-of-20 – WMU 3-of-14 … Time of possession: Rice 38:29 – WMU 21:31 … Total yards: Rice 455 – WMU 278 … First half yardage: Rice 283 – WMU 90

- 2008 Rice Preview
- 2007 Rice Season

2008 Schedule
CFN Prediction:
3-9
2008 Record: 10-
3

Aug. 29 SMU W 56-27
Sept. 6 at Memphis W 42-35
Sept. 13 at Vanderbilt L 38-21
Sept. 20 at Texas L 52-10
Sept. 27 North Texas W 77-20
Oct. 4 at Tulsa L 63-28
Oct. 11 OPEN DATE
Oct. 18 Southern Miss W 45-40
Oct. 25 at Tulane W 42-17
Nov. 1 at UTEP W 49-44
Nov. 8 Army W 38-31
Nov. 15 OPEN DATE
Nov. 22 Marshall W 35-10
Nov. 29 Houston W 56-42
Texas Bowl
Dec. 30 Western Mich W 38-14

2007 Schedule
CFN Prediction:
2-10
2007 Record: 3-9

Sept. 1 Nicholls State L 16-14
Sept. 8 at Baylor L 42-14
Sept. 15 Texas Tech L 59-24
Sept. 22 at Texas L 58-14
Oct. 3 at So Miss W 31-29
Oct. 13 at Houston L 56-48
Oct. 20 Memphis L 38-35
Oct. 27 at Marshall L 34-21
Nov. 3 UTEP W 56-48
Nov. 10 at SMU W 43-42
Nov. 17
Tulane L 45-31
Nov. 24 Tulsa L 48-43

Nov. 29
Rice 56 … Houston 42
James Casey caught three touchdown passes and ran for another as Rice ruined Houston’s Conference USA title dream. The Owls took a 35-14 first half lead on a Casey 23-yard touchdown catch, and then his nine-yard grab helped Rice pull away early in the third. Chase Clement finished with five touchdown passes and an eight yard run, but Houston was able to make things interesting with 634 yards of total offense and five touchdown passes from Case Keenum. But two of the touchdown throws came late in the fourth after the Owls had done their damage, finishing up with a Casey three-yard touchdown pass to Taylor Wardlow.
Player of the game: Rice TE James Casey made 12 catches for 172 yards and three touchdowns, ran five times for 10 yards and a score, he threw a three-yard touchdown pass, and he returned two punts for 18 yards
Stat Leaders: Houston - Passing: Case Keenum, 30-54, 494 yds, 5 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Bryce Beall, 17-88, 1 TD. Receiving: Kierrie Johnson, 6-142, 1 TD
Rice - Passing: Chase Clement, 28-41, 381 yds, 5 TD
Rushing: C.J. Ugokwe, 18-110. Receiving: James Casey, 12-172, 3 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Finishing with a six game winning streak and with the offense running to perfection, how much would the Owls love to have another shot at Tulsa again? That’s not going to happen as the Golden Hurricane will be off to the Conference USA title game, but Chase Clement and the Owls have to be proud of their amazing nine-win season with a chance to win ten. The offense is creative, balanced, and deadly, with James Casey showing why he belonged in the Mackey Award discussion with his tremendous performance against the Cougars. No one will want to deal with this attack in the bowl.

Nov. 22
Rice 35 … Marshall 10
Chase Clement became the Conference USA all-time leader in touchdowns as he threw for four scores, including two to Jarett Dillard from 27 and 13 yards out, and he ran for a 12-yard score in the blowout. Marshall made it a 7-7 tie on a nine-yard Cody Slate catch, but that was it for making it competitive. Rice outgained the Herd 456 yards to 268, making the game a blowout on a 44-yard play from Corbin Smiter.
Player of the game: Rice QB Chase Clement completed 25-of-41 passes for 315 yards and four touchdowns with an interception, and he ran 10 times for 53 yards and a score.
Stat Leaders: Marshall - Passing: Mark Cann, 13-24, 83 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Darius Marshall 24-118. Receiving: Cody Slate, 7-37, 1 TD
Rice - Passing: Chase Clement, 25-41, 315 yds, 4 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: C.J. Ugokwe, 19-79. Receiving: Jarett Dillard, 6-88, 2 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Chase Clement has been a special player for Rice, and the team has come up with a tremendous season, even if there hasn’t been a whole bunch of national attention. Rice will need some help to play for the Conference USA title, but no matter what happens when Tulsa plays Marshall, getting a win over Houston next week would be yet another major achievement in the wonderful season. Now on a five-game winning streak, everything is clicking as the team just keeps getting better and better.  

Nov. 8
Rice 38 … Army 31
Chase Clement set the Conference USA record for most touchdowns accounted for as Rice rolled up a 31-7 halftime lead highlighted by Jarett Dillard touchdown catches from 80 and 10 yards out, but Army roared back. The defense stiffened in the second half while Collin Mooney and the running game got rolling. Mooney ran for a 61-yard touchdown and Wesley McMahand ran for a 43-yard score in the fourth quarter to pull within seven, but that would be as close as Army could get. The defense held on a fourth down stop to give Mooney and the O one more shot, but nothing happened. Army finished with 461 rushing yards while Rice amassed 517 total yards.
Player of the game: Rice QB Chase Clement completed 21-of-28 passes for 384 yards and three touchdowns, and he ran nine times for 87 yards and a score.
Stat Leaders: Army - Passing: Chip Bowden, 5-11, 26 yds
Rushing: Collin Mooney, 26-207, 2 TD. Receiving: Damion Hunter, 2-12
Rice - Passing: Chase Clement, 21-28, 384 yds, 3 TD
Rushing: Chase Clement, 9-87, 1 TD. Receiving: Jarett Dillard, 4-144, 2 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Chase Clement has now crossed over and could be called the greatest quarterback in Conference USA history, at least statistically. He won’t have a Conference USA title on the résumé, but he and Jarett Dillard have combined to have special careers as the great final season keeps on rolling. The run defense was non-existent against Army, but it held when it had to at the very end. Now the Owls have secured a bowl bid with seven wins and can push for even more. With an open date before closing against Marshall and Houston at home, a ten-win season is still possible.

Nov. 1
Rice 49 … UTEP 44
Chase Clement threw five touchdown passes and James Casey scored four times, including two touchdown grabs in the fourth quarter, to hold off UTEP. The Miners got three touchdown passes from Trevor Vittatoe and Jeff Moturi caught three scoring throws including a 53-yarder on a halfback pass by James Thomas in the first quarter. But Casey proved to be too much as he caught touchdown passes from 37, four and 12 yards out and ran for a two yard score.
Player of the game: Chase Clement completed 28-of-41 passes for 372 yards and five touchdowns, and ran 12 times for 21 yards and a score.
Stat Leaders: UTEP - Passing: Trevor Vittatoe, 19-37, 265 yds, 3 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: James Thomas, 3-43. Receiving: Jeff Moturi, 5-109, 3 TD
Rice - Passing: Chase Clement, 28-41, 372 yds, 5 TD
Rushing: C.J. Ugokwe, 19-103. Receiving: James Casey, 12-143, 3 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Rice is bowl eligible, but it needs two losses from Tulsa to have a shot at winning the Conference USA title. After yet another offensive explosion, and a win over UTEP, the team has won four of the last five games with three home games against Army, Marshall and Houston to close out the regular season. If Chase Clement can continue to keep up his hot pace, the Owls will win at least two of those games.

Oct. 25
Rice 42 … Tulane 17
Rice jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter with three touchdowns in less than three minutes. James Casey caught a seven-yard touchdown pass, and on Rice’s next drive, Chase Clement ran for a nine-yard score. Tulane fumbled away the ensuing kickoff, Casey caught a 17-yard touchdown pass, and the game was all but over. The Owls went on to get a six-yard Clement run and a blocked field goal for a touchdown on the way to a 35-0 halftime lead. Tulane managed 10 points to start out the third quarter, with Casey Robottom catching a 42-yard touchdown pass, but it wasn’t nearly enough.
Player of the game: Rice QB Chase Clement completed 20-of-25 passes for 168 yards and two touchdowns with an interception, and he ran eight times for 57 yards and two scores.
Stat Leaders: Tulane - Passing: Joe Kemp, 14-20, 201 yds, 2 TD
Rushing: Nathan Austin, 13-25. Receiving: Brian King, 7-103
Rice - Passing: Chase Clement, 20-25, 168 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: C.J. Ugokwe, 18-111, 1 TD. Receiving: James Casey, 6-51, 2 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Rice’s offense is a machine right now. Chase Clement is playing as well as any quarterback in America, and that includes Colt McCoy. He did a great job of capitalizing on every Tulane mistake, and every opportunity. Not only did he run well, but he spread the wealth around with eight different receivers getting work. On a nice two-game winning streak, a bowl game is there for the taking with winnable games ahead. It’s asking for too much to think about the Conference USA title, especially being 1.5 games behind Tulsa, but whatever; this is a special season.

Oct. 18
Rice 45 … Southern Miss 40
In a wild shootout with the two teams combining for 905 passing yards, Rice’s Chase Clement threw six touchdown passes including three to Jarett Dillard from 17, 51 and 44 yards out. As good as the Clement-to-Dillard combination was, Southern Miss had a better duo of QB Austin Davis to DeAndre Brown. Brown caught touchdown passes from eight, 16, 42 and 17 yards out, with the last two coming in a wild 4:16 span to pull the Golden Eagles to within five. But Rice recovered the onside kick with 17 seconds to play to hold on.
Player of the game: Rice QB Chase Clement completed 30-of-44 passes for 444 yards and six touchdowns, and he ran eight times for 22 yards
Stat Leaders: Southern Miss - Passing: Austin Davis, 32-61, 461 yds, 4 TD
Rushing: Damion Fletcher, 17-120, 1 TD. Receiving: DeAndre Brown, 12-221, 4 TD
Rice - Passing: Chase Clements, 30-43, 444 yds, 6 TD
Rushing: C.J. Ugokwe, 18-90. Receiving: Jarett Dillard, 7-141, 3 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Rice has everything set up perfectly to go to a bowl game, but there’s a chance to push for even more. It’ll take a mini-miracle with Tulsa needing to lose twice, but with the win over Southern Miss, the Owls are deep in the hunt for the Conference USA title. Chase Clement and Jarett Dillard are unstoppable. These two continue to set records, or improve upon the ones they already own, and while the defense hasn’t shown up this year, it hasn’t mattered. The Owls are 16th in the nation in total offense and tenth in scoring.

Oct. 4
Tulsa 63 … Rice 28
Tulsa busted open a 14-14 game with a 21-point run as David Johnson hit Damaris Johnson and Charles Clay for touchdowns and Slick Shelley returned a punt for a score. Johnson finished with four touchdown passes on the day to four different receivers as the Golden Hurricane rolled up 577 total yards. Rice got two touchdown passes from Chase Clement, including a 25-yarder to Jarett Dillard in the second quarter, but the Owls couldn’t keep up the pace in the second half. Four turnovers ended up proving costly.
Player of the game: Tulsa RB Tarrion Adams ran 23 times for 112 yards
Stat Leaders: Rice - Passing: Chase Clement, 22-42, 321 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT
Rushing:
Chase Clement, 15-40. Receiving: James Casey, 9-120, 1 TD
Tulsa
- Passing: David Johnson, 13-25, 177 yds, 4 TD, 1 INT
Rushing:
Tarrion Adams, 23-112. Receiving: Brennan Marion, 4-76, 1 TD

Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Tulsa is blowing away everyone, so there’s no reason to get too upset about the blowout loss. However, the four turnovers and a total lack of running game were a problem when the Golden Hurricane went on its scoring run to put the game away. Chase Clement did what he could, but this loss was simply a case of the Owls not having enough firepower against the nation’s most explosive team. Next up is Southern Miss and a must-win game to have any hope for a bowl appearance.

Sept. 27
Rice 77 … North Texas 20
Chase Clement threw four touchdown passes and ran for two more, and Jarett Dillard caught four touchdown passes as Rice rolled for 502 yards and a Conference USA record 77 points. The defense forced six turnovers and got into the scoring act with a 13-yard interception return for a score from Arnaud Gascon-Nadon. North Texas stayed alive with 20 points in the first 20 minutes on two Cam Montgomery touchdown runs and a seven-yard Lance Dunbar seven-yard catch, but Rice scored 49 unanswered points.
Player of the game: Rice QB Chase Clement completed 22-of-28 passes for 298 yards and five touchdown, and ran ten times for 69 yards and two scores, and Jarett Dillard caught eight passes for 114 yards and four touchdowns in the 77-20 win over North Texas. The two have combined for 42 career touchdowns, a new NCAA record for a QB-WR duo, breaking the mark held by the former Louisiana Tech combination of Tim Rattay and Troy Edwards. 
Stat Leaders: Rice - Passing: Chase Clement, 22-28, 298 yds, 5 TD
Rushing:
Chase Clement, 10-69, 2 TD. Receiving: Jarett Dillard, 8-114, 4 TD
North Texas
- Passing: Giovanni Bizza, 25-39, 251 yds, 1 TD, 3 INT
Rushing:
Cam Montgomery, 11-76, 2 TD. Receiving: Casey Fitzgerald, 7-89
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Chase Clement is a special player. Now he’s an all-timer, combining with Jarett Dillard for an NCAA record 42 career touchdowns. After the win over UNT, the Owls have a real, live shot to be in the mix for a bowl as long as the offense keeps on rolling. The defense struggled, but it forced six turnovers to make the game a blowout. Now comes Tulsa in what should be one of the fun offensive shootouts of the Conference USA season.

Sept. 20
Texas 52 … Rice 10
Colt McCoy was unstoppable both as a passer and a runner connecting with Jordan Shipley on touchdown passes from 30 and 60 yards out and running for an eight-yard score on the way to a 24-3 halftime lead. McCoy kept the offense going in the third quarter with a five-yard scoring pass to Quan Cosby and a 46-yard touchdown play to Chris Ogbonnaya. Rice gave up 600 yards of total offense and gained 318, including 17 on the ground, and it only managed a 15-yard Jarett Dillard touchdown catch late in the third.
Player of the game: Texas QB Colt McCoy completed 19-of-23 passes for 329 yards and four touchdowns, and ran eight times for 83 yards and a touchdown.
Stat Leaders: Rice
- Passing: Chase Clement, 25-37, 254 yds, 1 TD
Rushing: Chase Clement, 14-20. Receiving: Jarett Dillard, 9-158, 1 TD
Texas
- Passing: Colt McCoy, 19-23, 329 yds, 4 TD
Rushing: Colt McCoy, 8-83, 1 TD. Receiving: Quan Cosby, 7-90, 1 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Rice was never going to have a shot against Texas, and while it was an expected blowout loss, it would’ve been nice if Chase Clement and the passing game could’ve gotten more going. He was fine, throwing for 254 yards and a touchdown, but he couldn’t keep the chains going early on. There was no help from C.J. Ugokwe and the running backs, but that should change next week against North Texas.

Sept. 13
Vanderbilt 38 … Rice 21
Vanderbilt broke open a 21-21 game with a 17-0 second half and a 24-point run to close. Jared Hawkins ran and Chris Nickson each ran for short scores, and Jamie Graham tore off a 27-yard touchdown dash to blow past the Owls. Nickson kept pace in the first half with a 14-yard run and Sean Walker added a five-yard touchdown dash as part of Vanderbilt’s 273 rushing yards. Rice got a 26-yard Jarett Dillard touchdown catch to start the scoring and got short touchdown runs from Chase Clement and James Casey, but struggled in the second half.
Player of the game:
Vanderbilt CB Myron Lewis made 10 tackles and two sacks
Stat Leaders: Vanderbilt
- Passing: Chris Nickson, 7-16, 71 yds
Rushing: Jared Hawkins, 20-107, 1 TD. Receiving: Sean Walker, 4-40
Rice - Passing: Chase Clement, 25-30, 299 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: C.J. Ugokwe, 13-63. Receiving: James Casey, 12-115

Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... What happened to the offense in the second half? Chase Clement tried to get the attack rolling in the second half against Vanderbilt, and while the passing game worked, the points didn’t come. Turnovers, misfires on key plays, and a problem getting the Commodore running game off the field proved to be the issues. On the plus side, Clement got some help. Tight end James Casey had a huge game, catching 12 passes for 115 yards, Jarett Dillard was Jarett Dillard, and C.J. Ugokwe ran well.

Sept. 6
Rice 42 … Memphis 35
Memphis appeared to be driving for the game-winning score when Rice’s Chris Jammer picked off an Arkelon Hall pass and took it 69 yards for a touchdown with 11 seconds to play to cap off a wild finish. Rice had tied the game just a minute earlier on a two-point conversion pass to James Casey following a nine-yard Chase Clement touchdown run. Memphis rolled up 523 yards to Rice’s 430 and was up 35-20 late in the game, but Rice scored 22 points in the final 6:28. The loss glossed over a big game from Hall, who threw for 373 yards and three scores. Charlie Jones ran for two touchdowns for the Tigers, and Maurice Jones caught two touchdown passes.
Player of the game:
 Rice QB Chase Clement completed 26-of-44 passes for 318 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions, and he ran 15 times for 80 yards and two scores.
Stat Leaders: Memphis - Passing: Arkelon Hall, 29-38, 373 yds, 3 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Curtis Steele, 12-44 Receiving: Maurice Jones, 9-173, 2 TD
Rice - Passing: Chase Clement, 26-44, 318 yds, 1 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Chase Clement, 15-80, 2 TD. Receiving: James Casey, 11-208

Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... How amazing is Chase Clement? Things weren’t going well for the Owls against Memphis, and it appeared to be over late, but Clement led the way to two great scoring drives, came up with a two-point conversion, and then the defense did its thing with Chris Jammer coming up with the pick-six to win the game. This was an all-timer of a win for Rice, and now the team has to build on it.

Aug. 29
Rice 56 ... SMU 27
Chase Clement threw six touchdown passes including three to Jarett Dillard as Rice overcame an early 13-0 deficit to go on 56-7 run to blow the game away. The Owl defense also got in the act with a 55-yard interception return for a score from Andrew Sendejo. SMU's new June Jones offense cranked out 326 passing yards, but it turned the ball over five times. Bo Levi Mitchell threw three touchdown passes.
Player of the game: Rice QB Chase Clement went 24-of-37 for 258 yards and six touchdown passes, and he also led the team with 87 yards rushing on 13 carries.
Stat Leaders: SMU - Passing: Bo Levi Mitchell, 25-43, 244 yds, 3 TDs, 3 INTs
Rushing: DeMyron Martin, 8-28. Receiving: Emmanuel Sanders, 8-121, 1 TD
Rice - Passing: Chase Clement, 24-37, 258 yds, 6 TDs
Rushing: Chase Clement, 13-87. Receiving: Jarett Dillard, 7-89, 3 TDs

Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ...
For the first time in four years, the Owls won an opener, getting the rare fast start that they craved. As long as QB Chase Clement is healthy, the program will be competitive every weekend and be back in the hunt for a postseason game. He spread the ball around magnificently, tossing six touchdown passes and leading the offense in rushing. Yeah, the defense won’t have much luck stopping better offenses, but it did create five turnovers and the passing game is good enough to survive in shootouts. 

2008 Recruiting Class

Star of the Class

Clay Hebert OL 6-3 290 Fr. Spring, Texas/Klein
Two-time All District 16-5A second team selection for coach Stan Labay. Led the Bulldogs into the second round of the Division 1 5A playoffs... Member of Dave Campbell's Texas Football Top 300... Also participated in track... A member of the National Honor Society and an Eagle Scout who carries a 4.1 GPA on a 5.0 scale


Potential Instant Impact Players

Eric Ball OL 6-3 270 Fr. Katy, Texas/Katy
Two-year starter for coach Gary Joseph and one of the anchors on the Tigers unbeaten 5A state championship squad. Two-time All-District 18-5A and second-team All-Greater Houston as a senior by the Houston Chronicle... Katy was a combined 29-1 in his two years on the varsity... Member of Dave Campbell's Texas Football Top 300

Kyle Martens P/K 6-6 190 Fr. Spearfish, S.D./Spearfish
All-around athlete who was a first-team 11A All State selection by the South Dakota High School Coaches Association as a senior for coach Chuck Syverson... Ranked as the #6 punter after attending the Chris Sailer Kicking Camp in Las Vegas... Named his team's most improved player as well as the special teams MVP... Averaged 42.6 as a punter, including a career-best, 82-yard kick... Averaged 82% touchbacks on his kickoffs... Also played wide receiver... Three-year letterman in basketball and track who finished fifth as a junior in the high jump at the state meet.


Rest of the Class

Jarrett Ben DB 5-10 160 Fr. Garland, Texas/Garland
Derek Clark WR 6-2 170 Fr. Arlington, Texas/Bowie
John Gioffre DL 6-1 293 Fr. Katy, Texas/Cinco Ranch
Chris Jammer DB 6-1 175 Fr. Sweeney, Texas/Sweeney
Ryan Lewis QB 6-3 200 Fr. Baton Rouge, La./Catholic
Roddy Maginot WR 5-10 170 Fr. Arlington, Texas/Bowie
Stefan Nazar OL 6-5 290 Fr. Toronto, Ontario/Michael Power
Michael Patterson ATH 5-11 170 Fr. Rockwall, Texas/Rockwall
Michael Smith DL 6-1 270 Fr. Bay City, Texas/Bay City
Shane Turner RB 5-9 170 Fr. Houston, Texas/Cy Falls
Denzel Wells WR 5-11 180 Fr. Houston, Texas/Cy Falls
Xavier Webb DB 5-11 200 Fr. Montgomery, Texas/Montgomery
Jared Williams TE/DE 6-3 230 Fr. Huntsville, Texas/Huntsville
Luke Willson TE 6-5 240 Fr. LaSalle, Ontario/St. Thomas of Villanova

2007 Recap

Recap:
Whatever magic the Owls had in 2006 never quite reached the surface for the 2007 edition, which managed just three wins in David Bailiff’s debut on the sidelines.  While the offense was setting a school record for points in a season, the defense was allowing more than 42 points and 510 yards a game, impossible numbers for any attack to overcome.  To Rice’s credit, it was competitive in every league game, putting up a fight long after bowl eligibility was out of reach.         

Offensive Player of the Year: QB Chase Clement

Defensive Player of the Year: S Andrew Sendejo

Biggest Surprise: After starting the season 0-4, absolutely no one expected the Owls to beat league favorite Southern Miss in Hattiesburg, but that’s precisely what they did on Oct. 3.  Rice jumped all over the Golden Eagles, hanging on for a 31-29 upset, and giving faint hope that like last season, the program would rally for a postseason game.   

Biggest Disappointment: It didn’t take the Owls very long to realize that they weren’t in Kansas anymore.  In the opener with Nicholls State, Rice turned the ball over five times, and could only muster 218 yards versus an FCS defense in a tone-setting, 16-14 loss.

Looking Ahead: With Clement and his top four receivers, including Jarett Dillard, back for another season, Rice should have few problems putting points on the board next season.  If, however, the Owls have any hope of making it back to a bowl game, Bailiff will need to coax a dramatic turn around out of his defense and special teams units as well.

 

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