2014 RICE OWLS FOOTBALL PREVIEW
June 18, 2014INDIANA SPORTS PAGE
2014 Rice Owls football preview
2013 Record: (10-4, 7-1)
The Rice Owls football program had a historic year in 2013 winning 10 games and finishing seven and one in Conference USA’s Western division. Rice also beat Marshall in the Conference USA championship game before losing to Mississippi State in the Liberty Bowl. Winning 10 games in 2014 will be a difficult task as most of the players who built the program in 2013 have since departed.
Rice lost its top running back and most valuable player Charles Ross as well as their quarterback Taylor McHargue their top offensive lineman. The only Rice quarterback with any experience is Driphus Jackson. Jackson is a dual threat quarterback who at one time was in contention for the starting job but was sidelined by injuries. Jackson fits Rice’s offense and has the ability to play at more of an up-tempo pace. Rice’s offense should be one of the best in Conference USA again in 2014 with wideouts Jordyn Taylor and Dennis Parks returning. Taylor was named second team all-conference in 2013 and could have a breakout season for the Owls in 2014. Sophomore running back Jowan Davis is the team’s top running back but missed the spring drills because of an injury. Davis should be the number one running back on the depth chart this fall. The offense of line has plenty of experience with three starters returning including right guard Drew Caroll and right tackle Caleb Williams. Niko Carlson returns at left guard.
Rice’s defense was not a dominating squad last year giving up over 24 points per game and 364 yards of total offense. Seven starters return on their defense but they have question marks at both defensive end positions and at safety. Defensive tackle Christian Covington returns as an all-conference performer in 2013. Rice ended up losing some big names in their secondary but return cornerback Bryce Callahan. The linebacker position should be solid and deeper than any other position on the team with nine different players getting a chance to get on the field in the fall. Julius White returns as one of the safeties and Malcolm Hill returns at cornerback.
Rice football has seen the best two years in their program after delivering their first conference championship in nearly 50 years. It will be hard to match 10 wins of 2013 because there are so many holes to fill but they should be able to contend for another bowl this season. The schedule this year includes dates at Notre Dame and Texas A&M.
2013 Team Stats: