The Rice Football Webletter -- 2018 season Untitled 1
sammyjalopy118.jpg (3978 bytes)Next game:
Prairie View A&M
Rice Stadium
Aug. 25, 2018
6:00 pm

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The 2016 season....

The 2015 season....

The 2014 season..






'It's a process; we know it -- but we're taking steps'
(Houston Chronicle -- Aug. 20)
New coach hopes to keep PV's momentum going
(Houston Chronicle -- Aug. 20)

Rice-PV:  Owls have nowhere to go but up
(Sports Chat Place -- Aug. 19)

B-Doug:  'We've come a long way'
( -- Aug. 19)

Douglas-Dotson heads into 2018 as leader among DBs
( -- Aug. 19)

Battles for position on the Rice depth chart grew ever more intense as Saturday's scrimmage played out (PTH photo)

HOUSTON (Aug. 11) -- Pads were a 'poppin' on the floor of Rice Stadium Saturday evening as full scrimmage number two unfolded before a small but enthusiastic Owlfest crowd.  Lightning in the area put off the on-field action for over an hour, and the delay and the wet-ish weather held down attendance, but Rice head coach Mike Bloomgren said his staff had achieved the necessary level of progress by way of the evening's scrimmage reps.

"We're less fluid than we were," the Rice Head Man said aftewards.  "Right now we've got a couple of battles stilll going on, and I think the films will be huge in determining things."

He added that Sunday's team meetings will convey to the players where they stand on the depth chart and what they need to do the move up.

With the Owls' home opener against Prairie View looming a week from this coming Saturday, it's time to sharpen the hoe.  On the 18th, the Rice staff will hold a mock game -- but check in with the  football staff before showing up.

Coach Bloom on Saturday's scrimmage results
( -- Aug. 11)
Rice beginning to narrow down position battles
(Houston Chronicle -- Aug. 12)

HOUSTON (Aug. 5) – The first thing to be noticed upon entering Patterson Center at lunchtime Saturday was the Bill of Fare.

No empty calories here. Like the rest of what’s going on within, it’s all business. Lean meats. Grilled vegetables. Lots of fresh fruit. Refined carbohyrates kept to an absolute minimum. Sauces, sparely used, pretty much sugar-and fat-free. The traditional post-prandial ice cream treats? Not to be seen.

Call it the Stanfordization of Rice Football, or call it something else. In any case it’s Something Different – which aptly labels so many other routines, requisites and activities going on within the hallowed halls of Historic Rice Stadium these Dog Days of August.

Here, still a full week before the rest of the student body enter The Hedges to start the upcoming semester, new cookbooks, new recipes, new regimens are awash. For the time being, it, like the gorilla’s kitten, is “All Ball.” No classes, no orientation sessions, no distractions.

"I started off the team meeting this morning saying it was all ball, all day for the next week," new Rice Head Man Mike Bloomgren said this weekend. "They have nothing else on their plates and have all the time in the world to come over here and get with this awesome coaching staff. I want to make sure we are masters of our scheme."

On tap Monday is the first scrimmage of the season, one calculated to separate sheep from goats, or, more specifically, the “go” team from the scout team.

"Tomorrow we have a scrimmage and that's going to move the depth chart up and down," Coach Bloom added. "It's all on them to determine which way they want to go. That's the really cool thing about it being a meritocracy.

"We'll be scrimmaging again next Saturday and the graded work from this week is going to decide who is going to be on the varsity and who is going to move to the scout team nine days from now.”

By the way, don’t plan on dropping by HRS to watch a few scrimmage reps – they’re closed to the hoi polloi. Rice coaches quite reasonably are keeping brand new schemes close to the vest in anticipation of the Sept. 25th “Week Zero” home opener with Prairie View.

At Saturday’s press briefing, Rice defensive coordinator Brian Smith was coy. “The biggest question I probably get is what we’re going to be, a 3-4, 4-3, 4-2-5,” Coach Smith allowed, responding to a questioner. “One thing I can tell you is we’re going to  be aggressive.”

In other words: If you wanna know what we’re gonna do, go buy yourself a ticket.


Fall drills under way...

Rice pre-camp depth chart...

'It's a process; we know it -- but we're taking steps'
(Houston Chronicle -- Aug. 20)
New coach hopes to keep PV's momentum going
(Houston Chronicle -- Aug. 20)

Rice-PV:  Owls have nowhere to go but up
(Sports Chat Place -- Aug. 19)

B-Doug:  'We've come a long way'
( -- Aug. 19)

Douglas-Dotson heads into 2018 as leader among DBs
( -- Aug. 19)

Three potential sleepers to watch for Rice
(Houston Chronicle -- Aug. 16)
Zach takes us on video tour of Patterson
( -- Aug. 16)
Former Owl OL eager to shore up position at UT
(24/ -- Aug. 16)
Tight ends play critical role in Rice offense
(Houston Chronicle -- Aug. 16)
Baylor headed to Rice Stadium in September 2019
( -- Aug. 13)
Second scrimmage fall camp photos
( -- Aug. 13)

Rice beginning to narrow down position battles
(Houston Chronicle -- Aug. 12)

Coach Bloom on Saturday's scrimmage results
( -- Aug. 11)
Bayou Bucket trophy to get makeover
(Houston Chronicle -- Aug. 10)

Coach Bloom's update on Glaesmann's move to TE
( -- Aug. 10)
Passion for public service guides Gabe Baker
( -- Aug. 10)
Coach Bloom likes flexibility new redshirt rule brings
(Houston Chronicle -- Aug. 8)
C-USA coachs talk anonymously about league foes
(Athlon Sports -- Aug. 8)

Bloomgren, Owls just three weeks from opener
( -- Aug. 4)
Austin twins tote mail with Ellerbe, Esukpa on sideline
(Houston Chronicle -- Aug. 7)
Jaeger Bull leads youthful tight ends
( -- Aug. 7)
Rice faces Qs at QB for second straight year
(Houston Chronicle -- Aug. 6)
Prairie View looks to continue success under new coach
(Houston Chronicle -- Aug. 2)

This week for Owls, it's all ball, all week
( -- Aug. 5)

Football training camp:  what we know
(The Rice Thresher -- Aug. 5)
Rice staff eager to put new culture into action on field
(Houston Chronicle -- Aug. 4)
Scott Vestal tasked with enlarged role at Rice
(Houston Chronicle -- Aug. 4)
Pierce readily assumes leadership role
( -- Aug. 3)
Three players trying to step up, lead Rice turnaround
(Houston Chronicle -- Aug. 1)
''Intellectual Brutality' the value behind Stanford Football's success
Schantz relishes second chance at senior season
( -- July 29)

Rice QB competition set to be friendly affair
(Houston Chronicle -- July 28)

Excitement runs high as practice begins
( -- July 27)

Practice Day One (photo gallery)
( -- July 28)
Rice C-USA Media Day video
( -- July 19)

Rice transfer brings size, knowledge to CSU secondary

(Fort Collins Reporter -Herald -- July 30)

Rice by far Wake's second-easiest opponent of season
(BloggerSoDear -- July 30)
New strength coach hopes to provide Owls a lift
(Houston Chronicle -- July 25)

It will take time to turn things around on South Main
Houston Chronicle -- July 23)
Ten Owls opponents need to look out for
(Houston Chronicle -- July 24)
Rice mining Dallas area to bolster recruiting class
(Houston Chronicle -- July 3)
Owls add three transfers
(Houston Chronicle --  June 25)

Bloom: 'Thank God we're not where we used to be'
(Athlon Sports -- June 21)
Peter Godber adjusts to life in the CFL
(Houston Chronicle -- June 15)
Coach Bloom wants to duplicate Stanford success
(Austin American-Statesman -- May 16)
It's going to be a long year for rookie Rice head coach
(Athlon Sports --  July 6)
Rice football retools with renewed energy
(Houston Chronicle -- April 13)
Can Rice become the Stanford of C-USA football?
(SB Nation -- Feb. 21)
If Rice is patient, Bloomgren could work out
(SB Nation/And the Valley Shook --  May 30)

At Rice, the new guy can fix this
( -- May 22)
Lance Armstrong's son to walk on at Rice
(The Spun -- April 12)
Bloomgren will need time to implement his changes
(Orlando Sentinel -- April 21)
What are reasonable expectations for RIce?
(Houston Chronicle -- Dec. 15)

Spring Game: Blue 27, Gray 24 

Rice running back Aston Walter gets around corner for yardage late in Saturday's spring game (PTH photo)

Tyner, Esupka lead Blue to Spring Game win
( -- April 21)
Offense gains upper hand in Rice spring football game
(Houston Chronicle -- April 21)

Rice Signing Day Central....   Full presser video....
New Rice OC Jerry Mack interview....  New Rice DC Brian Smith interview....

Latest headlines...
 Last update: 08/21/18 12:27 AM

This week's scoreboard....

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Media Day press briefings, interviews
Graysen Schantz
'We have different type packages; we'll mix in some DBs, even linebackerswe; we want to keep it basic; we want to keep the parts interchangeable'
Brandon Douglas-Dotson
'As corners we're going to be out on that island at all times; we're going to be aggressive'; we're going to have to be technique- sound'
Jack Fox
'We're so lucky to be with Coach Lembo; he's an amazing coach and an amazing guy. He's detail-oriented; that helps the whole team'
Roe Wilkins
'We've got a whole D line of elite athletes, and we're really excited to see what our collective experience can do'
Zach Aber- crumbia
'I feel a lot more comfortable with this defense; I feel I'm able to do my job a lot better-- that's my whole goal for the season'
Martin Nwa kamma
'When it comes to leadership, you've just got to know your personnel -- just like a coach; every single guy is different'
Coach Smith
'We're going to be aggressive; we're going to be attacking; we're going to stop the run on first and second down, get after the quarterback on third down'
Coach Bloomgren
'From the first time I stood up here, I talked about the importance of hiring a great coaching staff.  We've done that"
Coach Lembo
'For many people, they think of special teams in terms of a punt or a kickoff.  I think of it in terms of  player develop- ment and program development'
Coach Mack
'One that that's tried and true is, physicality wins football games; controlling the clock wins football games; and running the football wins football games'
Spring game

"'Supe in my mind is made for an offense like this, and the twins have been unbelievable, making play after play"
Emmanuel Esukpa
"In thinking of my fatique, I'm thinking of how much I've gotten done; I'm thinking of plays and reps"
Jackson Tyner
"I like being able to get out of a bad play, to go to  a play that's more suitable for the down and distance; I like not being stuck in a bad play'

"I really just base my game on my instincts; reading my keys, reacting to the ball without hesitation'
Intro presser
Coach Bloomgren
'I wanted to work with world class students, and world class athletes, and there are very few places where you can do it. So when I say I earmarked Rice, I literally did'
Joe Karlgaard
'We had several candidates who could do this job and told us they would take it and run with it.  But one rose about the rest. He  is an extraordinary fit for this university'
Crowd scenes
Patterson Center crowd takes in first view, hearing of new Rice head coach Mike Bloomgren
Blain Padgett
'We knew we had to come in here and be the more physical team; we needed to come in and have fun -- and that's what we did'
Blain Padgett
'Inside, things happen a lot faster...I'm going to take advantage of being quicker than a lot of those guys on the inside'