To say that Conference USA football was unpredictable last season would be an understatement. The 13 teams played anywhere from five to 12 total games because of cancellations due to the pandemic.
Rice, who played the fewest games of any team in the conference, is as ready as anyone to play a full schedule. But they'll have to contend with an Arkansas team whose arrow is pointing up in Week 1.
Here are three things you didn't know about Rice... and how the team can start the season off on the right foot:
▶️ The Boys Are Back: Understandably, Rice feels they have unfinished business from a season cut woefully short last year. All five starting offensive linemen are back. The leading rushers are back. This is a team that will likely run twice as often as they pass, so Coach Pittman will be stressing defensive line play leading up to the season opener.
▶️ Ground Game Needs Work: If you're reading this, you scored as many rushing touchdowns as all Rice running backs combined. No, really. The Owls had just one rushing touchdown and it came from wide receiver Jordan Myers. Their coaching staff, led by head coach Mike Bloomgren, wants to run, run some more, and then run some more after that... so they'll be given ample opportunities to do so, especially in Week 1 with a freshman quarterback.
▶️ KJ Might Have All Day: Rice's pass rush was barely better than non-existent, registering just seven sacks across five games. It didn't help matters that the team had disruptions to their rhythm nearly every week, but the fact that the locker room leader for sacks on the year was De'braylon Carroll's 1.5 takedowns should mean smooth sailing for the Razorbacks' passing game.
SEC Media Days is scheduled to start on Monday, July 19th. Leading up to the event, we'll be breaking down all 12 of the team's opponents in 2021. Up tomorrow? Texas!