Kansas Vs. Rice: First Look At The Owl Offense

HOUSTON, TX - AUGUST 30: Taylor McHargue #15 of the Rice Owls throws a pass against the UCLA Bruins during their game at Rice Stadium on August 30, 2012 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

Rice is coming off of a week one loss to UCLA at home and depending on who you talk to you'll probably get a different perception as to how they played. On the one hand many seem convinced that UCLA played well and handled an overmatched Rice team on the road. On the other hand you have those that feel as if Rice played well but let it slip away. I'd probably subscribe to the first line of thinking. UCLA jumped out to a 21-0 lead, Rice clawed there way back in it but then UCLA extended the lead to 11 at the half. Rice wouldn't score again, UCLA would add 14 in the fourth. Considering UCLA is breaking in a new coach, this seems like a solid start on the road no less.

Knowing that, let's get back to the Owls and take a closer look at the Rice offense.

QB 16 Taylor McHargue 6-1 215 Jr-2L

McHargue will start and go the whole way for Rice barring any injury or unforeseen circumstance. The backup did play late against UCLA but it was after the game was in hand. For his part McHargue really is the Owls biggest offensive weapon. McHargue ran the ball 22 times last week for 95 yards and he also attempted 28 passes, completing 17 for 172 yards. Overall these are pretty much middle of the pack statistics nationally. It will be interesting to watch how Kansas approaches a player like this, especially with the front four.

LT 79 Jon Hodde 6-7 300 Jr.-1L
LG 72 Ian Gray 6-8 340 So.1L
C 53 Nate Richards 6-4 305 Jr.-TR
RG 76 Drew Carroll 6-4 280 So.-1L
RT 74 Caleb Williams 6-3 275 Fr.-RS

20 career starts for this group as a whole. That's not very many and it's been mentioned at length in the past that overall starts for an offensive line can be a pretty good indicator as to the quality of the group. The more combined starts you have, the better you work together, the more experienced and effective a group can be. Rice averaged just 3.6 yards per carry last week and the line gave up six quarterback sacks. Those aren't good numbers on a national scale. If there ever was a game for the defensive line of Kansas to really gain some confidence, this might be it.

WR-Y 82 Luke Willson 6-5 250 Sr.-3L
WR-A 2 Sam McGuffie 5-10 200 Sr.-2L
WR-F 81 Donte Moore 6-0 180 Jr.-2L
WR-B 15 Jordan Taylor 6-5 210 So.-1L

Sam McGuffie was targeted early and often but he'll be more of a dump off kind of guy that they will look to as almost an extra running back. He had 8 catches last week averaging just 6.3 per reception. Jordan Taylor is the deep threat with just two catches and a 23.5 yard average. Wilson is really more of a tight end and he has some good size. McHargue will spread the ball around. McGuffie is probably the favorite target because of his athleticism but after that no player had more than two receptions in the opener.

RB 28 Charles Ross 6-1 235 Jr.-2L Schertz/Samuel Clemens

Ross is the starter, he's a big back and part of the read option attack that features McHargue. The leading rusher out of the backfield was Jeremy Eddington who comes in and plays the wildcat QB role on occasion.

Overall this is a middle of the pack offense at the moment. They did a decent job against a Pac 12 opponent at home, but they couldn't keep pace in the second half. For their part they did fight and battled back after falling behind early, but their decent offensive attack may not be enough to make up for a defense that looks as though it will struggle.

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