Rice University’s Student Newspaper — Since 1916

Thursday, July 07, 2022 — Houston, TX

Football ends spring practice with high hopes

By Teddy Grodek     4/12/12 7:00pm

Over the course of the past month, the Rice Owls took to the gridiron for their annual spring practices, taking an opportunity to hit the field to find out what they have coming into the next season. Capping two weeks of spring practices, the Owls were excited to play three scrimmages, and on March 30, the team had its annual Blue and Gray game, showcasing the offense against the defense.

The teams both earned points based on big plays: sacks, touchdowns, three and outs, and long passes. While the scoring was a little uneven, the football was the same as both teams looked to prove themselves heading into summer practice.

The offense had a big game, ultimately winning the game 57-22. The star was actually a kicker, as redshirt sophomore Chris Boswell hit from 56 and 48 yards and had some nice punts, looking to replace All-American senior Kyle Martens.

Junior Charles Ross, looking to have another big season, led the offense with 97 yards on only six touches. Sophomore quarterbackTaylor McHargue actually had the second most rushing yards on the team, showing that he is a threat both on the ground and in the air.

Freshman Lovett Gibson, a player who saw little time on offense this past season, led the team in total receiving yards, racking up 104 yards on three impressive catches and catching the one passing touchdown of the game from McHargue. However, the returning receiving core had a lot of dropped passes.

McHargue, the favorite heading into next season to start at quarterback, looked good in his spring appearance, going 10-18 for 117 yards. Freshman Driphus Jackson, who is expected to challenge McHargue for the passing position, went 8-17 for 117 yards - setting up for an exciting summer and the possibility of another quarterback-by-committee situation.

Junior running back Sam McGuffie, who is looking to rebound after a disappointing season last year, is excited about the team's progress this spring.

"It just felt good to be out there and playing again," McGuffie said. "Coach had a lot of the younger guys play to see what they could do, and they all looked good. I'm excited about the season coming up. I think it'll be a good one for us."

The defense, which struggled through much of last season, let the offense rack up the yards but had a few promising flashes of potential. Redshirt sophomore Paul Porras, a relatively unknown safety, had seven tackles in the game, most of them in the open field. If the Owls are to succeed this season, the defense has to hold opposing offenses to fewer yards and has to start forcing some takeaways.

At the end of their spring practice, the Owls held their end-of-the-year banquet, awarding the season's best efforts. Senior running back Tyler Smith won the George Martin Award as the MVP of the Owls.

The Owls wrapped up their spring practices on Monday and Wednesday, with solid efforts on both days. For a team that has had so little success over the last few years, 2012 could be the year some of the pieces come together and the team starts winning. The Owls may even return to a bowl for the first time since their Texas Bowl win in 2009.

The Owls moved their opener against UCLA to Thursday, Aug. 30, to accommodate TV requests. The time of the game has not yet been announced.

More from The Rice Thresher

SPORTS 6/13/22 2:41pm
Forbes takes silver at NCAAs

On Thursday, sophomore distance runner Grace Forbes proved to the rest of the country what her Conference USA opponents and Rice teammates have known for years – she’s one of the fastest runners in the country. Competing at the NCAA championships in Eugene, Ore. for the second consecutive year, Forbes, took second place in the 10,000-meter, the best finish by an Owl at the NCAAs in over a decade. According to Forbes, who missed the indoor season and the first month of the outdoor season due to extreme fatigue later diagnosed as an autoimmune disorder, the result was a testament to the work she’s put in to overcome an incredibly challenging year.

SPORTS 6/3/22 1:21pm
NCAA T&F prelims see five Owls qualify for championships, Forbes take gold

Five Owls will be heading to next week’s NCAA outdoor track and field championships, after qualifying at the NCAA West Preliminaries which ran May 25 through 28. Headlining the meet for Rice was sophomore distance-runner Grace Forbes, who took first place in the 10,000 meters for the second consecutive year. Forbes will be joined in Eugene, Ore., by sophomore thrower Tara Simpson-Sullivan, junior thrower Erna Gunnarsdottir, senior thrower James McNaney and sophomore vaulter Alex Slinkman. Jon Warren, head coach of the men’s track and field program, said that he was impressed not only by the five qualifiers, but by all 13 Owls who participated over the course of the week in Fayetteville, Ark.

SPORTS 5/22/22 10:09pm
Men's team takes third, women's takes fifth at C-USA T&F championships

The Conference USA outdoor track and field championships saw Rice’s men’s team place third with 121 points — their best conference championship performance since 2005 — and the women’s team place fifth with 88 points. According to men’s head coach Jon Warren, he was proud to see the work his team put in all season be on full display at the meet.


Please note All comments are eligible for publication by The Rice Thresher.