FAYETTEVILLE — As Stanford’s offensive coordinator, Mike Bloomgren coached All-American operating again Christian McCaffrey from 2014-16.
Going into his fourth season as Rice’s head coach, Bloomgren now’s teaching quarterback Luke McCaffrey, Christian’s youthful brother.
Luke McCaffrey, a four-star recruit at Valor Christian Excessive College in Colorado, transferred to Rice from Nebraska, the place he made two begins in seven video games final yr for the Cornhuskers and accomplished 48 of 76 passes for 466 yards and 1 landing with 6 interceptions. He additionally rushed 65 instances for 364 yards and three touchdowns. He had a 47-yard run towards Ohio State.
Rice at a look
2021 Rice schedule
Sept. 4 – at Arkansas
Sept. 11 – Houston
Sept. 18 – at Texas
Sept. 25 – Texas Southern
Oct. 2 – Southern Miss
Oct. 16 – at UTSA
Oct. 23 – at UAB
Oct. 30 – North Texas
Nov. 6 – Charlotte
Nov. 13 – Western Kentucky
Nov. 20 – at UTEP
Nov. 27 – Louisiana Tech
As a Nebraska freshman in 2019, McCaffrey accomplished 9 of 12 passes for 142 yards and a couple of touchdowns and rushed 24 instances for 166 yards.
“Luke’s dynamic together with his capability to increase performs,” stated Bloomgren, whose Owls open the season towards the College of Arkansas on Saturday. “Anytime he’s operating the ball, you overlook he’s a quarterback. He runs like a operating again.
“However then he drops to go, and also you’re like, ‘Oh my gosh, this child has a howitzer for an arm.’ He’s bought the flexibility to make all of the throws.”
When McCaffrey determined to depart Nebraska, he first transferred to Louisville, however in June he entered the portal once more and landed at Rice, the place he has three seasons of eligibility remaining.
“I’ve identified Luke since he was 9 years previous,” Bloomgren stated. “He used to stroll down the halls at Stanford and be out at apply watching Christian.
“It’s fairly thrilling to have him right here. I feel he’s bought an incredible future as a quarterback.”
As excited as Bloomgren is about McCaffrey, he hasn’t been named the starter.
Bloomgren stated McCaffrey and redshirt junior Wiley Inexperienced, who has 9 profession begins, proceed to compete for the No. 1 job.
“A part of it’s Wiley being in our system for 4 years and simply having loads of consolation with not solely the terminology, however understanding all of the shifts and motions, all of the kills and alerts within the run recreation and within the go recreation when it comes to protections,” Bloomgren stated. “He’s bought a pre-snap consolation, if you’ll, that’s allowed him to play actually quick.
“It’s Luke’s third week within the system. I feel there’s nonetheless a little bit consternation on the line of scrimmage he has to work by means of. However as soon as the ball is snapped, he’s taking part in soccer and it’s enjoyable to look at.”
Mike Collins grew to become Rice’s beginning quarterback as a senior final season after transferring from TCU, and he changed Inexperienced, who in 2019 began seven video games and accomplished 75 of 142 passes for 787 yards and 4 touchdowns.
“Luke and Wiley have totally different ability units in that Luke is actually a twin menace,” Bloomgren stated. “Luke can do something on the quarterback place.
“Wiley has scrambled for first downs. He’s not someone you’re going to design an entire lot of quarterback runs for, however he’s not a statue again there. He has the flexibility to maintain performs alive.
“Greater than that, Wiley will get the ball out so fast. He’s doing every little thing on time, and it’s simply been actually good.”
Bloomgren stated he most likely received’t identify a starter earlier than the Arkansas recreation.
“I feel all people most likely assumes we’ll be capable of play each within the recreation, and I feel there’s a course of we most likely will play each within the recreation,” he stated. “Who runs on the market first with those, we’ll most likely hold that near our vest.”
All 5 starters return on the offensive line, led by redshirt junior proper guard Shea Baker and redshirt freshmen Isaac Klarkowski. The starters’ common weight is 307 kilos.
“Considered one of our issues we discuss round right here is mental brutality,” stated Bloomgren, whose background is as an offensive line coach. “That’s sort of the model that we declare.
“In the event you’re going to say issues like that, you’ve bought to be bodily, and we attempt to dwell it and breathe it every single day.”
Senior Jordan Myers will play operating again, tight finish and receiver for the Owls. Final season he had 23 catches for 276 yards and a couple of touchdowns.
“I’ve made the joke Jordan’s a Swiss Military Knife, however he can lower you with each blade,” Bloomgren stated. “We’ll put him at operating again and he may tote the ball or keep in for defense or launch on routes.
“Then we’re lining him up at tight finish whether or not it’s in-line or off the ball because the motion tight finish. He’s a man we design third-down routes for, and he’s our short-yardage again.
“I don’t know if I’ve ever had a participant that would fill all these roles and do them so effectively.”
Junior receiver Bradley Rozner is again after lacking final season due to an harm. In 2019 he had 55 receptions for 770 yards and 5 touchdowns.
“It’s so good to have Bradley’s 6-foot-5 body on the market for matchup points,” Bloomgren stated. “Any time anyone singles him up, we’ve got the flexibility to throw the ball over their heads and Bradley can go up and get it.”
On protection Rice misplaced linebacker Blaze Alldredge to Missouri as a switch, and deal with De’Braylon Carroll suffered a season-ending leg harm in the summertime.
However the different starters return from a protection that led Rice to a 20-0 victory at No. 15 Marshall final season, when the Owls had been restricted to 5 video games attributable to covid-19 cancellations and completed 2-3.
The win over Marshall was Rice’s first over a ranked workforce since 1997 when former Arkansas participant and coach Ken Hatfield was the Owls’ coach for a 27-14 victory over No. 21 BYU.
The Marshall recreation additionally marked Rice’s first shutout of a ranked workforce on the street since 1960 when the No. 20 Owls beat No. 16 Texas 7-0.
Linebackers Antonio Montero and Treshawn Chamberlain are each juniors and every have 141 profession tackles.
Senior free security George Nyakwol missed final season with an harm however is again to full velocity and has 131 profession tackles and three interceptions.
The line of defense is led by redshirt junior ends Trey Schuman (8 1/2 profession tackles for loss) and Kenneth Orji (64 profession tackles) and senior nostril deal with Elijah Garcia (123 profession tackles).
“They’re such a constant group which were collectively for what looks as if eons,” Bloomgren stated. “They’re actually formidable. They’re exhausting to maneuver, and so they make performs.”
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