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Texas Tech Opponent Prospectus // Rice Owls

General Information

Opponent Rice University
Nickname Owls
Location Houston, TX
Enrollment 5,145
Conference Conference USA
Head Coach David Bailiff
2008 Record 10-3 (7-1)
Starters Returning/Lost 14/10
Blogs The Rice Football Webletter
Houston Chronicle
Links 2009 Prospectus (pdf)
2009 Depth Chart


Statistic Rice Texas Tech
Pass Offense 327.23 (5) 413.15 (1)
Rush Offense 143.69 (62) 117.84 (94)
Total Offense 470.92 (10) 531.00 (4)
Scoring Offense 41.31 (8) 43.77 (3)
Pass Efficiency 162.94 (7) 158.76 (9)
Sacks Allowed 2.23 (83) 1.00 (4)
Pass Defense 269.46 (110) 242.23 (94)
Rush Defense 182.77 (99) 140.38 (61)
Total Defense 452.23 (111) 382.62 (79)
Scoring Defense 33.31 (103) 27.85 (74)
Pass Efficiency Defense 135.04 (86) 130.56 (72)
Sacks 1.69 (80) 2.62 (18)
Tackles For Loss 4.31 (114) 4.85 (95)
Turnover Margin 1.15 (7) 0.62 (22)

Top Returners

Category Player
Rushing Jeramy Goodson (12 / 69 yds / 0 TD)
Passing John Thomas Shepherd (8-15 / 78 yds / 0 TD / 0 Int)
Receiving Toren Dixon (50 rec. / 598 yds / 5 TD)
Tackles Andrew Sendejo (94)
Sacks Scott Solomon (4.5)
Interceptions Andrew Sendejo and Christopher Douglas (3)

A Few Things

  1. Need Improvement from Defense: Texas Tech was not good defensively last year, but Rice was absolutely abysmal. The good thing is that Rice returns quite a few starters and experience. It's easy to say that if the same team returns, you can expect the same results, but players mature and teams improve.
  2. Replacing A QB and Two WR's: Rice finds themselves ina similar situation to Texas Tech in that the Owls are replacing QB Chase Clement, WR Jarrett Dillard and TE James Casey. That's a ton of offense (sounds familiar?) and perhaps its a little more daunting for Rice as Clement and Casey were also big parts of their rushing attack (along with C.J. Ugokwe who is absent from their roster despite being a junior).
  3. Defensive Ends Step Up: DE's Cheta Ozougwu and Scott Solomon are the leaders of the group they combined for 8.0 sacks last year, including 14.5 tackles for a loss. Again, it's tough to look at the overall defensive numbers and think that they played well, but they were both sophomores.
  4. Casey Does It All: I'm not sure if Rice has figured out how they can replace all-world TE James Casey (it's like replacing Crabtree, you really don't). Casey did a little bit of everything for Rice, which included catching 111 passes for 1,329 yards and 13 touchdowns. You heard about Dillard because he was so good for so long, but Casey was a helluva player for Rice.
  5. Sendejo Returns . . . Again: Andrew Sendejo is one of those guys who's been at Rice for a really long time and he's got one more year for the Owls. If Sendejo's name sounds familiar, it should as he intercepted a pass when Rice and Texas Tech met up in Houston. Sendejo leads the team in tackles and interceptions.
  6. Young Offensive Line: Something to remember when the 2009 season starts is the relative youth of the Rice offensive line, as you're going to see 4 sophomores and 1 junior start. This will be one of those games where if there's not a certain amount of success by Texas Tech, it may be an indication of a very long season.