Rice's two-deep came out yesterday and low and behold Sam Glaesmann is back from the shoulder injury and set to start vs. UTSA. Glaesmann started Rice's first three games, including a win over UTEP, before he injured his non-throwing shoulder against Houston.
Glaesmann won the Rice job over Jackson Tyner and J.T. Granato this offseason. Rice threw the redshirt freshman from Waco Midway to the wolves, starting him against Stanford on the road in Australia. The results were rough. Glaesmann played better against UTEP and didn't get a chance to show much against Houston.
He's back against the Roadrunners and probably gives the Owls their best chance to win, or at least do something offensively. The Owls are converting just 33% of their third downs, and from the quarterback position, Rice completes only 35% of their third down passing attempts. That's terrible news when 70% of your third downs are seven yards or longer. Glaesmann completes just 12% of his passes on third down.
Here's Glaesmann's radar graph, which shows how he rates to every quarterback in the FBS who averages 10 or more attempts per game. The area graph gives a percentile rank in areas of efficiency: completion percentage, yards per attempt, interception rate, sack rate, and yards per play. The larger the surface area of the radar graph, the better the player rates compared to his peers.
Glaesmann is bad in three of the five categories, but he is near elite level in interception avoidance and yards per attempt. All these numbers are subject to Glaesmann's small sample size, but we're starting to get a book on him.
What should we look for on Saturday? We'd expect the young quarterback to see a limited playbook with a reliance on the Rice run game to slow down UTSA's talented defensive front. When Rice has run effectively, they've played better. The Owls beat UTEP while averaged over six yards a carry and lost to Army while averaging over five yards a tote. The Army game was out of hand due to six Owl turnovers, including four on successive series. In the Owls four other games, they've averaged less than four yards a carry.
Expect Billy Lynch to give Glaesmann some quick reads and scheme throws to get rid of the ball and get it into the hands of the few perimeter players who can make plays. Players like Austin Walter and Aaron Cephus. If Rice can't play ahead on down and distance, the Roadrunners will pin their ears back run Glaesmann ragged.
We'd like to see Glaesmann get a chance to show what he can do for sixty minutes against a comparable opponent. UTSA gives Billy Lynch and David Bailiff another chance to evaluate their young starter.