The Owls travel to Birmingham to take on the rebooted Blazers. A few keys for the Owls as they head to Legion field:
You get 14 points Rice, 14
The Owls are bad at scoring touchdowns or points for that matter. Like 1960's terrible at scoring touchdowns. So Rice is a throwback, in a bad way. The Owls have completed more than ten passes in just three games. That must mean Rice is a ground and pound offensive juggernaut. Nope. The Owls are 63rd in rushing offense and have managed to rush for more than 200 yards just twice this season. Bottom line, the Owls average thirteen points a game; UAB averages 30. So there you go, Rice's defense has no margin for error.
Maybe Sam Glaesmann is turning a corner, maybe
Rice quarterback Sam Glaesmann played his best game against Louisiana Tech on Saturday. By best we don't mean anything earth-shattering, he threw for a season-best 187 yards and rushed for 68 yards. That's Johnny Manzielian compared to previous outings. Maybe Glaesmann's never going to be a 60% passer, but he's a decent threat with his legs, and he can extend plays in the pocket. That's all well and good, but if he can't avoid turnovers, mediocrity won't cut it.
Meet A.J. Erdely
The poster child for what Sam Glaesmann might aspire to will be quarterbacking the Blazers, A.J. Erdely. Erdely is flat out productive, even if he doesn't put up PlayStation numbers. He's responsible for nineteen touchdowns, ten passing, nine rushing this season. Blazer offensive coordinator Les Koenning, formerly of Texas and A&M, is a solid hand who knows how to get the most out of Erdely. Part of that equation is Erdely's ability to avoid turnovers and keep his offense on the field.
News and Notes
Saturday is the 6th meeting between the Owls and Blazers.
Rice has a 3-2 advantage over UAB.
Rice receiver Aaron Cephus has four plays of 50 yards or more, tied for first in the FBS.
David Bailiff is in his eleventh season in charge of the Owls, the second longest tenure in CUSA.
Brian Womac leads CUSA with fourteen tackles for loss.
UAB's Spencer Brown set a freshman record with 209 rushing yards last week against Southern Miss.
In UAB's five wins, the Blazers allow just 17.4 points.
The Blazers are 5-3, with a win over the Owls will be bowl eligible in their first season back playing football.