Well, that's over. Number 14 ranked Stanford beat Rice like a rented mule on Saturday night/Sunday morning. Now the Owls just need to negotiate a 10,000 mile return trip to a flooded city and not let the Australia fiasco destroy their season.
It was over when...
The fiasco was scheduled. It's bad enough that Rice has to play Stanford, a potential top ten team, but once the game moved to Sydney, there arose a real possibility that Rice might sustain season defining damage. We hope not, but the Owls next challenge is to regroup for the CUSA opener at UTEP and the Bayou Bucket against Houston.
Not exactly great out of the gates...
The first Stanford drive went three plays and seventy-five yards.
Rice's answer? Three penalties, three plays, and minus six yards.
After each teams' first two drives, the Cardinals outgained the Owls 120 to -3. Not exactly how you draw it up.
If We're Looking for positives...
- It could have been much worse. Stanford averaged almost nine yards an offensive play. The Cardinals interior line crushed Rice's counterparts. The under-sized Owl defensive backs struggled to cover Stanford's giant receivers. David Shaw played his 2nd and 3rd string quarterbacks a lot and rotated his defensive unit out midway through the third quarter.
- Brian Womac and Emmanuel Ellerbee played well at linebacker. Womac, in particular, looked like a natural fit at outside linebacker.
- Samuel Stewart put together a decent afternoon, with 71 yards on fifteen carries.
- Sam Glaesmann looked overmatched to start the game but settled down. He managed a whopping 4.9 QBR, but he displayed potential.
- Finally, the Owl offense looks unique and different. Rice uses a lot of motion, vary their run game points of attack and personnel. They look way more conventional regarding alignment than the Owls have in recent years, but they use fly motion and running back alignment to create angles of attack.
- It's easy to burn down Rice's season after last night's game. However, as we stated last night, Stanford is excellent and could contend for a PAC 12 title and even a playoff spot. Rice isn't close to that level. The national broadcast elevates the quick twitch reactions to the game, but Rice isn't built to compete with Stanford. The Owls are built to compete with members of CUSA. Those games are coming, and they'll be a better judge of the Owl's abilities.