Who's Getting On the Bus, Part II

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This is what happens when injuries muck up the proceedings.

In my mind the Owls closed camp with their third and final scrimmage on Wednesday because on Thursday the squad officially split into depth chart members and scout teammers. Now, under normal circumstances it'd be a safe bet to assume that the Owls wearing the oddball numbers are definitely not making the trip to Birmingham for the opener at UAB on Sept. 5, but given the injury concerns - minor and major - every travel roster spot isn't yet set in stone.

With that information on the table, along with David Bailiff's hesitancy to confirm which fringe players will or won't be on that bus to the airport next Friday, let's examine what I saw this afternoon and review the odds of who will don white uniforms at Legion Field next weekend:

QB (3): As I first reported, Shepherd and Fanuzzi will split time at quarterback. Lewis will make the trip, too, but I have no clue if McHargue will be signaling plays from the sideline.

RB (5): T. Smith, Turner, Knox, Goodson and Ross are good to go as confirmed by Bailiff.

WR (9): Gautreaux won the freshmen sweepstakes and is in position to ride. Smiter has been in and out of live reps this week, but I'd bet Chuck Pool's salary that he'll be on that bird. The other seven include Dixon, Dupree, Randolph, Beasley, Patterson, Clark and Maginot. That group would look more formidable with Wells and Hotard included, but those are the breaks. 

TE (3): Will someone please keep Wardlow, McDonald and Willson away from the injury bug? Writing of Willson, who knew that the Big Canadian had such a sure set of mitts? Nice camp.

OL (10): Forgive me for being out of the loop on Nazar, whom I could not locate today. If something is amiss there, Vester takes his spot; if not, Nazar joins his second-team mates Emmert, Janish (yes, the talented, versatile frosh practiced his way into a roadie), Ball, and Mason. You already know the first-team line of Mitchell, Allen, Carrington, Hicks and Parish.

DL (10): I needed both hands to count (including the loquacious Talbert, who has yet to be fully cleared but remains adamant that he'll play), with freshmen Lowry and Bauer in the mix. Solomon, Ozougwu, Lucio, J. Williams, Gioffre, M. Smith and Stacey are definite participants.

LB (5): Nordstrom was in a boot, so I don't know what his deal is. However, barring injury, only (maybe?) four will play against the Blazers - Garmon, Hill, Calhoun and Shuck. A. Williams should go for insurance and special teams purposes if Nordstrom is unavailable.

SAF (8): Sendejo, Bradshaw, Jones, Webb, Kitchens, Garley, Anyiam and Falgout, who should see more time on special teams than on defense. Thank goodness for consistency.

CB (6): Don't hold me to this, but aside from starters Jammer and Ben and the senior Welch, Gaines (he's a lock), Frazier and Gaddis are in. Francis has a week to play his way back in.

That's 59, which leaves room for seven specialists. We know that Long, Fangmeier, Boswell and Martens are going. I think Brundage and/or Rhodes are also in, so that leaves Brackens, Briggs and/or Akinwumi as special teammers. Maybe. Perhaps. Not quite sure on the last two.

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I just want to say I really like the writing style and this is a heck of a nice addition to the Rice site.

Reginald: Thank you. And please, don't be a stranger. Swing by again. - MK

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