The youngest coordinator in Division I football, Major Applewhite stepped right into the job and masterminded an offensive genesis at Rice that shattered the perception of the Owls as a one-dimenssional attack and replaced it with an attack that showed versitility, creativity and an ability to score from any spot on the field at any time.
Applewhite's offense fashioned 20 scoring drives that needed less that 2:10 to reach the end zone, including 15 in less than two minutes. Eight of those 15 drives traveled 50 yards or longer. At the same time, the offense also produced four drives of 15 plays or longer which resulting in points and a fifth that ate up the last 7:20 of the game to clinch the win at UTEP.
Under Applewhite's direction, the Owls produced their first season in history with players topping 1,000 yards in rushing, passing and receiving in the same year while scoring 333 points, a 92-point improvement from 2005, and matching the third-best total in school history. Quarterback Chase Clement blossomed in the new offensive attack, developing into a masterful field general who averaged over 270 yards a game of total offense while tieing the school record for TD passes (21) and completing nearly 58% of his passes.
Wide reciever Jarett Dillard was the main beneficiary of Clement's development, shattering every Rice season receiving record on his way to becoming a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award.
One of the top quarterbacks in University of Texas history, Applewhite was the quarterbacks coach at Syracuse University in 2005. In 2003-04, he was the graduate assistant on the offensive staff at Texas, where he was influential in the development of all-America quarterback Vince Young.
Applewhite, 27, had a 22-8 record as a starting quarterback with the Longhorns. Finishing his career in 2001, he is UT's all-time leader in passing yards (8,353), passing touchdowns (60), passing attempts (1,065), and total offense (8,059).
The Longhorns' team captain in '01, he helped Texas to four straight bowl games: the 1999 and 2000 Cotton Bowls, and the 2000 and `01 Holiday Bowls. He was the Holiday Bowl's co-offensive MVP in his final college game in '01, leading the Longhorns to a 47-43 comeback win over Washington.
Applewhite was the Big 12's freshman of the year in '98 and shared the league's offensive player of the year honors as a sophomore in '99.
A native of Baton Rouge, La., Applewhite threw for 50 TDs and ran for eight more in two years as a starter at Catholic High School. He was tabbed an honorable mention prep all-America by USA Today after leading Catholic High to a 13-1 record and number-10 national ranking as a senior. He was 25-2 as a schoolboy starter. Applewhite completed his UT degree in sport management in Dec., 2002.
Dillard Named to a Pair of Watch Lists
07/17/2016 - Senior running back Darik Dillard was named to the Wuerffel Trophy Watch List while also being named as a nominee for the 25th annual Allstate AFCA...
Rice Earns C-USA Institutional Excellence Award
07/12/2016 - For the ninth time in the past 11 years, Rice University student-athletes earned the Conference USA Institutional Excellence Award in 2015-16 by...
Fall Football Reception Set for Aug. 24
07/11/2016 - The 2016 Rice Fall Football Reception has been set for Wednesday, Aug. 24, at Houston's St. Arnold Brewery (2000 Lyons Ave.) from 7-9 p.m.
Cella Named to Mackey Award Watch List
07/06/2016 - Rice tight end Connor Cella is one of 45 tight ends who have been named to the 2016 John Mackey Award preseason watch list, which was released on...
New Video Board Dramatically Upgrades Rice...
06/27/2016 - Rice Owls football fans will soon enjoy a dramatically enhanced experience during games at Rice Stadium when the installation of a new scoreboard...
Lyons Leads Six Owls on Athlon's Preseason C-US...
06/17/2016 - Senior linebacker Alex Lyons leads a group of six Rice players who have been named by Athlon Sports to its preseason All-Conference USA team, which...
beIN to Broadcast UTSA Game
06/08/2016 - The Rice Owls will make their debut on beIN Network at 6 p.m. on October 12 when they host the UTSA Roadrunners at Rice Stadium. The broadcast was ...
Al Conover Passes Away
06/07/2016 - Former Rice head football coach Al Conover, whose four-year stint with the Owls was highlighted by notable wins and many colorful moments, has...
- Top Videos /
- Online Store