March 14, 2013
Photo Gallery / Spring Football Central (video highlights)
The Rice Owls held their first scrimmage of the Spring Football '13 on Thursday at Rice Stadium and head coach David Bailiff said he was pleased by the initial full contact effort.
"We wanted to get in a lot of reps today," Bailiff said. "We wanted to get to 80 plays. We told them we were going to put the ball down and just play football, so we didn't put in a lot of situations or scenarios."
The Owls top units saw action early on the day, but most of the work was turned over to the younger players who were either reserves or redshirts during the Owls Armed Forces Bowl run in 2012.
"We used a lot of young men who didn't get a lot of playing time last season, so at times we were a little dysfunctional, but I am pleased as we walk off this field today," Bailiff stated.
Senior quarterback Taylor McHargue connected with redshirt freshman tight end Connor Cella for a 28-yard completion early in the scrimmage, but redshirt sophomore Driphus Jackson took over for a majority of the reps. Jackson took advantage of a broken coverage to connect on a 50-yard touchdown pass to Andre Gautreaux and later found Mario Hull for a 70-yard TD pass.
Sophomore Brandon Hamilton and redshirt freshman Darik Dillard handled the bulk of the running chores with both breaking off several long runs.
"I thought Brandon Hamilton ran really well and Darik Dillard did some really nice things out there," Bailiff said. "Jordan Taylor looked like he was still playing in the bowl game.
"On defense, Cameron Nwosu really stepped up. Tanner Leland is back about where he was before he hurt his leg and the move of Grant Peterson to defensive end has been good,. You can see he's athletic and made some plays today. Some of the young corners such as Darion Pollard, have a lot of talent, we just have to get them game reps," Bailiff stated.
The Owls will have a light practice on Friday to concentrate on special teams and corrections from the scrimmage and then have the weekend off while the coaching staff hosts their annual Junior Day at Rice Stadium.