As the curtain fell on Rice Football's 2015 spring drills, It was the defense's turn to shine as they downed the offense 40-16 in the annual Blue-Gray game at Rice Stadium on Friday evening.
Using a scoring system that rewarded points for a number of different plays in addition to the traditional scoring plays, the Gray (defense) stormed back from an early 8-0 deficit to defeat the offense (Blue).
"I really liked the effort tonight," Rice head coach David Bailiff said. "I'd have liked to have seen more consistency out of the offense. We had too many penalties that killed drives, Fortunately we'll come back in August and get that corrected. A lot that was the younger players who were getting to play for the first time. But it's things we have to work on. I though the defense played outstanding and had a lot of negative yardage plays."
The Blue took the early lead as Tyler Stehling hit Zach Wright for a 54-yard touchdown, gaining an additional point because of an explosive play. But the defense held them out of the end zone the remainder of the game while racking up a huge lead.
Stehling led all passers with 103 yards, hitting on seven of 18 attempts. Wright led all receivers with three catches for 69 yards. Jeremy Jones concluded his first spring at wide receiver by grabbing a pair of passes for 27 yards.
With a number of players held out of action during the spring, Bailiff stressed that the four weeks of drills had been an opportunity to evaluate many of the younger members of the team who will be counted upon when the team returns to the practice field in August to begin preparations for the 2015 season opener against Wagner.
"Any time you see effort and kids playing hard you're still walking off this field with a good feeling. I think we made progress every day out here as a football team."