Aug 17, 2013
The Rice Owls held their second and final full scrimmage of 2013 and head coach David Bailiff said he was thrilled with the effort and the improvements he saw during the action on the turf of Rice Stadium on Saturday morning.
"We had great effort in all phases of the game, Bailiff said. "We have a lot of players playing with great confidence. I thought the offense at times was solid and had some big plays. We cut down on our procedural mistakes from the first scrimmage. Our offensive line played very well and had just one penalty. Defensively, we tackled better than we did in the first scrimmage and saw people flying to the ball. Our special teams were solid on the phases we worked on today. We know what we need to work on. All the mistakes we saw today are correctable. As long as we come out and play with the effort we just did, any coach is going to be happy," Bailiff added.
The emphasis of the scrimmage was to work on specific situations and Bailiff noted the offense was successful in three of four attempts to move the ball out from the shadow of its own goal post as well as meeting the challenge of creating drives of four minutes or longer.
At the same time, the offense also continued to showcase its big play potential. Driphus Jackson three for three touchdowns, a 11-yard toss to Zach Wright, a 22-yarder to Donte Moore and a 62-yard completion to true freshman Robby Wells after scrambling out of danger.
Redshirt freshman Darik Dillard scored on a pair of short runs, the second of which was set up by a long catch and run combination between Dillard and Taylor McHargue.
"(Dillard) is going to get some significant playing time this year because he can do so many things," Bailiff noted. "He can be an every down back, he can also line up in the slot or in 20 personnel. We can do a lot of things with him we can do a lot of different things. He really catches the ball well. We could have played him last year but chose to redshirt him because of the number of backs we had, but he is playing himself into the rotation."
The Owls will take a break from their practice schedule on Sunday but will be up early to once again assist the incoming class of Rice freshmen move into their residential colleges in advance of the start of O Week. With the beginning of O-Week activities, the focus of practice will shift towards preparation for the season opener against Texas A&M on August 31. Part of that shift will include making roster decisions about which freshmen will likely redshirt and which squad members will move to the scout team.
"Those are decisions we will get in as a staff and make and some of them are going to be tough ones," Bailiff said. "You look at what (freshman running back) Jawon Davis has shown us. He's had two really good scrimmages, but we are so deep at running back. But it's also important for every player who is redshirting or moving to scout team to remember they always need to be ready," Bailiff stated.