by Chuck Pool (email@example.com) -
Rice vs. Stanford
9:05 p.m. (CST)
ESPN (Roy Philpott, Tom Ramsey, Quint Kessnich)
ESPN 97.5 (J.P. Heath)
Sam Glaesmann will make his collegiate debut on Sunday in a starting role when the redshirt freshman will take the first snaps of the 2017 season for Rice when the Owls take on Stanford in the second annual Sydney Cup in Sydney, Australia.
The redshirt freshman from Waco’s Midway High School will join a select club when he does, becoming the first freshman to start at quarterback in an opening game for the Owls since Taylor McHargue earned the nod in 2010.
Rice Closes Season with Loss at No. 24 Stanford
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“David Beatty was our OC that year and he sat us down on Monday to tell us who was going to start,” McHargue recalled. “I figured since Nick (Fanuzzi) had been the starter the year before and Taylor (Cook) had been at Miami, that it would be between them. But in the days leading up to the decision, I had been splitting reps with the first team, so I felt like I had a chance.”
Their two debuts will share similarities in that each stepped on to the college football stage taking on a nationally ranked opponent in a game televised by ESPN with Rice listed as the home team even though the game was played away from Rice Stadium.
For McHargue the opponent was fifth-ranked Texas, fresh from a berth in the BCS title game the previous year and the venue was Reliant (now NRG) Stadium in Houston. Glaesmann will face off against 14th ranked Stanford half a world away as he leads the Owls into their first action outside the United States.
“Texas was coming to town with a bunch of players who were playing for the National Championship the year before and I knew I needed to be prepared,” McHargue said. “I don’t think I ever watched more video in my life than I did that week (leading up to the game). I was trying to make up for my lack of experience by watching all the tape I could.”
In addition to his voracious consumption of video, Beatty also offered an additional suggestion to help McHargue prepare for his debut.
“Coach Beatty suggested I call Todd Reesing, who had to step in as a freshman at Kansas when he was there and went on to a great career. He told me to try my best to find a couple of moments to soak up the surroundings and the atmosphere surrounding the game,” McHargue recalled.
“I wasn’t nervous or anxious at all until we were in the tunnel at Reliant. I heard the Texas fight song start to play and then the roar from all the Texas fans in the house and I remember thinking I had never heard anything that loud before,” he added.
McHargue quickly put the butterflies behind him, completed his first four passes against the Longhorns, smartly leading the Owls to an early lead.
“Once the game began, it was just football. We had a nice drive and kicked a field goal to take a lead and that helped me settle in and just play the game,” he added.
The lessons learned on that day and subsequent Saturdays over the next two years set the stage for sparkling efforts in his last two years with the Owls as McHargue led Rice to a return to bowl action in 2012 and then leading Rice to its first conference title in 56 years as a senior.
While no one can predict what kind of career Glaesmann will enjoy, McHargue noted that the best piece of advice he could offer was the very same words that were passed on to him by Reesing.
“What Sam needs to remember is that there’s never been a redshirt freshman who walked out and played like a senior in his first game,” McHargue said. “He has to stay within himself and do what the coaches have prepared him to do.
“At the same time, he’s going to be playing in one of the most unique environments anyone could imagine with the game being in Sydney. I’d tell him the same thing Todd told me, find a moment or two to step back and soak it all in. There will never be another moment like it in his playing career.”