Rice football got plenty of production from unexpected sources in 2018, but Wiley Green‘s emergence from the bottom of the depth chart should be a surprise that sticks.
On the first day of fall
Fast forward to
In trots Wiley Green who promptly hurls a pass between the shoulder pads of a waiting defender and holds his breath as it falls to the turf, narrowly missing an interception. The true freshman gathers his thoughts quickly and proceeds to march the offense down before firing a touchdown into the back corner of the
In those two innocuous moments a young team
We struck gold with this freshman class,” he said, “They’re the kind of people that love football and they’re the ones that are going to help us build this program.
Days after Green engineered the mock comeback he was named Rice football’s starting quarterback. Green, who began the year fifth on the quarterback depth chart, started his first collegiate game in Denton, Tx against North Texas, just miles away from where he played high school football.
Green didn’t win that game, but he lifted the heavy underdogs into a one-score game in the fourth quarter. He threw for 204 yards, the second most of any Owl quarterback to that point in the season, adding a touchdown through the air and on the ground. His encore performance came a week later, throwing for 313 yards and two touchdowns against UTEP.
After sitting the next two games to preserve his redshirt, Green returned to the starting lineup against Old Dominion, leading the Owls to their first Conference USA victory under Bloomgren.
When asked about it, Bloomgren could only laugh with an unbelieving smile. Who would have known the scout team passer would earn the biggest win of his head coaching career to date? Bloomgren certainly didn’t see it coming himself, but never wavered in his belief of these young men closing his final press conference of the season with confidence. “We struck gold with this freshman class,” he said, “They’re the kind of people that love football and they’re the ones that are going to help us build this program.”
Green ended the season with 621 passing yards passing, three passing touchdowns, two rushing touchdowns