Rice football needs a jolt on offense in 2018. Head coach Mike Bloomgren has the experience and the know-how to make that happen.
There weren’t many teams worse on the offensive side of the ball than Rice in 2017. The Owls finished six spots above the worse scoring offense in the FBS, UTEP. Coincidentally, the Miners were the only team the Owls were able to beat last year. If Rice has their eyes on making strides in the win column they’ll need the offense to improve drastically.
Mike Bloomgren is the man for the job.
Bloomgren joins the Owls after five years as the offensive coordinator at Stanford. The difference between the Rice offense and the Stanford offense over that time was seismic. Beyond the obvious talent gap, the Cardinal frequently ran the ball effectively and put up points. They weren’t perfect, but they finished inside the top 50 in the nation three times in Bloomgren’s five years calling the shots. Rice, although they did boast a stronger offense in 2014, consistently lagged behind.
The low points for Stanford are noteworthy; even Bloomgren’s squads weren’t perfect. However, the upside should give fans hope. Stanford has the No. 38 offense in the nation last season. Rice hasn’t finished that high in the offensive rankings since Chase Clement took Conference USA by storm in 2008. Clement is walking through the door any time soon.
What Bloomgren did at Stanford can be replicated. He built around a strong running game with a quarterback that was able to methodically move the ball down the field. When quarterback K.J. Costello took over from Keller Chryst midway through the season the offense got even better. A little bit of mobility combined with top-level football IQ is all Bloomgren needs to build upon. Whichever quarterback he chooses, the Rice offense is in good hands.