Rice football held a full scrimmage at practice on Monday, August 6 with the offense and defense going head to head. Here are a few standouts on each side.
The offense and the defense each had their moments in an evening affair that drained the final slivers of sunlight from the sky. The blazing ball of fire was nowhere to be seen overhead as the final players made their way off the practice field. Like head coach Mike Bloomgren told the team this week, it’s an “All Ball, all day” kind of week.
With no classes to distract them the team got down to business. Bloomgren wanted to hold reserve judgment until he had a chance to look at the film, but couldn’t help but crack a smile as he talked the high-level of play the Owls got from several players on Monday. The physicality of the team is growing. “I wouldn’t say we’re there,” he grinned, “but I like where we’re heading.”
With that in mind, here are three guys from each side of the ball that had impressive showings on Monday:
Austin Walter – Running back
Walter is as slippery and quick as they come. A major theme of Monday’s practice was moving the ball horizontally to create space vertically. Walter beat his man to the edge of the formation and accelerated time and time again. The Owls had several running backs have good evenings, but Walter’s consistency stood out.
Gio Gentosi – Fullback
The first touchdown of scrimmage was scored by UCLA transfer Gio Gentosi, a fullback. The first team offense took to the field with Gentosi in the backfield in front of Austin Walter, paving the way for the smaller, quicker back. Gentosi had a pair of designed runs himself with the second finding the endzone. Head coach Mike Bloomgren preaches physicality. It doesn’t get much grittier than fullbacks doing work in the trenches.
Austin Trammell – Wide receiver
Aaron Cephas had a nice snag in traffic, but it was Austin Trammell that won the day with his hands. The slot receiver looked like he was playing with glue on his gloves and is becoming a safety net on the inside for the Owls’ quarterbacks. With lots of question marks at the position, Trammell looks to be a lock to see a lot of playing time this season.
Dasharm Newsome – Safety
Newsome might have had the hardest hit of the practice, rocketing out of the defensive backfield to stop a ballcarrier dead in his tracks. The hit reverberated around the practice field as his teammates cheered. Having someone in centerfield ready to deliver a blow will be key for the Owls this fall.
Blaze Alldredge – linebacker
Not once, but twice during the evening session did Alldredge completely blow up a play from his inside linebacker spot. The first hit knocked quarterback Sam Glaesmann to the ground as the ball fell to the turf – the first turnover of the evening. The second would have resulted in a sack had Alldredge been permitted to make the hit. The offense just wasn’t able to stop him slicing through the gap and creating havoc. Fellow linebackers Antonio Montero and Kebreyun Page impressed as well.
Zach Abercrumbia – Defensive tackle
The senior leader of the defense proved his importance early and often. With Roe Wilkins alongside, Abercrumbia collapsed pocket after pocket and made things difficult for all of the Owls’ quarterbacks. It’s clear that the defensive line is one of the deepest position groups on this team and Abercrumbia is the heart and soul of that unit.
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