The Rice football offense has some growing up to do. After a strong start to the season, it’s back to square one against AUB in Week 7.
It’s time to move on. That’s how offensive coordinator Jerry Mack described the mindset of this team following the Owls’ frustrating offensive performance against UTSA last weekend. They sustained one scoring drive, ending in a Haden Tobola field goal. No touchdowns. No explosive runs. They registered one play of 20 or more yards.
There wasn’t any semblance of momentum on that side of the ball against the Roadrunners. Something that head coach Mike Bloomgren promised to address during the week. He vowed to figure out what this offense was going to be able to do well and lean on its strengths.
The biggest change to the gameplan against UAB won’t be new plays or schemes. There won’t be any sort of personnel overhaul or new identity established. It’s going to be all about getting back to the basics. It’s cliche, but making things as straightforward as possible is something this team needs right now.
Mack said the goal of the coaching staff this week was to “simplify some things and compartmentalize some things a little bit better.” He asserted the issues unearthed against UTSA were “a lot of it was just base fundamental stuff that we screwed up on”, things like “a guy not taking the right step or a guy not communicating the way he’s supposed to.”
In a word, the direction for the offense this week is minimization. Communication up front with the offensive line remains an issue, and if the Owls can’t translate basic things like that from the practice field to Saturdays they’ll continue to find themselves in problematic situations.
There’s no rocket science being applied to the offense on South Main this week. As Macks says, they’re simply working on “taking the right steps.” It’s the same process, but hopefully one that produces different results on Saturday.
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