Rice football returned to practice on Monday with plenty to work on following the Owls loss to UAB plus a quarterback position up in the air.
Starting quarterback Shawn Stankavage was initially diagnosed with a high ankle sprain and underwent an MRI this weekend. The results are pending, and while he has not yet been officially ruled out, he is not expected to be available for the Owls’ upcoming game against FIU.
Stankavage left the UAB game with the injury midway through the second quarter. Redshirt freshman Evan Marshman replaced him and fared no better moving the ball down the field. Stakavage spent practice sidelined with a walking boot while Marshmann and true freshman Wiley Green worked with the first team offense in his place.
Jackson Tyner practiced with the second team offense. Bloomgen had said he would reopen the backup quarterback job prior to Stankavage’s injury. That has this case, but at this time all signs point to both Marshman and Green being ahead of Tyner. One of those two will be in line to make his first career start Saturday on the road.
Green had a strong fall camp and continues to play well in practice. He was considered to be a prime candidate for the newly instituted redshirt rule that allows players to play four games without forfeiting a year of eligibility. Bloomgren is going to do whatever it takes to win Saturday, so don’t expect to see a potential redshirt play a meaningful role in the decision making process.
The first drills of practice focused on special teams. Even though Jack Fox racked up punt yardage in bunches the unit was far from excellent against UAB.
The most glaring issue came on a blocked up, recovered by UAB for a touchdown. That’s exactly where the team started, address any protection issues to ensure that doesn’t happen again.