Quarterback Jason Bean and the North Texas offense are the focal points in this week’s edition of the Rice football film room.
Last week felt like a bit of a Groundhog Day situation, didn’t it? At least we didn’t get all the way to Friday before losing the game this time, but it’s still no fun to have lost the chance to see this Rice team prove itself on the field for the second week in a row.
On the bright side, at least we’re not in the same boat as North Texas fans. After a shootout win against MTSU on October 17th—the week before Rice’s season opener against the Blue Raiders—off weeks combined with a spate of cancellations and postponements have kept the Mean Green from playing for more than a month. So despite the late start and the loss of their last two games, Rice has still played two games since UNT played its most recent one. 2020, y’all!
Like a lot of teams in C-USA this year, the 2020 iteration of the Mean Green is an all-offense, no-defense squad (e.g., they’re 62nd in offensive SP+ and 117th in defensive SP+). Also like a lot of teams in C-USA this year, they’ve had a bit of a revolving door situation at QB. Jason Bean started their opener against Houston Baptist, was promptly replaced by Austin Aune, and then took back over during the MTSU game and led them to their comeback victory. It looks like we’ll see Bean as the starter on Saturday, so this edition of the Film Room will focus on him as the probable signal-caller.
Regardless of who’s at QB, the Mean Green offense will revolve primarily around star senior receiver (and Houston native!) Jaelon Darden. Despite an unassuming 5-foot-9, 174-pound build, Darden has put up serious numbers this year. While the Mean Green have played only five games, Darden is in the top ten in the country in receiving yards and leads all of FBS with a whopping 10 receiving TDs. He single-handedly accounts for 40.7% of the team’s total receiving yards and 43% of their total receptions.