Rice football opens its 2022 season on Saturday against USC. Here’s what Mike Bloomgren and players had to say about the matchup.
Rice football Head coach Mike Bloomgren and a pair of players met with the media on Tuesday for their customary weekly availability. They previewed the USC game, discussing how grateful they were to get back on the field and their expectations for the matchup.
Unlike a typical week, Rice football did not release a depth chart along with their game notes, although that should be coming shortly. We’ll touch on that when it’s released. First, the quotes:
Press Conference Quotes
“I think (the team) is as excited as I am. I think everybody is in a great place mentally. I think everybody is fired up and everybody is excited about the opportunity to play this game with each other… I’m pleased with the level that we’re playing at. I’m pleased with the intensity that we’re practicing at. I’m pleased with the knowledge and expertise that our players have for our systems. Again, everything is a lot of fun right now. If you ask them where they are mentally, I think they would tell you that they are in a really good place.” – Mike Bloomgren on the team’s mentality right now
“I think both lines are going to be really interesting. I think our offensive line is the best that it’s ever been. I’m not surprised by where the (defensive) line is. You see what we’ve been able to do on the offensive line and the experience factor there. Shea Baker’s about to break 2,800 snaps in this game. That’s a lot of football….. with the matchups, up front is going to be really fun to see on both sides of the football. Our defensive secondary is going to be challenged. It’s Lincoln Riley and the Air Raid. It’s all of these great receivers and Caleb Williams. So there’s going to be these challenges up the field.
One thing you can never sleep on with a Lincoln Riley offense is how well they run the counter play. You look up at the end of games and they have 200-250 yards rushing. So it’s a great challenge for our defense. Offensively, Coach Tuiasosopopo has put together an unbelievable plan with the staff. I think we’re prepared to put people in great positions. I think Wiley (Green) knows exactly where they are going to be and when they are going to be there. I think it’s going to be a fun college football game.” – Mike Bloomgren on key matchups in the game
“Now, literally at every position — you know you have the old adage of a pair and a spare. You’ve got a couple tackles you believe in, whether its offense or defense and at least one more than can go in everywhere. We’ve got receivers that we’ve just not had in the program that I think can stretch the field vertically and make contested catches over and over. I think the depth everywhere has not only made us better on game day, I think it made us better in camp.” – Mike Bloomgren on the depth of the roster
“I think we’ve got brilliant coordinators. When you give Brian Smith and Marques Tuiasosopo more time to work on you, they’re going to find things. We’ve had a lot time to go back and look at these guys’ body of work through their coaching careers’ this summer and wach a lot of football — a lot of Oklahoma football — and we feel like we’ve got a great plan in this one too. ” – Mike Bloomgren on game planning for season openers
“I don’t think anybody has any idea what our team looks like right now. If they haven’t been to our practices, if they haven’t been to our scrimmages, I don’t know if they realize what a healthy Wiley Green and a healthy George Nyakwol means to this football team. And then you bring up De’Braylon Carroll who missed the entire season last year. You bring up Bradley Rozner who missed all but two quarters of last season. We’re different. Plus we added some really cool, fun pieces.” – Mike Bloomgren on the view of the roster from the outside
“Having the injury this past year, it really helps you appreciate how much this game of football is and what it brings to my life and the people around me. I was blessed with a chance to come back and continue grad school here and continue to play football. There’s not much more that you can say… It’s really special. Words can’t describe how much it means to be and how excited I am to get back out on the field.” – Rice football quarterback Wiley Green on how much he appreciates his opportunity this season
“Everyone’s beatable. It just comes down to us playing our best ball. [USC WR Jordan Addison is] going to make plays but its on us to respond and keep the ship steered the right way and finish in the fourth quarter.” – Rice football safety George Nyakwol on USC wideout Jordan Addison
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