Get to Know the 2014 Football Opponents: Rice Owls
During the next several weeks, ODUSports.com will introduce you to the opponents for the 2014 Monarchs. ODU travels to defending Conference USA Champion, Rice, to open C-USA in the fourth game of the year.
Sept. 20, 2014 – Houston, Texas – Rice Stadium
The Quick Facts Rice
Location: Houston, Texas
First Year of Football: 1912
Conference: Conference USA
Head Coach: David Bailiff
2013 Record: 10-4, 7-1
About the Owls
David Bailiff enters his eighth season as head coach at Rice and is 40-48 at Rice. He led the Owls to a 10-4 record last season and defeated Marshall in the C-USA Championship Game to set up an appearance in the Liberty Bowl. During his Rice tenure, Bailiff has led the Owls to a pair of 10-win seasons, something Rice hadn’t accomplished since 1949.
Rice had a balanced offensive attack in 2013, but lose their top rusher and quarterback to graduation.
Charles Ross led the team with more than 1,200 yards and 15 rushing touchdowns but was lost to graduation. Jowan Davis will look to take the lead role as he rushed for 476 yards and three touchdowns as a freshman in 2013.
Senior Taylor McHargue was a four-year starter and became the first-ever Rice quarterback to start the season-opener four times. He threw for 2,345 yards and 17 TD’s in 2013. The Owls will have several options at quarterback for 2014, including Driphus Jackson and Luke Turner, who both saw limited duty last season.
The Owls do return the top two receivers from a season ago in Jordan Taylor and Dennis Parks. Taylor led the way with 55 catches for 848 yards and eight touchdowns while Parks had 29 receptions for 508 yards and three scores.
Rice graduated its top two leading tacklers, but return Julius White who made67 stops and two interceptions last year.
In the NFL
Rice has had six NFL draft choices in the last five years, including a pair of tight ends taken in last year’s draft in Vance McDonald and Luke Wilson. McDonald was taken by the 49’ers while Wilson helped the Seahawks win the Super Bowl this year.
ODU will not be eased into C-USA play, as they take on the defending champion Owls. Rice is in the West division of C-USA, so this will not be a yearly contest. This will be the first game between the Monarchs and Owls.