The Rice Owls and head coach David Bailiff will host Jim Mora and the UCLA on Aug. 30 at Rice Stadium. Photo Credit: Troy Taormina-US PRESSWIRE

Know the Opponent: Rice Owls

Today our know the opponent series takes us deep in the heart of Texas for the first time as we look at the Rice Owls. Last season the Owls went 4-8 (3-5 in Conference USA) under head coach David Bailiff who is back for his sixth season in Houston.

UCLA will travel to Rice Stadium to kick off the Jim Mora era on August 30th to take on Rice. The game will be televised by CBS Sports Network with a 4:30 p.m. PT start time.

The team lists several freshman/redshirt freshmen on the depth chart but from the looks of it expect redshirt junior Taylor McHargue to get the first crack at the job. Last season in nine games he threw for 1,072 yards, eight touchdowns with a 57.5 completion percentage in addition to rushing for 124 yards.

Rice brings back its two and three leading rushers from 2011 with a redshirt junior Turner Peterson and senior Sam McGuffie. Peterson had 485 yards with five TD’s during his sophomore season playing in 12-games. McGuffie over seven games rushed for 158 yards with a touchdown last season.

Senior Vance McDonald will lead the receiving corps who had 532 yards with five TD’s and averaged 12.4 yards per catch. RS sophomore Mario Hall is another guy to keep an eye on he had just 181 yards but averaged 10.6 yards per catch.

On the defensive side of the ball the Owls bring back their leading tackler junior linebacker Cameron Nwosu. In 2011 Nwosu had 108 tackles, 58 solo while assisting on 50, one sack, six tackles for losses and recovered two fumbles. RS junior safety Paul Porras who was third on the team with 91 tackles last season 64 solo/27 assisted, he also had a sack but intercepted two passes.

Predictions: With a lot of talent coming back and several players who’ve been redshirted during their time at Rice I think this team can make a bowl. After hosting the Bruins they head to Lawrence to face the Kansas Jayhawks followed by a trip to Louisiana Tech before starting the conference season against Marshall.

2012 Rice Owls Schedule –

UCLA 8/30
@Kansas 9/8
@Louisiana Tech 9/15
Marshall 9/22
v. Houston (at Reliant Stadium) 9/29
@Memphis 10/6
UTSA 10/13
@Tulsa 10/20
Southern Miss 10/27
@Tulane 11/3
SMU 11/17
@UTEP 11/24

Previous Previewed Teams -

July 2 – Nicholls Colonels (32)
July 6 – Northern Colorado (31)
July 12 – UNLV (30)
July 13 – Duke (29)
July 16 – Colorado State (28)
July 18 – Sacramento State (27)
July 20 – Fresno State (26)

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Tags: CBS Sports Network Conference USA Conference USA Football CUSA David Bailiff Jim Mora Pac-12 Pac-12 Conference Pac-12 Conference Football Rice Rice Owls Rice Owls Football UCLA UCLA Bruins UCLA Bruins Football

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