Is there anything Caleb Williams can’t do? He’s really the best thrower and runner on the team and that will become more apparent against superior teams. Well, as superior as teams can be on that crummy schedule USC plays. Lincoln Riley just needs to keep him healthy.
No tailback had more than six carries so it’s probably not completely fair to judge anyone. Raleek Brown had the flashiest run but hurt his ankle. Travis Dye is the ultimate team player but he didn’t bypass the NFL for five carries.
The fanboys are thrilled 12 different receivers caught passes. But the Rice defense didn’t really let us learn more than we already knew. It’s a talented receiving corps. But let’s see who will step up when the Trojans get into a tight game?
This was a fairly routine performance against an overmatched opponent. The greatest asset for the line is Caleb Williams’ ability to evade a pass rush and keep the sack stats low.
There were a few displays of physicality but not enough. Rice rushed for too many yards until its starting tailback got hurt. An underrated transfer is Tyrone Taleni of Kansas State, who had 2 tackles. Korey Foreman looks extremely light.
Transfer Portal U. came through big time as Shane Lee and Eric Gentry lived up to the buzz. Think how good Alabama’s defense is that it could toss aside Lee. These two make plays and play smart. That’s not something I wrote in the Helton Era!
Tipped interceptions are great but there wasn’t a lot to feel great about in the secondary, especially when you get into the pass-happy Pac-12. We already knew Calen Bullock was the star in the secondary. But let’s see how Ceyair Wright, Jaylin Smith and Co. fare against way better offenses than Rice.
With one punt and a 25-yard field goal, there wasn’t much going on here. That 26-yard punt can’t be a normal occurrence but it was the first college punt for Aadyn Sleep-Dalton. Oh, I can’t tell you how much I dislike Jordan Addison returning punts. That’s a good way to get hurt.
Here’s the deal: Lincoln Riley is smart enough to figure out what’s going on in the game and make changes, if necessary. Alex Grinch made some adjustments at halftime but they weren’t more important than Rice losing its QB/TB. It was a good first game because everyone played and didn’t let up.
Here’s what I didn’t like: Letting that towel waver on the sideline.