HOUSTON – Unlike most schools around the country, the Rice Owls have been on the field preparing for their upcoming season for nearly two weeks. New head coach Mike Bloomgren will have his newly energized squad on the field for their opener three weeks from Saturday when they host Prairie View A&M.
They are one of eight teams to open the season on August 25 and the Owls are eager to push past the memories of last tear's 1-10 season.
We got to have a bad memory in that aspect, but we also have to know where we came from," running back Emmanuel Usupka said.
"We can't repeat a season like that again."
"Last year that was our reality," defensive lineman Zach Abercrumbia said.
"It's one of those things where you can't necessarily flush it and just completely forget about it, but it leaves a bad taste in your mouth."
Bloomgren, a first-time head coach, comes to Rice from Stanford where he was the offensive coordinator and he's proud of the staff he has in place to move things in the right direction.
"There are three former head coaches on this staff. They have been an unbelievable resource for me.
"There are five guys on this staff, including myself, with NFL experience and three coaches that chose to come with me from Stanford," Bloomgren added.
"They mean a lot to me, because they know what it looked like, they know what we need it to look like and we are building towards.
"This is the right staff, they are awesome at what they do. I love watching them work."