Rice is not as bad of a team as some might think. They played Mississippi State in a bowl game last season and they got drilled but they won their conference and they have an excellent coaching staff. People see the name Rice and they automatically assume they are awful, but they reside in one of the high school football hotbeds in the country and they should prove to be a decent team.
But, either way, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish drilled them, 48 – 17.
Let me just say that I have been wrong a few times in my life and it appears that I was wrong about Notre Dame QB Everett Golson. I was pretty hard on him after the Spring Game.
But, I was wrong and I don’t mind admitting that.
Golson wasn’t perfect, but he managed to hit 14 out of 22 passes for 295 yards and 2 TDs. He also ran for 41 yards and 3 more TDs.
He made some mistakes, but he also had some spectacular plays. He hit one WR perfectly on the run while scrambling more than 60 yards down the field and the WR dropped the ball. That kind of stuff doesn’t show up on the stats sheet.
He was sacked once, but was very elusive in the backfield and made a lot of plays with his feet. I was not that excited about the Golden Domers chances in 2014 until I saw them in action on Saturday.
Irish defense got a gift with 21 seconds left in the first half, on a poor decision by the Rice QB and an interception by Notre Dame DB Mathias Farley. Golson hit WR CJ Prosise for a 53 yard TD that was just breath taking. Prosise was the guy that dropped the earlier pass from Golson, but made up for it with this grab.
Golson looked mostly spectacular. He was extremely impressive.
My guy Malik Zaire ran the ball 58 yards on his very first play at QB. He impressed me very much last Spring but Golson was named the starter.
Left Tackle Ronnie Stanley, Left Guard Conor Hanratty, Center Nick Martin, Right Guard Christian Lombard and Right Tackle Steve Ulmer played pretty well for the most part. Ulmer had a little problem with the quickness of the Rice Defensive End Zach Patt, but mostly he played pretty well.
The Irish have some speed at the Wide Receiver position and they have some standout tailbacks. This team should be fun to watch this season. We need to see more of Corey Robinson who is a potentially outstanding receiver with the height and athletic ability.
A major difference maker for Notre Dame will be Florida transfer Cody Riggs. He is great on returns, and an excellent Cornerback. Riggs is one of those Florida products from St Thomas Aquinas and a serious talent. The Gators will miss him but he will help the Irish this year.
Notre Dame defense was not without mistakes but they looked pretty good for the most part and have some things that they need to work on but they know of these things now and will need to get them fixed before Michigan next week.