In 2009, the Rice Owls were off a 10-3 campaign. Quarterback Chase Clement graduated as did two 1,300-yard receivers. The offensive line was ravaged and forced to start four underclassmen. The results weren't pretty as Rice fell to 2-10. Scoring dropped from 41.3 ppg to 18.3 ppg and the defense allowed nearly 10 ppg more. But optimism is high heading into 2010, most notably with the offense. The o-line now has 91 career starts, quarterback Nick Fanuzzi returns and Michigan transfer Sam McGuffie is expected to carry the load at running back. According to fourth-year head coach David Bailiff, McGuffie will be
"He's a very explosive player. We expect him to blend in with what we're doing offensively," said Bailiff. "He's as exciting a running back as I've seen in a long time."
"We'll try to create a lot of space with him and try to get him the football 25 times a game because he is capable, when you get him the football, of scoring from anywhere on the field," said Bailiff.
Also note that the Owls brought back former receivers coach David Beaty to serve as offensive coordinator – the team's third OC in three years.
"I think (Beaty) is going to bring us some excitement ... going back to the point of what we looked like two years ago," said Bailiff, referring to the 2008 campaign in which the Owls went 10-3, won the Texas Bowl, and scored fewer than 21 points once.