McGuffie moved to wideout in spring

The Sports Xchange

--Rice shook up things offensively by moving RB Sam McGuffie to receiver this spring. In 2010, McGuffie led the Owls in both rushing yards and receiving yards, becoming the first Rice player to accomplish that double feat since 1987.

"Sam is going to play everywhere for us next season," coach David Bailiff told the Houston Chronicle. "We're going to try and play him at running back, at the slot, at the wide receiver and get him the football and let him go to work at what he does best."

--The biggest question on defense is finding someone to replace the disruptive presence of veteran DE Scott Solomon, who closed his collegiate career ranked second all-time in team history in sacks. Cody Bauer, who missed all of last season due to injury, and Jared Williams left spring practice as the tentative starting defensive ends.


QB Taylor McHargue -- After losing his starting job to Nick Fanuzzi last season and not even seeing the field in the Owls' final four games in 2011, McHargue desperately needed to make some strides this spring and delivered. The biggest progression McHargue made, according to the coaching staff, was in his ability to lead the team in the huddle and read coverages.

WR Lovett Gibson -- The redshirt freshman had a monster showing in the spring game, racking up 104 receiving yards on three catches. That total included a 53-yard touchdown from backup QB Driphus Jackson to Gibson. Those two connecting on a play shouldn't come as a huge surprise. They played together at Cedar Hill High in Houston.

DB Paul Porras -- The junior and apparent starter at Rice's Kat safety position led all the Owl defensive players with seven tackles in the spring game.

PK/P Chris Boswell -- Already a proven commodity as the placekicker, Boswell did double duty as kicker and punter this spring and showed that he can be up to the task if required to fill both roles during the 2012 season. Boswell hit field goals of48 and 57 yards in the spring game and also did a solid job on punting.

"We're going to have a lot more three and outs this year; we're going to have a lot more sacks this year; we're going to be up in the face of the offenses a lot more this year." -- CB Phillip Gaines

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