Rice’s Players Preparing for Challenge Against Razorbacks on Saturday

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Photo Courtesy: University of Arkansas Athletics

FAYETTEVILLE — Rice is a big underdog on Saturday when they take the field to face the University of Arkansas.

But don’t tell that to redshirt junior defensive end Trey Schuman, 6-2, 261, and junior wide receiver Jake Bailey, 5-10, 180. Schuman led the Owls with 4.5 tackles for loss last season. He’s a Campbell Trophy nominee this season. He has watched film of Arkansas and talked about quarterback KJ Jefferson.

“He’s a great quarterback,” Schuman said. “He’s big. Everyone knows he’s big. He’s got a good arm. Really for how big he is, he is extremely mobile. So, we’ve been focused on keeping him in the pocket and keeping him contained because we know not only he can beat us with his arm, but he can beat us with his feet. Really, all around an excellent player, and I look forward to finally meeting him on Saturday.”

Arkansas returns nine starters from 2020 and many who supplied the depth as well.

“I see a team that you really have to watch out for because you don’t know which weapon is going to hit you on what play,” Schuman said. “They’re a team that is grounded in the run game but can hit you over the head if you get caught lacking. Really, their tempo is a force to be reckoned with. If you don’t get lined up and reset like Coach Bloom was saying, you can get caught with your feet in the mud. So, it’s going to be a fun matchup because they do tempo and hey kind of have some smoke and mirrors, but don’t get it twisted, that O-line, they’re bruiser too. So, it’s going to be a fun matchup in the trenches just matching their energy if not trying to out-match their energy.”

Bailey has been nominated for the Hornung Award. He led the Owls with 477 all-purpose yards last season. He had 23 receptions for 276 yards and two touchdowns. He averaged over 20 yards per punt return. He will be going against Arkansas’ secondary on Saturday and one particular Hog has his attention.

“Yeah, I mean, you know, one guy that definitely sticks out is Jalen Catalon, number 1,” Bailey said. “The hard hat, heavy hitter. Every game we’ve watched, he’s popped out as a guy who can just fly around and make plays. I think a guy like that, you definitely have to keep your head on a swivel for. But at the same time, we’re excited to put our offense to the test, and I think no one’s going to back down from a good challenge. I think as a competitor, that’s what we kind of look forward to. So, they definitely have a lot of talented guys, but we do as well, so we’re excited about it.”

Arkansas and Rice will kickoff at 1 p.m. Saturday in Reynolds Razorback Stadium.

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