Pregame leftovers: Rice

Here are some notes and quotes haven’t made it to print or digital this week prior to Army’s home game against Rice Saturday.

Jeff Monken put in a call to his cousin Todd Monken, Southern Mississippi’s head coach, for a scouting report on Rice.

Southern Mississippi played Rice on Sept. 27. Rice won 41-23.

“He said they have a good football team and they play really hard,” Jeff Monken said. “He’s got a lot of respect for Rice and so do we. They have a great season last year, won 10 games and are well-coached. He’s (David Bailiff) done a great job of turning that program around, turning them into a conference champion and a well-respected football team.”

Monken said Rice’s 2-3 record, “is not indicative of the type of football team they are.”

Rice opened the season 0-3. The Owls lost 48-17 loss at then-No. 17 Notre Dame. Rice was defeated by then-No. 7 Texas A&M 48-10 in College Station and fell to Old Dominion 45-42.

“They lost to Old Dominion by three and those guys light up the scoreboard,” Monken said. “They score a lot of points. We played Old Dominion in the playoffs twice at Georgia Southern in 2011 and 2012. That quarterback (Taylor Heinicke) is a dynamite player.”

Sophomore fullback Aaron Kemper has emerged as an out of Army’s backfield the past two games. Kemper had a 74-yard run at Yale and scored his second career touchdown on a 9-yard burst against Ball State last week.

“He’s (Kemper) doing a good job,” Monken said. “He’s got really good feet. He’s not a burner speed-wise. He just has really good vision. He’s done some good things out in practice and he’s earned the opportunity to get out there. We’ve given him a chance to do that he’s done a nice job.”

Army offensive coordinator Brent Davis said on coach Monken’ s weekly radio show that said the team is running more designed handoffs plays to slotbacks Terry Baggett and Raymond Maples than he has in the past.

“We are trying to make sure the right guys have the ball and that’s something that we have to continue to work on every week,” Davis said. “We made add a wrinkle here and there to try and get those guys the ball because they both have had 1,000-yard seasons. They have both done great things here so we have to find a way to involve them.”

VIDEO: Junior center Matt Hugenberg on Army’s offensive line play.

For game updates, follow me on Twitter @salinterdonato

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