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Bailiff’s career has been defined as much as anything by strong hires. Indeed, he gave well-regarded young coaches early-career breaks. And you could say he’s staking his latest turnaround on another couple of young guys.
Billy Lynch has been around for a while now. He’s entering his seventh season at Rice and his fourth as at least co-coordinator. The Ball State grad was able to figure out a decent path in 2016 — the Owls’ offense only improved from 102nd to 97th in Off. S&P+, but it did improve by quite a bit later in the season.
The Lynch offense was a pretty familiar one for Rice; it had a high tempo and created a decent number of solo tackles (indicating spread-out defenses), though the Owls did run a bit more than they previously have. Quarterback Tyler Stehling had his moments of mobility; not including sacks, he rushed about six to seven times per game at about six yards per carry. QBs rushed more times in 2016 than in 2015, when Driphus Jackson was behind center.
Still, Rice went from rushing 68 percent of the time on standard downs (20th in FBS) to 58 percent (80th); the Owls also ran more on passing downs than they did the year before, a product of some combination of Stehling’s scrambling and an attempt at unpredictability.
The San Diego Padres¡¯ stadium is looking a little different.
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A series of events in San Diego led to Petco Park being completely underwater late on Monday night. A storm in Southern California, paired with drainage that couldn¡¯t keep up with the rain, turned the field into baseball¡¯s best duck pond.
Normally drainage systems can handle this amount of water, but the situation was exacerbated by a lack of turf on the field. Grass had been removed to accommodate a monster truck event on Feb. 18, and crews were in the process of re-sodding the field when the rain poured down.