The Mountain West preseason Defensive Player of the Year, Justin Rice, will be on the field on Saturday. If not for COVID-19, he would be at Bulldog Stadium.
Instead, he will be in Memphis.
Fresno State was supposed to have its season opener on Saturday at home against Idaho State. However, the coronavirus pandemic forced the Mountain West to postpone all fall sports, which led to Rice entering the transfer portal. He settled on Arkansas State in the Sun Belt.
Arkansas State has its first game on Saturday at Memphis.
“Well, I know coach Blake Anderson and defensive coordinator David Duggan said earlier this week you can definitely expect to see him and see him early and see him a lot,” says George Stoia, a sportswriter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. “So I would guess that he probably doesn’t start the game, I’m gonna guess they’ll rotate in the first half and whoever’s having a better game will probably play in the second half. It also probably depends on how the game goes.
“If Justin comes in and he’s just making plays like a crazy man, like some people expect him to, you know, David Duggan said he plays like his hair is on fire, then I think we’re gonna see a lot more of him in the second half.”