Rice +9.5 3.3% PLAY
Rice has had a very challenging schedule as they have faced 3 Power 5 schools and 3 of their 4 non-p5 games have been on the road. They finally get back home where they have played well. This is a team that only lost by 3 to Louisiana Tech, and 8 to Baylor, those teams are 13-1 combined. In comes Southern Miss as a 9.5 point favorite, and I just think it’s far too many points, when you factor in how slow Rice plays, and Southern Miss defense ranks 127th in yards per play allowed, which for me means Rice should be able to move the ball and pick up some first downs. I don’t like to look at common opponents too much but worth noting is the fact that Rice was +58 yards vs. La Tech and Southern Miss was -39 yards. Southern Miss got off to a 14-0 lead over La Tech with a 100 yard return by their leading RB who might be out for this game, but after that they were outscored 45-16! It was a disappointing loss, and they have UAB on deck.
Rice should have beaten UTSA last week, but a pick six really did them in in their 31-27 loss, but 27 points was the most amount of points this team put up and it came against a team ranked 118th in yards per play allowed, which is similar to Southern Miss defense. Turnover issues have plagued both of these teams as they both rank outside the top 100, but Southern Miss has been worse ranking 114th. Southern Miss turnover issues have also come on the road where they have given the ball up 9 times in 4 games. Rice has 8 turnovers on the road, but they are home here where they have turned the ball over just 3 times in 3 games against some very good defenses - Baylor #25 in YPP allowed, and 12th in TO margin, LA Tech 47th in YPP allowed, and 68th in TO margin, and Wake Forest #83 YPP allowed, and 13th in TO margin. I think Rice can win the turnover margin, keep the # of possessions in the game, and possibly pull the upset for their first win.
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