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Texas Longhorns vs. Rice Owls Prediction, Preview, and Odds – 9-14-2019
On Saturday night, the Texas Longhorns and Rice Owls will do battle in this BIG-12 Conference vs. Conference USA matchup. Kickoff is set for 8:00 PM ET.
Television-wise, the matchup will be broadcast on CBS.
These two teams are long time rivals, but one team is clearly better than the other. Texas leads the All-time series with a 72-21-1 record. The Longhorns have a 13 game winning streak going against the Owls, who haven’t beat them since 1994.
Texas Ready For Another Tune Up Game
The Texas Longhorns are ranked 12th in college football. After a tune up win in Week 1, they suffered a brutal 45-38 loss to #4 LSU. That would have been an early upset win in this college football season, but at least Texas can say that they can hang with a top-five team. It was an insane, back and forth, high scoring fourth quarter. Quarterback Sam Ehlinger went 31 for 47, for 401 yards, and four touchdowns. The Longhorns should be able to take their anger out on Rice for a 14th straight time.
Last week, the Longhorn secondary couldn’t keep up with LSU. Texas should be able to practice defending the pass against Rice. If they do better in that area of the field, then it will come down to how they do against the running game. They need a confidence-boosting type of game and they don’t want to give up anything. So, the front seven will be the x-factor. This team has no trouble with scoring and they should have a field day in this one. The defense just needs to get things straight again.
Sophomore linebacker Anthony Hines had this to say about the Texas defense getting better: “We’re a young group, and we just have to continue to grow every single week,” Hines said. “Just seeing those little mistakes really help us not to repeat those in future games.”
Rice Looking For An Upset Win
The Rice Owls are have had a close loss and a blowout defeat to start their 2019 season. After only scoring seven points in Week 1 against a tough Army team, they responding by getting 21 points in Week 2. Too bad the Owls were badly outplayed from the second quarter on and couldn’t respond. Rice had no standout rushers and quarterback Tom Stewart went 19 for 30, for 185 yards, and one touchdown. Brad Rozner was the other bright spot, as he had six catches, for 103 yards. The Owls will need to bring their A-game defense to have somewhat of a chance.
Since the Owls don’t really have a stand out quarterback, they will have to rely on the run game. This team is confident in backup quarterback Stewart, but he doesn’t have that much experience and he is going up against a fantastic Texas team. This offense just has too much of a mystery around it that running the ball well will determine their fate. So far, this team has only been able to get a few touchdowns, but at least the defense has been okay.
Head coach Mike Bloomgren doesn’t care about the brutal non-conference schedule, he just wants to win some games: “I almost hate hearing how much better we are than last year right now,” Bloomgren told reporters with a hint of exasperation in his voice. “I want to win games. I want to feel what it’s like in the locker room. I want to be somebody who ‘should win.’”
Bloomgren on the biggest challenge heading into this game.
“They’re a talented, talented group. (Sam Ehlinger) is pretty sporty, whether he’s running the ball or throwing the ball right now. So, I think there is a lot of challenges. The offensive and defensive lines are going to be outstanding challenges for our group. You just look at that offensive line over there. Bringing in the graduate transfer, Parker Braun, from Georgia Tech. That’s a pretty stout group across the board. They’re a good offensive line. There defensive line; there’s nothing we can do on scout team to prepare for a 6-2, 340-pound nose (tackle). We don’t have anybody in the program that looks like that. So, we’re going to prepare our kids the best way we can and, again, the thing that I know is that they’re going to go out there and fight. I know they have the mindset that I want them to. You know, nobody is giving us a chance. I see the Vegas lines and all of those things. But, in this building, all we can think about is the things that we can control and the fight. Our guys, right now, they want to beat you in dominos. They want to fight you across the table and that’s what we need to have. So, going into this game, nobody is going to say ‘Okay, here it is. We’ll go play for 60 minutes and let them have it.’ That’s not the mentality of this program.”
- Owls are 2-5-1 ATS in their last 8 games in September.
- Longhorns are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 vs. CUSA.
- Longhorns are 7-2-1 ATS in their last 10 games following a straight up loss.
- Longhorns are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 neutral site games.
Updated on Sep 14 at 8:55am EDT
Update prepared by our editoral staff
Public Money / Line Movements
Texas has gone from -30.5 up to -32.5 which is pretty consistent with the fact that they have grabbed 73% of the bets.
Injury / Weather Report
Texas’ Impact Injury Report
Questionable: WR Collin Johnson
Out: WR Joshua Moore, DB Demarvion Overshown, DB B.J. Foster, and RB Jordan Whittington
Rice’s Impact Injury Report
Questionable: LB Jordan Whittington
Out: QB Wiley Green and RB Juma Otoviano
Weather: No weather concerns as they are playing in a stadium with a retractable roof.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Rice has been blown out a lot by Texas in the past, and the Longhorns need a solid win to feel good again about moving up in the rankings. The Owls did have an impressive defense in Week 1, but that’s it. The scoring will be hard to come by and hopefully, they don’t let things get out of hand to early.
Texas will likely have another tune up game win. They have done it all the time to Rice in the past and being ranked 12th in the nation will surely keep that going. The Longhorns will use this game to improve their defense and try some trick plays out.
Prediction: Texas Longhorns -32
Full-Game Total Pick
Most of the scoring will be done by Texas. Rice has only reached the end zone four times this season and Texas has had handful’s o plenty for scoring touchdowns. Rice could force some unexpected turnovers early and maybe that can make things interesting for a bit.
Look for Texas to score early and often. Rice might get some scoring in the second half when the game is over and done with. Texas wins 56-10.
Prediction: Over 56.5