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Rice vs. Southern Miss,
9-22-2018 - Pick and Prediction

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Game Snapshot with Current Line

#367 Rice
Owls 59
#368 Southern Miss
Golden Eagles -14

Saturday, September 22, 2018 at 7:00pm

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

Game Stats

Rice Owls

1 - 2


Southern Miss Golden Eagles

1 - 1


Featured Video from Scott Reichel

When and where: September 22, 2018, MM Roberts Stadium, Hattiesburg, MS, 6:00 PM ET

The Rice Owls will be looking to put an end to a two-game losing streak when they travel to Hattiesburg to take on the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles. Losses to Houston and Hawaii have them headed in the direction of another bleak season. As for the Golden Eagles, they’ll be looking for redemption after a one-point loss to UL Monroe.

Too much Abraham proves costly

It isn’t ideal for any team to have a sophomore quarterback dropping back to pass 46 times in a football game, but there Jack Abraham was a little over a week ago—in a game against UL Monroe—dropping back and airing the ball out excessively. All Southern Mississippi had to show for it in the end was a loss and their young quarterback being sacked five times.

On a rallying drive to mid-field in the final seconds of the fourth quarter, Abraham threw an interception that ultimately iced the game. He finished the game with 378 passing yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, along with a few ice packs for the punishment he endured.

Southern Mississippi needs to utilize running backs Tez Parks and T’Rod Daniels more to take some of the pressure off Abraham’s shoulders and ensure he’s healthy enough to stick around for the full season.

That’s if Kwadra Griggs doesn’t cut in

All offense and no defense for Rice

Rice is averaging 427.3 yards of total offense, and they still have only been able to win one game so far this season. They have also scored 27 or more points in their last three games. Meanwhile, on the defensive side of the ball, they are giving up an average of 478.7 yards of total offense per game. Both Houston and Hawaii managed to score 40-plus points on the unit.

It’s tough to win games when the team is always playing catch-up, which has been the case for the Owls in the last two weeks. The defense was completely torched by Hawaii quarterback Cole McDonald, who threw for 319 yards and four touchdowns in Week 3.

The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet

If the Owls defense is offering free yards, Abraham will dine like an all-you-can-eat buffet.

They aren’t playing spectacular offenses by any stretch, but every team that has gone up against them has put up big numbers. Even if their offense is capable of being explosive, it isn’t sustainable for them to average 30-plus points per game to even have a chance to compete. They’ll for sure struggle keeping up with the Golden Eagles’ offense.

The backend of Rice’s defense is suspect, and the front hasn’t shown the ability to generate pressure consistently. That should make for another long day of headaches for Owls head coach Mike Bloomgren.

The Golden Eagles can use this week to get Griggs up to speed with the offense. They won’t need him against this defense.

Prediction: Southern Mississippi

Full-Game Total Pick

It wouldn’t be surprising to see 800-plus yards of combined total offense between these two teams. That’s how dire the defensive situation is on both sides. The over is 8-0 in the last eight head-to-head meetings. There’s no coincidence for that streak, and I fully expect it to extend to nine games after Saturday.

Prediction: Over (55.5)

Jordy McElroy

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