Matchup: Rice Owls vs. North Texas Mean Green
Date/Time: October 31st, 7:30 ET
Television: FOX SPORTS 1
College Football Odds from BetAnySports.eu
Point Spread: North Texas -5.5
You might not believe that the Rice Owls and the North Texas Mean Green are two of the best teams in the land, but they are two of the best teams in Conference USA. The West Division lead could be on the line on Thursday when these two meet at Apogee Stadium in Denton.
Rice has yet to suffer a loss in Conference USA play this season, but it really hasn’t managed a whole heck of a lot either. Two of the wins against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane and the Texas San Antonio Roadrunners were both clashes that could have gone either way, and beating the Florida Atlantic Owls by four at home is nothing to write home about. At least the Owls have figured it out over the course of the last couple of weeks, blasting the UTEP Miners and the New Mexico State Aggies, but again, consider the source of what we’re talking about here. Those two teams are pathetic. It’s all about the run for Rice, as it averages over 230 yards per game on the ground. RB Charles Ross is the man that paces it all, and he is surely going to be a 1,000-yard back this year when it is all said and done with. Keep an eye on QB Taylor McHargue as well. McHargue has been around this program for quite some time, and though he is leading the nation’s 107th ranked passing offense, he can really sling it around if given the chance.
North Texas is 5-3 to start off the season, but it is already just about done with its road games on the year. The Mean Green have already faced off five times with teams on enemy territory, and they have come away with two wins in a row in conference play and covers in three out of four in the month of October. None of the numbers or names will really jump off of the page at you, but when you put it all in context, it is clear that UNT has one of the best teams in a middling Conference USA. The team is averaging 416.4 yards per game, and it is allowing just 379.1 yards per game. The passing attack is good with QB Derek Thompson, but it isn’t one of the best in the land. The ground game does enough with RB Brandin Byrd doing a lot of the heavy lifting as well. The number that does sort of highlight this team this year though, is 125.8 yards per game allowed rushing. The end result is just 20.4 points per game allowed, and that’s why the Mean Green are getting the job done.
This is the biggest game that the Mean Green have played in quite some time, and the fact that they have a national audience to rile up the fan base even more is going to play right into their hands. The oddsmakers have this one right. The hosts should be the favorites in this game. Don’t fall into the trap!
Rice Owls vs. North Texas Mean Green Pick: North Texas Mean Green -5.5
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.