Matchup: Rice Owls vs. UAB Blazers
Date/Time: November 21st, 7:30 ET
Television: FOX Sports 1
College Football Odds from BetAnySports
Point Spread: Rice -19
The Rice Owls are going to try to keep their name in the hat for the Conference USA title on Thursday night when they go on the road for the final time this year to take on the UAB Blazers at Legion Field.
Rice only has one loss this year in conference play, and it very well could be the one that proves to be damning. The Owls were beaten by the North Texas Mean Green several weeks ago, and unless the Mean Green get beaten somewhere along the way the rest of this regular season, the best that they can do is finish second in the West Division. Rice though, probably has the most talented team in the conference. Defensively, this team has been marginal at best, though allowing 22.7 points per game is excellent by Conference USA standards. The fact of the matter is that this team can run the ball with anyone in the nation, though. The Owls have already gotten 1,013 yards and 11 TDs this season from RB Charles Ross, and the next five rushers in line have combined for nearly 1,500 more yards between them. Keep an eye on WR Jordan Taylor as well, knowing that he is averaging 15.5 yards per catch and has 43 receptions for 665 yards thus far in 2013.
The Blazers haven’t had a relevant football team in quite some time, and they have really fallen apart here at the end of the season. The did challenge the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders in their only home game played in the last month and a half, losing 24-21, but since that point, the team has been taken behind the shed against both the Marshall Thundering Herd and the East Carolina Pirates, losing by an aggregate score of 119-28 in those outings. Needless to say, both games flew past the ‘total’ and neither was even remotely close to a cover when push came to shove. UAB isn’t overcoming a defense which ranks 120th in the land in scoring at 42.6 points per game allowed. The squad ranks 109th or worse against the rush and the pass, and what’s left is one of the few defenses in the country conceding over 500 yards per game. QB Austin Brown and QB Jonathan Perry split time under center, but where this team really gets its yards is on the ground, where RB Darrin Reaves and RB Jordan Howard have combined for 1,653 yards and 11 TDs on the season.
We think the Blazers are being underrated in this game. They are going to have a tough time slowing down the Rice offense, and that’s why they are going to lose this game SU, but they have fought hard here at Legion Field this year. If UAB can figure out how to get to 20 offensively, that might be enough to get the job done. We want the points on our side in this one.
Rice Owls vs. UAB Blazers Pick: UAB Blazers +19
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.