2022 LendingTree Bowl – Rice vs Southern Miss
posted December 15
It’s time for some SWEET ACTION down in Mobile, Alabama as a pair of teams hungry for a bowl win do battle in the world-famous LendingTree Bowl. Southern Miss finished the regular season at 6-6 and bagged the all-important sixth win in the regular season finale vs ULM. Rice got a bowl invite despite tallying a mark of 5-7 and are playing with HOUSE MONEY, yo. Let’s goooo!
Southern Miss -6 Rice (45.5)
MEGALOCKS LINE – Southern Miss -6
“Vegas” Implied Projected Score: Southern Miss 25.75 Rice 19.75
Southern Miss offense vs Rice defense
The Golden Eagles were totally disgusting on offense last season (17.7 PPG, #122 FBS) but were a bit better in 2022 (24.2, #94). They don’t do much of anything really well (#99 rush, #96 pass) and rely heavily upon one of the best RBs in the Sun Belt in Frank Gore Jr (1,053, 7 TD, 19 receptions) who’s managed to THROW three TD passes this year in his spare time. Be alert, ye Rice Owls! The WR group is fairly average but they’ve got a legit #1 target in J Brownlee (819, 15.8 , 7 TD). If you’ve watched any Southern Miss football this year they kinda do nothing most of the time and then booooom. Rice has been smoked by explosive offenses but has been decent for the most part vs the more pedestrian attacks like what Southern Miss brings to the table. Having said that, they’re #92 in the nation in rushing D and #118 in pass efficiency D so we expect the Golden Eagles to have success at times.
Rice offense vs Southern Miss defense
The Owls were HOODWINKED by QB injuries all season and thus failed to find much consistency on offense (#75 rush, #72 pass). It’s still a bit of a guess as far as who will get the call at QB for Rice but even if they’re forced to go with 3rd/4th stringer AJ Padgett recall that he played pretty well in the season finale when they almost upset a good North Texas team. Their top two RBs average 5.8,6.0 YPC and they’ve got an underrated WR group. The bad news? Southern Miss has a good defense (#55 total D) that’s done a fine job vs the weaker offenses on their docket. It’s pretty apparent that the Golden Eagles defense in the best unit in the game so Rice will have trouble getting much done on a consistent basis. Hopefully, WR L McCaffrey will make a surprise appearance as he’s their best offensive player (listed as Q) but that’s uncertain as we approach gameday. More bad news? Southern Miss is T5 in the country in sacks (39) and #3 in TFL/game. That’s some serious PENETRATION.
Trends, Intangibles and More!
This is Rice’s first bowl appearance sine 2014 (!) when they spanked Fresno St in the Hawaii Bowl…..This is the Golden Eagles’ first bowl game since 2019 and they haven’t tasted bowl victory since 2016….Rice played the #91 schedule according to Sagarin….Southern Miss #102…..Rice found a way to beat Louisiana and UAB and only lost to Houston by 7 points on the road…..They were much healthier then tho….Southern Miss also took down the Cajuns and defeated AAC champs Tulane (!) down in New Orleans……they’re also 9-3 ATS…..Rice was tied for worst in the nation with 30 (!) turnovers….S Miss wasn’t much better (22, #114).
It’s not gonna be a walk in the park, and it’s never easy on the stomach to lay points with Southern Miss, but their defense should be able to control the game and do enough to get the cover.
Lean – Southern Miss -6
‘Official play’ implies we have played the game for our standard wager amount.
‘Lean’ implies we are comfortable suggesting ‘small potatoes’ on the game if you want to get down on some sweet action.
‘No leanage’ implies we won’t be involved in the game from a betting standpoint. In-game wagering possibilities only.