Rice Owls 2021 College Football Preview
Created July 27, 2021
Record – 2-3
ATS – 3-2
The Owls definitely looked the part of an improving squad during the truncated plandemic season and finished with a mark of 2-3. All three losses were by 10 points or less AND who can forget when they SHOCKED the WORLD and humbled Marshall on their home field (W 22-CACK). Is it too much to expect a significant move forward in 2021? Let’s dig in.
Rice Owls 2021 Outlook
The Owls used a methodical offense LY (#2 TOP) to keep them in games and while they weren’t potent by any means (#107 FBS total offense) they were very efficient when utilizing the THROW GAME (#26 passing efficiency). Starting QB Mike Collins will be missed (10-1 TD to INT) and they bring in CORN transfer Luke McCaffrey to battle for the starting gig. He was inconsistent at Nebraska but has some upside. Keep your eye on transfer Jake Constantine. The RB group is deep (T3 back) but it’s unclear if they have a true workhorse. Expect a committee approach. The departure of their excellent WR Austin Trammell is a yuuuge blow but almost everyone that caught a pass LY is back for duty. TE Jordan Myers caught 20 balls in 5G and don’t forget that WR Bradley Rozner led the team in receiving yards in 2019 (55-770, 14.0, 5 TD). Everyone is back up front and they have a really good pair of tackles.
Rice did a good job on D in their 5-GAME SAMPLER LY (#23 FBS total D, #12 scoring D) and were certainly helped by the offense who spent a lot of time on the field. They have some talent at each level of the defense but will certainly miss their excellent LB and leading tackler Blaze Alldredge who’s off to Missouri. They also need to find a pass rush as they only tallied 7 in 5G LY (#12 C-USA sacks per game) whilst achieving minimal PENETRATION (#113 TFL/game). They have a pair of solid men at DT in De’Braylon Carroll (update – Carroll OFY Aug 14) and Elijah Garcia and boast an active LB group. The secondary is experienced and they picked of 6 passes in 5G LY.
They have a good-looking kicking combo in P Charlie Mendes (40.1 net) and PK Collin Riccitelli (9-12 FG LY). Jake Bailey is a talented option at PR and KR.
Overall – They have a nasty three-game stretch to start the season (at Arkansas, Houston, at Texas) but get a decent draw out of the East (Charlotte, Western Kentucky). They must face both of the West BIG BOYS (UAB, UTSA) on the road.
Potential ATS Trouble Spot – Nothing heinous noted.
Season Win Total
Per 5Dimes July 27
Over 6 -105
Under 6 -115
update August 24
Over 5.5 -125
Under 5.5 +105
It’s quite possible that they start 0-3 and that would make it tough to hit the ‘over’.
It feels like the last time Rice was last decent was back in ANCIENT TIMES, but don’t forget that they won 18 games in the two-year stretch from 2013-2014. They took down the Conference USA Championship in 2013.
It’s been a slow build but the Owls have gotten to the point where they’re no longer a FREE SQUARE for Conference USA foes. Last year’s spanking of Marshall proved that point. It feels like six wins may be the ceiling for this year’s team as the QB situation is a bit of a mystery and the defense might be a bit lacking in overall talent. In any event, GO OWLS!
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