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Texas vs. Rice: Preview and Prediction

NCAA Football: Texas Christian at Texas

Here is everything you need to know about the upcoming Big 12 game in our Texas vs. Rice preview and prediction. 

Game Info

7:00 p.m. Central Time, Saturday September 14th, 2019, NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas. 

TV: CBS Sports Network

Texas Radio: Longhorn Radio Network (PxP: Craig Way)

Spread: Texas (-32)

Fun Fact: Last time Texas won a non-conference road game? You would have to go back all the way to 2012 when they defeated Ole Miss 66-31 in Oxford. 

 

Key Players

Rice

QB Tom Stewart

Sadly, Rice starting quarterback Wiley Green suffered an injury against Wake Forest last week and had to be carted off the field. So, in his absence enters Tom Stewart.  Stewart finished the game going 19 for 30 throwing for 185 yards and a touchdown as Rice fell to Wake Forest 41-21. He is a Harvard grad transfer who lost the starting job to freshman Wiley Green and although he does have Ivy League experience playing football, he has always struggled with his accuracy as a starting quarterback. If Rice hopes to have a chance, they need a big game from Stewart. 

DE Anthony Ekpe

Heading into the season, he was Rice’s best pass rusher. Although he led the team in sacks last season (6), he wouldn’t be considered as a great edge player. In fact, through their first two games, Rice has yet to record a single sack. Against a team like Texas, Rice will need all the pressure they can get on Sam Ehlinger. 

Texas

RB Roschon Johnson

By now you should know that Roschon Johnson is a quarterback turned running back due to all the injuries Texas has at running back. Outside of Keaontay Ingram, Texas doesn’t have much and it forced Roschon to get some reps there. Believe it or not, he had 3 less carries than Keaontay but had more rushing yards in that LSU game. I know he only rushed for 32 yards but what surprised me is how well he took to the new position. He should get PLENTY of reps in this game. 

Cornerback

This group got absolutely torched last weekend against LSU and they can probably go ahead and throw away those “DBU” shirts for the moment. I put the whole unit on notice here because I want to see someone step up and take these starting jobs between Jalen Green, Anthony Cook, Kenyatta Watson, Kobe Boyce and D’Shawn Jamison. 

 

Key Storylines 

Rice

Offensively, they need to control the clock if they can and take calculated shots. If I am the OC, I have a backup quarterback and am facing a much superior opponent, I will play keep away and take my risks when necessary. Do whatever you can to stay in this game late. Defensively, contain Sam Ehlinger. Stop the run of course and don’t let Sam escape the pocket. 

Texas

Just run your offense like normal. Rice has one of the worst rushing defenses in the country and I think the Longhorns will be able to exploit that with their good offensive line. Hopefully you can keep things vanilla on offense and most importantly, KEEP EVERYONE HEALTHY. Defensively, stack up that box and make their backup quarterback throw the football. 

Prediction 

Texas: 45 Rice: 10

There really isn’t much to say here. While Texas has some injuries, Rice is down their starting quarterback, so I don’t think Rice has any sort of real chance here. Texas is too big, too fast and too strong for this team and the scoreboard will show it. The only question you should be asking is if Texas will cover the spread or not.

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