Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Rice Owls Pick-Odds-Prediction - 8/30/14
Rice Owls (0-0) at Notre Dame Fighting Irish (0-0)
College Football: Saturday, August 30, 2014 at 3:30 pm (Notre Dame Stadium)
The Line: Notre Dame Fighting Irish -21.5 -- Over/Under: 52 See the Latest Odds
The Rice Owls travel to South Bend to open 2014 with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
The Rice Owls look for another strong season after winning the CUSA a year ago but they miss a few pieces in 2014. The first key for the Owls is whether Driphus Jackson can pass the ball as he did in 2012 and whether he can compliment the rushing attack with his legs. Rice believes Jawon Davis and Darik Dillard should be able to fill the void of departed Charles Ross and QB Taylor McHargue so the ground game should be productive. If Jackson can deliver the ball in the air then Jordan Taylor and Dennis Parks give the Owls receiving corps a nice combo. A veteran O-Line and plenty of returning players on defense says the Owls won't be a pushover.
USA TODAY Sports
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have extremely high expectations for no other reason then this is Notre Dame and challenging for the National Championship is almost a necessity. The Fighting Irish turn to Everett Golson under center who threw for over 2,400 yards in 2012 but missed last season with academic woes. Cam McDaniels received the bulk of the work on the ground in 2013 but that could change with the more explosive Tarean Folston getting his shot at carrying the Irish workload. Golson and the passing attack will be leaning on DaVaris Daniels (suspended) in the air but he too has academic issues that need to be addressed so with the departure of TJ Jones the Irish need to find a big play threat.
The Irish have suspended several players for academics so with that being the case I will take the points with a decent Rice squad although I thought there was too much chalk to begin with...