UAB Blazers vs. Rice Owls Pick-Odds-Prediction - 11/21/13
Rice Owls (7-3) at UAB Blazers (2-8)
College Football: Thursday, November 21, 2013 at 7:30 pm (Legion Field)
The Line: UAB Blazers +17 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
TV: FOX Sports
The Rice Owls look to continue their winning ways when they visit the Alabama-Birmingham Blazers.
Rice still is in the running for the CUSA West title but need to win their final two games before anything else. The Owls took the first step towards that goal with 52-14 rout of Louisiana Tech which was a nice rebound from a loss to North Texas. As the score indicates, Rice moved the ball up and down the field with 582 yards and 35 first downs behind 14-19 third down conversions. The ground game was front and center with 415 yards and a six yard average behind a 27 carry, 215 yard performance from Charles Ross who visited the end zone five times. Three others added between 60-75 yards so the Owls were able to run the ball with four different options. Taylor McHargue connected on 13-23 for 167 yards with a TD but most importantly did not turn the ball over while La Tech gave the ball away four times.
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Alabama-Birmingham has a decent offense but decent hasn't been enough with the defensive side of the football allowing over 42 points and 500 yards. It is a big problem when points are hard to come by which we saw in a 63-14 loss to East Carolina. The Pirates jumped to a 35-7 lead at the break and never took their foot off the gas with 625 yards and 36 first downs telling that story. The Blazers never got untracked offensively with 354 yards to lean on and three turnovers were killers. UAB did okay on the ground with the trio of Jordan Howard, Darrin Reaves and Jonathan Perry combining for 144 yards and over four yards per touch. Perry struggled to connect with his receiving corp with a 16-34 effort going for 210 yards with a pair of interceptions.
I've said this before but I'll say it again; Rice as a big favorite feels unnatural to me especially on the road. The Owls have plenty at stake and have to win so I'll ride them once more...