Rice Owls vs. Marshall Thundering Herd Pick-Odds-Prediction - 12/7/13
Marshall Thundering Herd (9-3) at Rice Owls (9-3)
College Football: Saturday, December 7, 2013 at 12:00 pm (Rice Stadium)
The Line: Rice Owls +4.5 -- Over/Under: 63 See the Latest Odds
TV: ESPN 2 HD
The CUSA title is up for grabs when the Marshall Thundering Herd face the Rice Owls at Rice Stadium.
Marshall and their high octane offense have chewed up yards and racked up a ton of points in capturing the CUSA East title. The Thundering Herd faced their biggest challenge to the division crown in East Carolina but that was obviously only on paper for when the smoke had cleared the Pirates were knocked around to the tune 59-28 for win number five in a row. The numbers told the story with the home team piling up 539 yards with ECU totaling 440 yards but Marshall did whatever they pleased with running and passing ability. Essray Taliaferro led the rushing attack with 161 yards on 26 carries with Steward Butler adding another 90 yards. Rakeem Cato completed 17-28 with a pair of TD's and a pick with Tommy Schuler catching nine balls for 147 yards.
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
I think Rice was little unheralded heading in to 2013 but a grinding ground attack and stifling defense have carried the team to the CUSA West crown. The Owls nailed down the division with a rugged 17-13 decision over visiting Tulane. The Green Wave were dominated by the defense of the home tean that came uo with their biggest performance of the season with a mere 123 yards and six first downs allowed. Tulane was 1-14 on third down and held the ball for just 20 minutes.Rice didn't set the world on fire with 304 yards with their running attack held in check. Charles Ross was the best option with 80 yards on 15 totes with Jowan Davis totaling 57 yards on 15 carries. Taylor McHargue competed 14-28 for 180 and a touchdown which was key for a team that depends on the run.
I see Rice as a home dog and I gravitate to the points because of their defense and running ability. The key will be keeping Cato and the air game under wraps or else this will be a long day for the home team...