Fresno State Bulldogs (6-7) at Rice Owls (7-5)
|Date & Time||Wednesday December 24, 2014, 8:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Rice Owls -2 -- Over/Under: 59
The Rice Owls take the field with the Fresno State Bulldogs in the Hawaii Bowl on Christmas Eve.
The Fresno State Bulldogs have the dubious distincton of getting a postseason berth despite a losing record at 6-7. The Bulldogs season was all over the map before a three game winning streak got them in to the MWC title game where they fell to Boise State for the second time. Although the defense seemed to improve toward the end of the year the overall numbers weren't good with this unit allowing 456 yards and nearly 33 points. The Bulldogs D gave up over 200 yards on the ground and close to 250 yards in the air. The Fresno offense was not explosive but it was balanced with 419 yards producing 28 points with 235 passing yards and a top 50 rushing attack that averaged 184 yards. QB Brian Burrell threw for 2,590 yards but made mistakes with 22 TD's and 16 picks with Josh Harper leading the recieving corps with 1,720 yards. Marteze Waller was the workhorse on the ground with 1,292 yards and over six yard average.
The Rice Owls finished 2014 with a 7-5 record although they dropped two of three to end the regular season withe losses coming by a combined 117-45. The Owls D allowed just under 400 yards and 30 points and were tough to run on with a top 50 unit that gave up 152 yards. The offense wasn't explosive at 395 yards and 29 points but with and average of 224 passing yards and 171 yards on the ground this unit was able to mix it up a bit. Quarterback Driphus Jackson wasn't the type of guy who threw all over the field as he totaled 2,524 yards overall but he limited mistakes with 21 scores and seven interceptions. Jordan Taylor and Mario Hull were the top targets with 781 yards and 539 yards respectively while Jowan Davis led the team on the ground with 910 yards with Darik Dillard totaled 658 yards.
The over is 6-0 in Bulldogs last 6 games following a S.U. loss and is 5-0-1 in Bulldogs last 6 non-conference games while going 4-0 in Bulldogs last 4 games after scoring less than 20 points in their previous game. For Rice the Owls are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games following a ATS loss and 10-1 ATS vs. a team with a losing record with the under going 5-1 in Owls last 6 neutral site games. Head to head the over is 4-0 in the last 4 meetings. I think the defense for both sides is questionable so I'm not a fan of this one and will try to find something I like by the morning of game day...