Baylor Bears (2-0) at Rice Owls (0-2)
|Date & Time||Friday September 16, 2016, 8:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Rice Owls +30 -- Over/Under:
The Baylor Bears and Rice Owls square off Friday night at Rice Stadium on ESPN.
The Baylor Bears look for a quick 3-0 start after outscoring their first two opponents, 95-20. Seth Russell is completing 59.7 percent of his passes for 424 yards, six touchdowns and two interceptions. Russell has eight touchdown passes in his last three games. KD Cannon and Blake Lynch have combined for 265 receiving yards and four touchdowns while Lynx Hawthorne has four receptions. The Baylor Bears ground game is averaging 275 yards per contest, and Shock Linwood leads the way with 156 yards on 27 carries. Defensively, Baylor is allowing 10 points and 241.5 yards per game. Patrick Levels leads the Bears with 17 tackles, Taylor Young has one sack and Orion Stewart has two interceptions.
The Rice Owls hope to rebound from a rough 0-2 start when they play their first home game. Tyler Stehling is completing 57.4 percent of his passes for 383 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions. Stehling has thrown five interceptions on his last 116 pass attempts. James Mayden and Connor Cella have combined for 152 receiving yards and one touchdown while Parker Smith has four receptions. The Rice Owls ground game is averaging 98.5 yards per contest, and Stehling leads the way with 81 yards and one touchdown. Defensively, Rice is allowing 38.5 points and 531.5 yards per game. Emmanuel Ellerbee leads the Owls with 17 tackles, Graysen Schantz has 0.5 sacks and J.T. Blasingame has one pass deflection.
The Bears are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 vs. CUSA and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall. The Owls are 6-2-1 ATS in their last 9 non-conference games and 1-6-1 ATS in their last 8 games overall. The Bears are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 meetings.
Rice was waxed by both Western Kentucky and Army, two teams that don't have the firpower or talent of Baylor. One could make the case for Rice being the worst team in division I fotball early in the season. I don't like big chalk, especially on a short week where weird things happen. However, Baylor should win this game in a blowout. Don't see how Rice keeps this close given how its played in the first two games.