Rice vs. FAU prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins in the battle of the Owls on Saturday in Houston, TX.
Rice vs. FAU Game Preview
When: Saturday, Nov. 5 – 3:30 p.m. ET
Where: Rice Stadium, Houston, TX
TV Broadcast: ESPN3
Rice (1-7, 0-5 Conference USA) was dominated by Louisiana Tech last week in Ruston, as Ryan Higgins threw for two touchdowns and ran for another in a 61-16 beat down. The Bulldogs had a season-high 735 total yards, including four plays of 70 yards or longer.
Meanwhile, FAU (1-7, 0-4) was throttled by Western Kentucky last week in Boca Raton, as the Hilltoppers racked up 661 total yards in a 52-3 win. The Owls did not convert a third down until their final possession of the game.
In last year’s meeting between these teams in Boca Raton, Driphus Jackson led a game-winning 83-yard drive, and the Owls made a defensive stand in the final minute to notch a 27-26 comeback win in a game that was delayed for 1.5 hours due to lightning. Jackson finished 22-of-34 passing for 284 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions.
What To Know About Rice
The lone win for the Owls this season came against Prairie View, a 65-44 contest that saw Tyler Stehling throw for 407 yards and five touchdowns (both career highs). It has not been a pretty season for David Bailiff’s squad, as Rice is one of the worst teams in the FBS. There have been some tough losses, including a double-overtime setback to North Texas and a one-point defeat to UTSA, but the overall level of play has not been great for the Houston-based school. Stehling and the offense have shown flashes of productivity, but the Owls have not been consistent enough in C-USA play.
What to Know About FAU
Charlie Partridge’s Owls have had a rough year and are suffering through a very difficult time in the program. Outside of the rushing duo of Gregory Howell Jr. and Devin Singletary as well as the play of defensive end Trey Hendrickson, there is little to be excited about if you’re a fan of the Owls. The O-Line has been ravaged by injuries, which is just one of many factors why the squad has dropped seven in a row since a season-opening win over Southern Illinois.
Offense: Rice. Don’t expect a ton of points in this one, but Rice has the edge at 24.4 points per contest.
Defense: FAU. Both units are very porous, but Rice is giving up 545.4 yards per game.
Special Teams: FAU. Partridge’s squad has one of the better special teams efficiency ratings in the nation.
Coaching: Even. Neither head coach is having a standout year.
Intangibles: Even. Both teams are desperate for a victory, as it could very easily be each one’s last of the year.
Matchup To Watch
Jason Driskel vs. Rice secondary
Rice is allowing 337.0 yards per game through the air, which should have Driskel salivating. The problem is that he is only completing 57.1 percent of his throws and has just four touchdowns against seven interceptions on the year. He had a season-low 52 yards last week against WKU, so FAU has no chance in this one if it cannot exploit the Rice secondary.
Spread: Rice -2
Rice vs. FAU Prediction
Rice doesn’t really enjoy a home-field advantage, but Stehling will have one of his better games of the season and lead Rice to a win in Houston.
Rice vs. FAU Score Prediction: Rice 27, FAU 23