Rice vs. Prairie View A&M prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins between the Owls and Panthers on Saturday in Houston, TX.
Rice vs. Prairie View A&M Game Preview
When: Saturday, Oct. 22 – 3:30 p.m. ET
Where: Rice Stadium, Houston, TX
The Owls (0-6, 0-4 Conference USA) remained winless on the season after last Saturday’s game against Texas-San Antonio, as the Roadrunners scored a 14-13 win behind two Dalton Sturm touchdown passes in the first half. Rice is off to its worst start since losing its first nine games and finishing 2-10 in 2009.
Meanwhile, the FCS Panthers (4-2, 4-1 SWAC) were off last week, but head coach Willie Simmons and Co. beat Alabama State 24-17 at home the last time in action. Caleb Broach scored on a one-yard run in overtime to complete the rally from being down 17-7 at the break. Owen Hoolihan’s 37-yard field goal with 12 seconds left in the game tied it at 17 and forced overtime after he missed a 34-yard attempt earlier in the quarter. Senior quarterback Trey Green went 7-of-15 passing for 140 yards and rushed for 100 yards on two carries.
While Prairie View A&M is on the road for this contest, the Panthers just opened a new football stadium and field house that university officials hope will increase enrollment and elevate the identity of the historically black college.
What To Know About Rice
Quarterback Tyler Stehling went 23 of 37 for 237 yards and one touchdown through the air—without an interception—in the loss to UTSA. But besides adding a 13-yard score, he wasn’t very effective on the ground. However, this game was lost due to the Rice kicking woes. Hayden Tobola missed an extra point, a 50-yard field goal in the second quarter and a 42-yarder with 1:27 remaining. The Owls are desperate for a win after a couple of close losses, and their hope is that their skid comes to an end this week against an FCS foe.
What to Know About Prairie View A&M
In the team’s earlier game against an FBS foe (Texas A&M), Demarquo LaStrappe caught six passes for 88 yards, but the Panthers were only able to manage 32 yards on the ground. Green threw for 160 yards, but he was just 13-of-39 passing, as he faced pressure from the Aggies defense all day long. This is an offense, though, that averaged a SWAC-best 44.9 points per contest during its 9-2 2015 season. So it’s a feared unit against FCS squads. The Panthers had a 38-yard field goal blocked and missed a 42-yard field goal in the first half of the game against TAMU, so special teams has been an issue all season long. Defensively, the Panthers returned a boatload of starters from last year’s squad, but this is still a step up in competition despite the struggles of David Bailiff’s team.
Offense: Even. Rice’s offense is just No. 116 in total offense at 338.8 yards per game, while Prairie View has a strong FCS offense.
Defense: Even. Rice is ranked dead-last in the FBS in total defense at 529.3 yards per game, but Prairie View is an FCS unit. The two balance each other out.
Special Teams: Rice. Prairie View allowed TAMU’s Nick Harvey to score on a 73-yard punt return for a touchdown in the team’s contest in September.
Coaching: Prairie View. Simmons is 12–4 at the school after one-plus season.
Intangibles: Prairie View. The Panthers have nothing to lose, as they know they can compete with the struggling Owls.
Matchup To Watch
Green vs. An FBS defense
Last season, the Panthers’ Green threw for 2,614 yards and 21 touchdowns against just three interceptions, and he added 248 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground. He had three 300-plus yard passing games, including one 400-yard passing performance, while leading the SWAC in total offense. But against Texas A&M earlier this year, Green missed on 26 targets out of his 39 attempts. Of course, the Aggies have a defense that is light years ahead of Rice’s unit. But the Owls are still an FBS bunch, so Green will have to step up his game against better competition. Expect better results against the porous Owls defense, but can he lead the team to a win?
Spread: Rice -25
Rice vs. Prairie View A&M Prediction
The Owls are one of the worst teams in the FBS, but they do have a double-overtime loss to North Texas and last week’s one-point setback to UTSA last week. It won’t be easy, as the Panthers will be able to move the football against their defense. But Bailiff will have his squad ready, and Stehling will make enough plays both on the ground and through the air to help the Owls pull away in the fourth quarter.
Rice vs. Prairie View A&M: Rice 31, Prairie View A&M 17