Rice (@17.0) vs Army (@1.006)

Our Prediction:

Army will win

Rice – Army Match Prediction | 23-08-2019

Rices defense hasnt really been able to stop anyone other than FIU this year, but consider those other losses were against Stanford, Houston, and Pitt. As Rice adjusts to their near-miss against FIU (followed last week by the expected blowout against Pitt), we just might see something new, and if the Owls have any tricks up their sleeve, the time to show their hand is now.

If the Black Knights had any passing game at all, theyve be nationally ranked. Rice is more balanced, its true theyve thrown for 709 yards to Armys 116 but that run game is murderous and Monken is the best coach Army has had in decades. Good luck, Owls. A home game is sure to feel nice for the Owls, but did we mention Armys 1800+ rushing yards? Itd be nice to see this one play close, but Rice has already played in Australia, Pennsylvania and El Paso this season.

Even the most casual football fan, even the fan who trumpets the importance of Power Five teams and looks down their nose at those lowly Group-of-Five types has a passing knowledge of Army football. Historically, lately, there havent been a lot of wins here, and at long last, Jeff Monken seems to have both the tools, the dedication, and the drive to succeed.

The ground game worked like it was supposed to against a strong Owl D rolling for 329 yards the defense put the clamps down, and the +3 turnover margin helped seal what might be a program-changer. Beat Rice, and then, all of a sudden, the schedule looks more than just manageable outside of a date at Duke until November. In one of the stunners of Week One, the Black Knights looked fantastic in a 28-13 win over Temple.

Why Army needs to win

They have returned 15 kicks for 232 yards on special teams, ranking 77th in kick return yardage. Their kickers have a field goal percentage of 75%. Rice kickers have made 100% of their extra points, going 7 for 7 this year. Rice is ranked 62nd in the nation in punt returns with 7. The Owls have attempted 4 field goals this season and made 3, which is 102nd in D-1. The Rice Owls average 16 yards per kick return and they are 110th in the country in all-purpose yards with 1,727. They've accumulated 50 punt return yards and average 7.1 yards per return, which is 63rd in college football. Their punters have totaled 1,393 yards on 31 punts, averaging 45 yards per punt. That places them 18th in Division 1 in punting average.

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The total has been set at 45. The opening line for this matchup has Army as 12 point favorites. Rice Stadium is the venue for the game between the Army Black Knights and the Rice Owls on Saturday, October 7, 2017. The Owls are 1-4-0 against the spread and their over/under mark is 1-3-1. The Black Knights are 2-3-0 ATS and their over/under record is 2-3-0.

Rice will need every last one of those passing yards as they go up against a run-first Black Knight team thats already amassed over 1800 yards in five games. Despite a 1-4 record, this Rice team played its closest game of the season against a refueled FIU Panthers squad, playing even on rushing offense while losing the air battle, 172-148. Thats not a typo.

Rich is a frequent contributor to the New York Jets, and he volunteers as the Director of College Awards for the Maxwell Football Club, which annually honors the premier high school, college and NFL players. He's enjoyed countless media opportunities, ranging from television appearances on NFL Network and MTV to writing stints for Sega and Topps Trading Cards. Rich joined Campus Insiders in 2013 as the Associate Editor following a long career with College Football News and FoxSports.com.