Rice (@17.0) vs Army (@1.006)

Our Prediction:

Army will win

Rice – Army Match Prediction | 22-08-2019

My overall ratings of these two teams would favor Army to cover in this game but my model takes into account matchups and Armys option attack will not take full advantage of Rices atrocious pass defense. The Owls are 1.9 yards per pass play worse than average defending the pass but theyre actually about average against the run, which is why they match up favorably with an Army attack that runs the ball 84% of the time. Thats about as much value as a matchup could possibly provide but I still only lean with Rice plus the points. The match up also supplies some value towards the Under. That matchup is why my composite ratings favor Army by only 6 points when my overall team ratings would favor the Cadets by 12 points.

The Owls did an okay job defensively on third downs last week, but thats not happening against the Army option attack thatll be maddeningly efficient. But the Black Knights will keep it all going with march after march to control the clock and the tempo of the game. However, the Rice offense will wake up enough this week to keep it close up until Army goes on a late, grinding march.

Army (3-2) vs. Rice (1-4) Game Preview

18, but in the meantime resurgent Eastern Michigan and Temple squads stand in Armys way. Its true, Army went to a bowl last year, too, defeating North Texas, but this was after losing to that same North Texas team during the regular season. Cant argue with tradition. The rubber match is Nov. With a loss to Rice, they can give up on the rest of the season, but this is an extreme case and besides, one gets the impression that the rest of the season is meaningless as long as this Army team can beat Navy.

The Rice Owls pass defense has also given up a total of 1,508 yards through the air, which is 125th overall in total pass defense. Their rushing defense has allowed 162 attempts for 614 yards this year, putting them in 52nd place in D-1 against the run. The Owls are ranked 113th in yards per play allowed with 6.4. They have surrendered a total of 2,122 yards on D, which is 104th in Division 1. Rice is 113th in the nation in points allowed on defense with 169. The Owls have committed 15 penalties for 142 yards on the defensive side of the ball this season. That ranks them 6th in the nation. Opposing offenses have completed 118 passes on 170 attempts against the Rice defense this season, placing them 123rd and 103rd in the country.

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. In one of the stunners of Week One, the Black Knights looked fantastic in a 28-13 win over Temple. Beat Rice, and then, all of a sudden, the schedule looks more than just manageable outside of a date at Duke until November.


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

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. A home game is sure to feel nice for the Owls, but did we mention Armys 1800+ rushing yards? If the Black Knights had any passing game at all, theyve be nationally ranked. Good luck, Owls. Itd be nice to see this one play close, but Rice has already played in Australia, Pennsylvania and El Paso this season.


They've totaled 17 punt return yards and average 3.4 yards per return, which is 102nd in D-1. Army is 97th in the country in punt returns with 5. That ranks them 57th in the NCAA in punting average. Their punters have accumulated 462 yards on 11 punts, averaging 42 yards per punt. Their kickers have a field goal percentage of 50%. They have returned 16 kicks for 332 yards on special teams, which puts them 31st in kick return yardage. Army Black Knights kickers have made 95% of their extra points, going 18 for 19 this season. The Black Knights average 21 yards per kick return and they are 54th in the nation in all-purpose yards with 2,283. The Army Black Knights have tried 4 field goals this year and made 2, which is 109th in college football.

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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.

Army West Point

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. 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.