Rice vs. Prairie View A&M fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Saturday, August 25
Game Time: 7:00 ET
Venue: Rice Stadium, Houston, TX
Rice (0-0) vs. Prairie View A&M (0-0) Game Preview
It’s the beginning of two new eras with two new head coaches.
Former Stanford offensive coordinator Mike Bloomgren takes over at Rice, trying to pumping some life back into the program after a miserable 1-11 season. It’s going to take a little while – the pieces just aren’t there to do anything big this season – but that’s what games against Prairie View A&M are for.
The Panthers are coming off their third straight winning season, but it’s going to be a rough start to try making it four in a row. New head man Eric Dooley has to take his team away from home for six straight games, including a date at UNLV on September 15th.
One Reason Why Prairie View A&M Will Win
The passing offense should be just good enough to keep up the pace – at least for a little while. Seven starters return to a Panther offense with a few talented veterans in the backfield – led by smallish scatback Dawonya Tucker – and some big, dangerous receivers.
Oregon State transfer Tristan Wallace and former Tulane Green Wave Chris Johnson are two good-looking targets who should be able to get going right away against a Rice D that was among the nation’s worst last season.
One Reason Why Rice Will Win
Mike Bloomgren wants to run the ball, and he has the talent in place to do it. Just about everyone who gained a meaningful rushing yard returns, including the quarterbacks. The quickness is there to bust out big plays right away if the offensive line can come together in a hurry. Prairie View A&M will have an aggressive defensive front with some decent upside, but it’s rebuilding.
As long as the Owls don’t start giving the ball away – the biggest problem overall in last year’s nightmare – they should be able to run well enough to take control from the start and not be in too much trouble. The Panthers have an offense, but Bloomgren’s offense will control the clock.
What’s Going To Happen
Get ready to have some fun. It’s a different season with two different teams and different coaches, but the 2016 battle between the two was a wild 65-44 Owl win.
It won’t be that crazy – the Owls will play a little more ball control – but both teams will put up points. Rice will discover what life is like again when it doesn’t get obliterated in the turnover battle, and it’ll show with a convincing opening game win.
Fearless Prediction & Line
Rice 45, Prairie View A&M 24
Line: No Line, o/u: No Line