Army vs. Rice fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Friday, August 30
Game Time: 6:00 ET
Venue: Michie Stadium, West Point, NY
Network: CBS Sports Network
Army (0-0) vs. Rice (0-0) Game Preview
Just how good is this year’s Army team going to be? Now there are expectations, and now the spotlight is on for a team that’s supposed to be good enough to push for at least ten wins. With Michigan coming up next, this is the tune-up moment against a Rice squad that’s looking for anything positive to kick things off.
The Owls get Wake Forest, Texas and Baylor right after this, and they need to find some sort of a positive identity – if possible – right out of the gate.
Why Army Will Win
As always with anyone playing Army, it’s this simple – can the opposing defense stop the run?
The Rice defense was a total disaster throughout last season, and now it has to go on without a few key parts of the defensive line that left the program. The defensive tackles are going to be an issue early on, and getting behind the line on a consistent basis is going to be a problem.
It’s a new year and these are new teams, but Army should once again be amazing at coming up with third down stops – it was fourth in the nation last year. Rice was dead last in college football in third down conversions. However …
Why Rice Will Win
Rice did a nice job last season of controlling the clock. The offense might not have gone anywhere, and the defense didn’t do much of anything, but at least is was able to own the time of possession battle more often than not.
Against Army, the biggest key is simply keeping its offense off the field. The Knights hang on to the ball for around 38 minutes, the defense stays rested, and the formula works. Rice has to keep the ball for at least 35 minutes. The Owls might be a running team, but they have the receivers to potentially give the Army secondary a few problems.
What’s Going To Happen
Rice might be a bit more effective than you might think.
The Army offense will do its thing, but the defense has to replace a slew of playmakers and has to get its linebacking corps up to speed. The Owls will be able to run the ball, but they won’t do it nearly enough to keep up with a Knight attack that won’t miss on its opportunities.
Fearless Prediction & Line
Army 37, Rice 17
Line: Army -23.5, o/u: COMING
ATS Confidence out of 5: 2.5
Must See Rating: 2
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