Arkansas vs Rice prediction and game preview.
Arkansas vs Rice Broadcast
Date: Saturday, September 4
Game Time: 2:00 ET
Venue: Razorback Stadium, Fayetteville, AR
Network: ESPN+/SEC Network+
Arkansas (0-0) vs Rice (0-0) Game Preview
Why Rice Will Win
The Owls have to control the clock and keep the chains moving, and it all starts on the offensive front.
They don’t have a dominant group returning, but it’s going to be one of the best in Conference USA with all five starters back to go along with a nice mix of depth and size to keep everyone fresh. The line has to be better at keeping defenses out of the backfield, but the ground game should work around a quick young group of backs.
On the other side, can the Rice run defense keep it all going? With eight of the top nine tacklers back, yeah.
It was only a five-game 2020 for the program, but the front three held up well for a D that didn’t allow more than 140 rushing yards in a game. Speaking of defensive experience …
Why Arkansas Will Win
After years of building and rebuilding, and after a year of getting things in place under head coach Sam Pittman, the guys are there to be a whole lot better defensively.
Barry Odom is a whale of a defensive coordinator, and he’s got the guys to step up right away with a terrific linebacking corps, a whole lot of defensive backs who took their lumps in 2020, and in all, ten players with regular starting experience back.
As long as the Hogs can get up early – the passing game should take a few shots with a good-looking receiving corps and TE Hudson Henry – the D will take care of the rest. This isn’t enough Rice firepower to keep up.
What’s Going To Happen
Rice is going to be plucky.
Arkansas will get up in the first quarter, but it’ll struggle to push ahead as a few first half drives stall and a couple of turnovers lead to Owl points.
The production will kick in as the second half goes on. The Hog defense will settle in, QB KJ Jefferson will get into a rhythm, and there won’t be a whole lot of drama with the final score looking worse than the actual game.
Arkansas vs Rice Prediction, Line
Arkansas 38, Rice 17
Arkansas -20, o/u: 51.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 2.5
Must See Rating: 2
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