Houston at Rice - 9/11/21 College Football Picks and Prediction

Houston at Rice - 9/11/21 College Football Picks and Prediction Photo by Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports

Rice Owls (0-1) vs Houston Cougars (0-1)

Game Info: Saturday, September 11, 2021 at 6:30 pm (Rice Stadium)

Betting Odds: Rice Owls +8 -- Over/Under: 53 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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The Houston Cougars will travel to Rice Stadium to take on the Rice Owls this Saturday afternoon in College Football action.

The Houston Cougars dropped to 0-1 on the season after being defeated by the Texas Tech Red Raiders, 38-21, this past Saturday. Houston got off to a quick start against Texas Tech and led by a 21-7 margin at halftime, however, the Cougars were dominated on both ends of the field in the 2nd half and allowed the Red Raiders to secure the comeback victory by scoring 31 unanswered points. Houston was outgained by Texas Tech by a 376-251 margin and lost the turnover battle by a 4-1 margin. Offensively, Houston was led by WR Nathaniel Dell who had 7 receptions for 80 yards & 1 TD. QB Clayton Tune completed 27 of 38 passes for 174 yards, 2 TD, & 4 INT while also rushing for 28 yards & 1 TD. The other top receivers for the Cougars outside of Nathaniel Dell were Christian Trahan (6 rec, 42 yards), Ta’Zhawn Henry (4 rec, 24 yards), & Seth Green (1 rec, 9 yards, TD). Leading the way for the Cougars backfield was Mulbah Car who had 37 rushing yards on 13 carries.

Defensively, Houston had no answers for either the rushing or passing attack of the Red Raiders as RB Tahj Brooks ended up with 134 rushing yards & 2 TD’s on 15 carries while WR Erik Ezukanma had 179 receiving yards on 7 receptions. Leading the way for the Houston defense was Donavan Mutin (8 tackles, 0.5 TFL, 1 fumble recovery) & Sedrick Williams (5 tackles, 0.5 sacks).

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The Rice Owls fell to 0-1 on the season after being defeated by a Arkansas Razorbacks, 38-17, this past Saturday. Rice gave Arkansas all they could handle and held a 17-7 lead early in the 3rd quarter, however, the Owls struggled late and allowed the Razorbacks to pull away after scoring 21 unanswered points in the 4th quarter. Rice was outgained by Arkansas by a 373-308 margin while also losing the turnover battle by a 3-1 margin in the loss. Leading the way for the Owls was WR August Pitre III who had 4 receptions for 97 yards & 1 TD. QB Wiley Green completed 12 of 25 passes for 152 yards, 1 TD, & 3 INT. The other top receivers outside of August Pitre III included Jake Bailey (4 rec, 47 yards), Bradley Rozner (2 rec, 30 yards), & Cedric Patterson III (1 rec, 15 yards). Leading the way for the Owls backfield was the duo of Khalan Griffin (13 car, 35 yards) & Jordan Myers (10 car, 23 yards, 1 TD).

Defensively, Rice did a solid job limiting the Razorbacks passing attack, however, didn’t have many answers for their rushing attack as Arkansas racked up 245 yards & 4 TD’s on the ground. Leading the way for the Owls defense was Antonio Montero (11 tackles, 1 sack) & Treshawn Chamberlain (11 tackles).

The Cougars are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games vs. C-USA opponents, however, are just 4-11 ATS in their last 15 games as a road favorite. The Owls are 25-12-1 ATS vs. a team with a losing record and 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games following a straight up loss of more than 20 points.

Houston got off to a great start against Texas Tech, however, the wheels really fell off for the Cougars and it was quite concerning that Houston offense could not find the scoreboard in the entire 2nd half against a Texas Tech defense that allowed over 36.0 ppg last season. Rice looked primed for an upset of Arkansas until the defense fell apart late, however, it was a bit encouraging to see the Owls offense look a bit more dangerous than we’ve seen in year’s past. Rice had an awful ATS beat last week, however, this is still a defense that is solid and should be able to plan for Houston one-dimensional passing attack and between the fact that Owls are at home and should be able to put up some points, I think the play here is to take Rice and the points.

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Brett’s Pick Rice Owls +8

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The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

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