Rice vs Texas Prediction - College Football Picks 9/2/23

Texas Longhorns (0-0) vs Rice Owls (0-0)

Game Info: Saturday, September 2, 2023 at 3:30 pm (Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium/Jamail Field)

Betting Odds: Texas Longhorns -35 -- Over/Under: 58.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds

The Rice Owls will make the three-hour trip to Austin to meet the Texas Longhorns in non-conference action this weekend from DKR Memorial Stadium. Texas leads the all-time series 74-21-1, after winning fourteen straight meetings.

Rice Owls Preview

Rice went 5-8 last season, with a 3-5 record in Conference USA play. The Owls improved their win total by just one game in 2022, and they’ll face an annual uphill battle here in Austin. Rice scored 25.2 points per game, while passing for 232.9 yards per game, and rushing for 141.5 ypg in 2022. 

• Rice landed a big fish in the form of JT Daniels. The former USC, UGA, and WVU quarterback brings a diverse amount of experience to Conference USA, and he may be able to do something special for the program this season. Daniels passed for 2,107 yards, 13 touchdowns to nine interceptions thru ten starts in 2022 with West Virginia.

• Senior backs Ari Broussard and Juan Otoviano return to head the backfield, with the latter leading the way with 391 rushing yards.

Luke McCaffrey also returns after a strong sophomore season that saw him catch 58 passes for 724 receiving yards and six touchdowns.

• The Rice defense allowed 34.2 ppg last season.

 

Texas Longhorns Preview 

Texas went 8-5 last season, with a record in 6-3 Big 12 play. The Longhorns improved in Steve Sarkasian’s second year at the helm, nearly upsetting Alabama at home, before laying a huge spanking in the Red River Shootout against Oklahoma. Texas scored 34.5 points per game, while passing for 241.4 yards per game, and rushing for 188.2 ypg last season. 

Arch Manning and Quinn Ewers will likely see time in this contest, with this marking the former’s first taste of game action. Ewers nearly led the Longhorns to a program-changing victory over Alabama before returning to toss four scores in the massive win over OU. Ewers passed for 1,808 yards, with 14 touchdowns to six interceptions thru nine starts last season.

• Bijan Robinson and Roschon Johnson both moved on to the NFL, so the Longhorn backfield will look a lot different here in 2023.

• The strong wideout tandem of Xavier Worthy and Jordan Whittington both returned and will lead the wideout group. Worthy led the team in receptions (53), receiving yards (676) and touchdown catches (9), while Whittington posted respectable splits of 45/608/1.

• The Texas defense allowed 21.6 ppg in 2022.

 

Corey’s Free Pick 

Initially, this feels like a lot of points to give a JT Daniels-led club, as from an experience standpoint, he may prevent things from getting that ugly. Now, this is still Rice versus Texas, and there’s little chance of upset, but I think both sides can contribute to the total here. This will be a tune-up for Texas, as the real game is next week in Tuscaloosa, so look for them to come out fast and sharp. In return, this is Daniels’ last season of college football, and he should have this Rice team ready to fight the uphill battle early on. Take the Over for this Lone Star matchup.

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

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