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2011 Rice Owls Gambling Odds | Predictions

2011-2012 Football Previews – Conference USA – Rice Owls

The Rice Owls appeared to be breaking out after winning ten games in 2008, but the last two seasons have seen the Owls revert to their losing ways.

Kyle Hunter

Kyle Hunter

Conference USA 2011-2012 Football Previews: Rice Owls
Head Coach: David Bailiff
2010 Record: 4-8
Rice Gambling Odds from BetOnline to win BCS: +1,500 (Part of Field)
Rice Gambling Odds from 5Dimes to win Conference USA Championship: +2,300
Rice Gambling Odds from 5Dimes to win Conference USA West Division: +1,100

Rice Team Page – Players Stats – Roster – 2011 Schedule –>

Rice returns nine starters on the offensive side of the football and eight starters on the defensive side of the ball this year.

The team finished 2010 with a couple big wins over East Carolina and UAB, so there is reason to be upbeat if you a fan of the program.

Taylor McHargue took over at the quarterback spot during the middle of the year last season, and Rice averaged more than 40 points per game in their last four contests in 2010. Can the Rice offense continue last season’s improvement? Can the defense stop anyone?

Team Strengths:

Sam McGuffie was one of the most highly touted recruits in the country a few years ago when he went off to Michigan. He wasn’t a star right away at Rice, but last year he really came into his own. McGuffie led the Owls in rushing and receiving last year.

He may be the best running back in the conference, and I expect Rice to continue to get him the football frequently.

Taylor McHargue makes this offense run, and his dual-threat ability makes him quite dangerous. McHargue is more than capable of beating a team with his feet, but look for him to air it out pretty often this year.

The Owls have a solid group of receivers and tight ends.

Scott Soloman was one of the best players in Conference USA two years ago, but he missed all of last season with an injury. The Rice defense badly needs help, and Solomon should help them a great deal if he can stay healthy.

Team Weaknesses:

The Rice defense is lacking play makers overall. Solomon will certainly help a great deal, but he need some help. This is a defense that allowed a ridiculous 38.5 points per game in 2010. They have eight starters returning on defense this year, but is that really a good thing if this group can’t stop anyone? [soliloquy id=”82219″]

Rice lacks a run stuffer in the middle of the defense. The Owls were constantly gashed by mediocre rushing attacks last season, and I see no reason to believe that will change in the near future.

The defensive line must be able to hold its own, and the linebackers need to improve in their pursuit of the football.

The offensive line is a question mark. The skill positions are all set for this Rice offense, but the offensive line may limit this team when they are playing against the best defenses on their schedule.

2011-2012 Rice Football Prediction: 5-7

I absolutely believe Rice will be a much improved team in 2011, but I’m not sure it will show much in the standings because of their schedule. Rice easily has the most difficult non-conference schedule of any Conference USA team this season. Rice must travel to Texas, Baylor, Houston, Northwestern, SMU, and Marshall this year.

Look to the Owls early season home game against Purdue as a barometer of what this team is capable of doing.

I expect Rice to pile up the points once again in 2011, but an extremely tough schedule and a poor defense will likely keep them out of a bowl berth.

2011 Texas El-Paso Miners Schedule

9/3/11 12:00 PM ET @TEXAS
9/10/11 12:00 PM ET PURD
9/24/11 7:00 PM ET @BAY
10/1/11 12:00 PM ET @SOMIS
10/8/11 12:00 PM ET MEM
10/15/11 12:00 PM ET @MARSH
10/22/11 12:00 PM ET TULSA
10/27/11 12:00 PM ET @HOU
11/5/11 12:00 PM ET UTEP
11/12/11 12:00 PM ET @NWEST
11/19/11 12:00 PM ET TULNE
11/26/11 12:00 PM ET @SMU

Click here to check out MORE 2011 college football previews for the 2011-2012 NCAA Football Season!



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About Kyle Hunter

Kyle Hunter sports picks – A degree in finance and a great ability to follow important trends and statistics set him apart from the rest. Totals are Kyle's specialty, so look for a lot of totals picks from NBA, NCAAF, & the NFL. Check out his plays today.



  1. Anonymous says:

    Will Rice have more or less than 6 wins this year in Conference USA action?