Rice Owls vs. Baylor Bears
The Baylor Bears and the Rice Owls meet for a week four college football match up. Baylor is -20 point favorites over Rice with an over/under point total set at 67.
The Baylor Bears had a week off after Art Briles’ team knocked off TCU in a week one Friday Night game and then after the week off Baylor’s game against Stephen F. Austin was cut short by weather though the outcome of the game wasn’t in doubt. It will be interesting to see just how much and if any rust is accumulating on Baylor as three weeks will have passed since they have faced FBS competition. Robert Griffin III is off to a monster start to the year as he has completed 83.7 percent of his passes for 624 yards and eight touchdowns and while he is a dual threat he’s run for 125 yards. Terrance Ganaway has carried the load rushing the football for 205 yards and two touchdowns and Kendall Wright is easily Griffin’s favorite target as he’s caught 20 passes for 312 yards and three touchdowns. The Baylor defense is still an area for concern and though they shut out SAF, they allowed 48 points against TCU so we will see if Baylor will just be trying to outscore everyone they play as opposed to holding down their scoring as well. Chance Casey leads the Bears with 14 tackles followed by Mike Hicks with 12 tackles and Nicholas Jean-Baptiste with 11. Baylor has an opportunity to do special things this season and it will come down to a matter of if their defense is up to the task.
The Rice Owls played Texas tough for the majority of the ballgame before being overwhelmed by the Horns but followed that performance up last week with a win over Purdue. Owls’ QB Taylor McHargue has completed nearly 57 percent of his passes for 309 yards and two touchdowns and he also has 21 rushing attempts for 78 yards. Tyler Smith is the primary ball carrier with 21 carries for 96 yards and Sam McGuffie is averaging 5.2 yards on his 10 carries. Randy Kitchens and Vance McDonald lead Rice with seven catches each though Luke Wilson and McGuffie have been on the receiving end of the touchdown passes. Cameron Nwoso is Rice’s leading tackler with 21 followed by Justin Allen at 18 and Xavier Webb at 16. Rice’s defense will be tested in this one and the offense will need to put some numbers up in order to competitive in Waco on Saturday.
Baylor is 5-1 against the spread in their last six games against Conference USA teams, 1-4 against the spread in their last five home games, and 4-1 against the spread in their last five games as a favorite. Rice is 2-9 against the spread in their last 11 games against Big 12 teams, 0-5 against the spread in their last five road games, and 3-8-1 against the spread in their last 12 games against a team with a winning record.
Clearly Baylor is the better team and with Griffin they have the best player on the field and with Wright, they have the second best as well but neither of those players play defense. I see the Bears having no problem outscoring Rice but with their defensive issues I don’t see them winning by enough points to cover this number.
Rice Owls +20 Baylor Bears