USA Today Sports
Team to Watch: Rice Owls
This week: +7.5 vs. Southern Mississippi Eagles
The perception of these teams are somewhat skewed at the moment as the Rice Owls are 4-5 on the season and have lost two straight.
Meanwhile, Southern Miss has been running through the competition and sits at 6-3 on the year and comes into this contest winning three straight.
Rice is a team that many can’t afford to sleep on. They need two more wins this season to become bowl eligible so they should put forth an inspired effort in this contest. They also handled Southern Miss fairly easily last season, winning 41-23 on the road.
While the revenge factor is certainly there for Southern Miss, we believe the Owls at the very least will keep themselves competitive in this contest as they drive to become bowl eligible.
Team to beware of: Cincinnati Bearcats
This week: -17.5 vs. Tulsa Golden Hurricane
The Cincinnati Bearcats are coming off what can only be considered a heartbreaking loss (33-30) in their last contest at undefeated Houston. Down three with fewer than two minutes to play, the Bearcats had the ball in Gunner Kiel’s hands and couldn’t move the ball as they went four and out on their final possession, ultimately sealing their fate.
Tulsa is not a team that can be taken lightly. While the defense certainly leaves things to be desired, the offense is one of the most potent that the Bearcats have seen this season.
Tulsa has the ability to score on anybody and catching the Bearcats in this particular spot makes them extremely vulnerable. This is a ton of points to lay in what could be somewhat of a letdown situation for Tommy Tuberville’s team.
Total Team: Memphis Tigers
This week: 70.5 at Houston
The Memphis Tigers are coming off an extremely tough and somewhat shocking loss to the Navy Midshipmen in their last contest. The Tigers simply didn’t have an answer in that matchup and we believe it was likely due to them getting caught looking ahead to this particular contest.
This is the showdown that every mid-major conference fan has been waiting for between two teams who have a lot of strengths and very few weaknesses.
Both are led by dynamic QBs in Greg Ward Jr and Paxton Lynch respectively and both have offenses capable of putting points on the board.
Memphis will be chomping at the bit to make up for last week’s loss and Houston has the ability to score on anyone. We wouldn’t be surprised to see this game hit well into the 80’s.