Rice enters the week with a winless record, but they’ve played some inspiring football over the past month. Meanwhile, UTSA is just two weeks removed from their last win, but attendance levels are starting to creep to all-time lows for a fan-base that has grown tired with the Roadrunners’ sloppy brand of football. The Roadrunners enter this game favored by only four points. Could this be the week that Rice gets on the board with their first win of the season against UTSA?
Rice still seeking first win after 0-6 startRice is hoping a much-needed bye week can help the program get back on the winning track. The Owls have opened the season with six consecutive losses and they are running out of winnable games on the schedule. In fact, Saturday’s game versus the Roadrunners might be Rice’s best chance at a victory until the team plays 1-4 UTEP in the regular season finale on Nov. 30.
After strong showings against Baylor and Louisiana Tech, the Owls were unable to keep up with UAB in a 35-20 defeat two weeks ago. Wiley Green tossed for 161 yards and two touchdowns, while Aston Walter finished with 102 rushing yards and a score for Rice, which dropped to 0-6 on the year and 0-2 versus C-USA opponents. The touchdown passes were the first two of the season for Green, who went nearly 100 attempts before throwing his first collegiate touchdowns.
Rice has started to open the playbook up for the redshirt freshman after a slow start to the season. Green has his progress slowed after he was taken to the hospital during the team’s Week 2 loss to Wake Forest. After attempting just 19 passes in his first two games, the freshman signal caller has thrown the ball 89 times over the past three games, which has led to some better results on offense for the Owls. On defense, Rice comes in allowing 30.3 points and 406.0 yards of total offense per game, including 249.7 yards per game through the air.
Wilson on the hot seat for UTSAThe Roadrunners were unable to keep their momentum going last week, losing at home to UAB 33-14. Lowell Narcisse finished 8-of-19 passing for 94 yards, while adding a team-high 84 rushing yards and a score on the ground in a losing effort. UTSA struggled to get much of anything going offensively all afternoon, mustering just 220 total yards and averaging just 3.9 yards per game on the day. Mental mistakes didn’t help either, as the team also lost two fumbles and committed nine penalties for 78 yards to fall to 2-4 and 1-2 in conference play.
We're lucky that UTSA's play calling was so bad tonight, because that one 4th and 1 deep in UAB territory should've ended in a touchdown. Instead they ran a weird pitch all the way back behind the line to McCormick. It never had a chance and was basically a free turnover pic.twitter.com/p2Y2Z7R00h— The Daily Dragon (@F5DailyDragon) October 13, 2019
Fans in San Antonio have grown tired with the team’s anemic passing offense and lack of discipline, which has come to characterize head coach Frank Wilson’s tenure with the program. Attendance is already starting to dip to dangerously low levels and Wilson could be past the point of no return -- no matter what happens for the remainder of the season. UTSA has won just 11 games in the last three seasons under Wilson and only one of those victories have come against a team with a winning record.
UTSA comes into Saturday’s matchup versus winless Rice with similar numbers to the Owls, indicating this might be a closer game than the overall records might suggest. The Roadrunners are scoring only 17.5 points per game and averaging 31.6 yards of total offense per contest -- most of which comes on the ground (185.3 rushing yards per game). On defense, they are allowing 32.5 points per contest, including 397.7 yards of total offense per game (220.5 rushing yards per game).
- Owls are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 road games.
- Owls are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games after allowing more than 280 yards passing in their previous game.
- Owls are 6-2-1 ATS in their last 9 games overall.
- Roadrunners are 6-13 ATS in their last 19 conference games.
- Roadrunners are 7-18-1 ATS in their last 26 games overall.
- Roadrunners are 2-11-1 ATS in their last 14 home games