Arkansas vs Rice Prediction, Game Preview

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Arkansas vs Rice prediction and game preview.

Arkansas vs Rice Broadcast

Date: Saturday, September 4
Game Time: 2:00 ET
Venue: Razorback Stadium, Fayetteville, AR
Network: ESPN+/SEC Network+

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Arkansas (0-0) vs Rice (0-0) Game Preview

Why Rice Will Win

The Owls have to control the clock and keep the chains moving, and it all starts on the offensive front.

They don’t have a dominant group returning, but it’s going to be one of the best in Conference USA with all five starters back to go along with a nice mix of depth and size to keep everyone fresh. The line has to be better at keeping defenses out of the backfield, but the ground game should work around a quick young group of backs.

On the other side, can the Rice run defense keep it all going? With eight of the top nine tacklers back, yeah.

It was only a five-game 2020 for the program, but the front three held up well for a D that didn’t allow more than 140 rushing yards in a game. Speaking of defensive experience …

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Why Arkansas Will Win

After years of building and rebuilding, and after a year of getting things in place under head coach Sam Pittman, the guys are there to be a whole lot better defensively.

Barry Odom is a whale of a defensive coordinator, and he’s got the guys to step up right away with a terrific linebacking corps, a whole lot of defensive backs who took their lumps in 2020, and in all, ten players with regular starting experience back.

As long as the Hogs can get up early – the passing game should take a few shots with a good-looking receiving corps and TE Hudson Henry – the D will take care of the rest. This isn’t enough Rice firepower to keep up.

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What’s Going To Happen

Rice is going to be plucky.

Arkansas will get up in the first quarter, but it’ll struggle to push ahead as a few first half drives stall and a couple of turnovers lead to Owl points.

The production will kick in as the second half goes on. The Hog defense will settle in, QB KJ Jefferson will get into a rhythm, and there won’t be a whole lot of drama with the final score looking worse than the actual game.

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Arkansas vs Rice Prediction, Line

Arkansas 38, Rice 17
Arkansas -20, o/u: 51.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 2.5

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