Texas is eager to get back on the field and erase the sour taste in their mouth from the 40-21 loss from Arkansas.
It’s critical for the Longhorns to find some type of consistency and momentum prior to beginning conference play on Sept. 25. Considering Texas was dominated in every aspect of the game by the Razorbacks in Week 2, they have a lot work on.
Facing Rice on Sept. 18 presents a perfect opportunity to do just that. The Longhorns should have the game in control enough to tinker around with certain position groups throughout the contest.
In particular, Texas’ offensive line and defensive front seven need to have a much better showing on Saturday against Rice. It will be tough to truly judge the quarterback performances against low quality competition, but getting the offense back on the right track in general is important.
The Tipico betting odds for the game favor Texas (-25.5). How confident are the Longhorns Wire staff members that Texas can control this game?
Staff predicts the game
Everybody is going to be concerned about the quarterback position and how much playing time Casey Thompson/Hudson Card will get. For me, it’s more about getting every other position back to normal. Bijan Robinson needs a big game to restore confidence. Texas’ defense needs to play well to swing momentum back in their favor before Big 12 play. Especially the front seven in the run game.
The biggest question will be how the offensive line trots out onto the field. Will Sarkisian stick with the five he has started the past two weeks or will small tinkers be made? Either way, he and Kyle Flood better be sure those five are meshing well and can protect the quarterback, no matter the opponent.
Rice is Rice and we all know this will be a snoozer by the middle of the third quarter. Funny enough, I said that last week about Arkansas. I feel more confident this time.
Texas 37, Rice 14
I’ll be short and simple here, since last week did not go the way that the anyone expected. Texas needs to respond in a dominant way against Rice. The back and forth quarterback dilemma that is haunting Steve Sarkisian right now, in my opinion, is not good for the program. They need to find consistency prior to conference play and they’ve yet to do so. An unranked Houston team, who lost to Texas Tech by 17 points in Week 1, defeated Rice 44-7 last week. I’d be shocked, and fairly disappointed, if the Longhorns aren’t able to cover the spread here.
Texas 41, Rice 13
This game should be over it before it starts, as there is no reason that Rice should be able to hang with Texas. I expect quarterback Casey Thompson to come in and have a big game, and whether it’s warranted against this type of competition, it will likely solidify him as the starter moving forward. The rest of the offense should bounce back after a rough showing against Arkansas. Texas’ offensive line needs a big performance as bad as anyone, as this group has been awful so far, but the staff clearly believes in them enough to give them more chances to turn it around.
It would be nice to the defense completely dominate Rice like they are supposed to. The Owls are averaging 12 points per game through the first two weeks, and have shown no ability to produce against decent defenses. Rice should present no problems for Texas this week, and I expect the Longhorns to find a groove before heading into the gauntlet of Big 12 play.
Texas 45, Rice 10