Taking an early look at the season opener between Texas and Rice

We are a week away from Texas’ game with Rice. The matchup won’t excite most fans, but it’s still a season opener and it ends a long offseason without Texas football.

Rice and Texas have a history. The two former Southwest Conference foes have faced each other 96 times. Texas leads the series 74-21-1. We don’t expect the series to get competitive on Sept. 2.

While the Longhorns should win comfortably, the Owls have improved since the teams met in 2021. Last season, Rice made its first bowl game since 2013. It has played in 13 bowls all-time despite a 45-year drought from 1961 to 2006.

The current iteration of the Rice Owls includes a familiar name in starting quarterback JT Daniels. He is now on his fourth team after stints at USC, Georgia, and West Virginia.

It will be the third time Daniels will have traveled to play Texas. The veteran journeyman started for the USC Trojans against the Longhorns in 2018 before facing Texas last season in Austin. He is joined by a couple of former Power Five talents. Nebraska transfers in wide receiver Luke McCaffery and left guard Brant Banks will look to help elevate the Rice offense.

While we view the matchup as a tune-up game, there is plenty we can glean from the performance. We’ll be watching Ewers’ connection with his receivers, Devon Campbell Jr. in pass protection and several individual players on the defensive side.

Texas should be able to go vanilla and impose its will on Rice. It will presumably look to do just that as it kicks off the season.

Story originally appeared on Longhorns Wire