gtpdd’s Rice Preview
How to Watch
This game is on ESPN+, fools! Thankfully, ESPN+ is now included on the Xbox and Playstation ESPN apps. Why it wasn’t initially, I have no idea. But for the first few games on ESPN+, I had to steal the Roku out of the bedroom, leaving my girlfriend with no way to avoid me by watching Greys or something in the back. This time, she can avoid me all she wants!
Other People’s Predictions
- ESPN FPI: Tech has a 95.2% chance to win.
- Massey: Tech wins, 42-12
- Vegas (OddsShark): Tech wins by 24.5
- S&P+: Tech wins, 40-17
- BleedTechBlue: Tech wins, 28-20
- NCAA 14 Simulation: Tech wins, 21-14
Rice is 1-9, and currently holds the longest losing streak in FBS after losing to UTEP last week. Tech is 6-3, and hoping not to die again after last week’s showing.
What to Watch For
Evan: Gosh, you guys. Rice is not very good. It’s hard to pinpoint a matchup to keep your eyes on, because Rice simply doesn’t have the talent that Tech does at almost all positions. I guess the matchup I’m going to watch for most is Jaylon Ferguson against whoever Rice puts in front of him. The Owls aren’t terrible in their sack rate numbers; they’re allowing sacks on 5.9% of dropbacks, good for 54th nationally. Additionally, Rice only runs passing plays on about 40% of standard downs, so there may not be as many opportunities for Big Ferg.
With that being said, if anybody does anything to piss him off, he’s gon’ EAT. I expect him to add at least one sack to his Tech and CUSA record totals tomorrow night.
Evan: Rice football is 1-9, but that doesn’t stop the students from doing totally bonkers activities in the name of school spirit.
Each year, Rice puts on an officially sanctioned(!!!) relay race involving chugging beer and riding bikes. In a tradition that dates back to 1957, each of the University’s residential colleges fields a men’s, women’s, and a coed alumni team to compete in perhaps the greatest CUSA tradition I’ve come across: Beer Bike!
In the race, each participant chugs a beer and then rides a bike around the track 3 times. As a biker rounds the last turn, the next leg of the relay team begins to chug their beer so that they can take off on the bike.
This is a real thing.
Since the 1990s, Beer Bike is preceded by all sorts of activities in what Rice calls “Willy Week,” for some reason. In addition to binge drinking and biking, Willy Week has Beer Debates, International Beer Night, and jacks. I assume they mean jacks, like the game poor kids would play during the Great Depression? I dunno. They also have a giant water balloon fight.
Who says nerds can’t have fun?
Here’s a video of the 2018 Beer Bike Festivities. Not much footage of the race here, but most of the fun seems to be had at the Beer Bike adjacent activities, anyway:
Evan: Tech will announce an attendance of 15,076, but there won’t be a shade over 8,000 in that stadium, and that’s a shame.
Nathan: We will never be winning by enough to bench J’Mar.
Josh: We struggle with Rice all game until the 4th.
Evan: I want so desperately for Tech to come out and play angry against an inferior opponent. Will they? I really don’t know. The Dogs are way too talented to lose to a rebuilding Owls’ squad, but I’m too accustomed to this Tech team’s play to think it’ll be a runaway victory.
Tech wins, 31-20
Nathan: Yeah, I’m with Evan here. Tech is the better team (by far), but this won’t be the runaway victory everyone thinks it’ll be. The Dogs also don’t have too much to play for due to having already achieved bowl eligibility, but being all but eliminated from conference title contention.
Tech wins, 23-17
Josh: I really have no idea what version of Tech we see this Saturday. My gut says that we come out angry and blow out Rice by at least 3 scores, but with this offense? I don’t know, man. I’m hoping the team puts together a complete game and looks better, but really, I’ll be watching Ferguson in hopes that he adds on to his sack total. All in all, Tech looks bad right now, but Rice looks worse.
Tech wins, 24-10