Opponent Watch 2018: Rice

Rice’s front seven regularly applied pressure to the quarterback in 2017, and under new defensive coordinator Brian Smith, the Owls are expected to do so again. But for a unit that included current Atlanta Falcons linebacker Emmanuel Ellerbee last year, Rice still surrendered almost 200 rushing yards per game (10th in C-USA).

The Rice freshman center is going to have nightmares this week.

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Spread is up to 25.5 on some sites.

He’ll at least have a nice story to tell one day

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_World, meet Emmanuel Esupka. Emmanuel Esupka, meet the World. Rice rode the broad shoulders of Esupka for 32 carries and 173 yards. Beyond Esupka, Austin Walter rushed for 83 yards and two scores but left the game late with an apparent shoulder/arm injury. _

All told the Owls rushed for over 310 yards on fifty carries. The Owls held the ball of almost forty minutes. That’ll be the plan moving forward, pound the ball, work clock and keep their defense off the field.

Find it hard to believe that Rice will try to pound the rock into Ed Oliver and crew. I think it’s a trap and they will run once and then start airing it out (until the score gets out of hand). Just my guess…

I can’t wait to see our DL hold Esupka to 17 carries for 18 yards at the half. He may end up getting some yardage in the 2nd half against our 3s and 4s.

I don’t know…Bloomgren really wants to run a ground and pound offense. He isn’t an air it out guy at all and their QBs aren’t their strength.

Bloomgren and his players have been emphasizing that Houston is more than Oliver, as talented as he may be. But that hasn’t precluded them from making adjustments to better handle the reigning Outland Trophy winner.

“I think we have some really good game plans coming up for this defense. They’re a tough, physical defense and we look forward to responding with the same mentality and toughness,” Greene said. “It’s going to be a great opportunity to put our names on the map as a team.”

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