Rice looks to rebound and get a win against Army on Saturday. The Black Knights coming out party in 2016 came at the expense of the Owls. Rice, fresh off a pummeling by Pitt, needs some good news, here's how they get it.
Assignment, Smart Football, on Short Notice
Prepping for the flex bone should take all of fall camp and then some. We assume the Owls put in a package before this week, but the Black Knights present a real test on a week's notice. The Black Knight offense is designed to counter and exploit your answer. Not only that, but Army is relying on the fact that all eleven Owls won't be able to play their assignment for sixty minutes. If Army's offense gets going, it won't matter what the Owls do with the ball; it'll get ugly.
Play Keep Away
The Owls best defense will be a good offense. Army wants to shorten the game; Rice needs to trump that by taking all the air out of the ball. The Owls' last two games they've averaged less than three yards a carry. They need to find a way to fix the issue; however, that works.
There's Good News
As Glynn Hill with the Chronicle pointed out last week, the Owls have shown steady improvement in areas despite a brutal schedule. The Black Knights are the fourth bowl team in six games. There are six more on the schedule. Rice's run defense is better and better each week. They are taking to their new scheme. Brian Womac and Blaine Padgett are difference makers on the defensive edge. They also get cornerback V.J. Banks and safety Cole Thomas back this week and perhaps D’Angelo Ellis soon. Now they just need to compete against Army.
Notes and Numbers
This is the eight meeting between Army and Rice.
Rice holds a 4-2-1 series advantage.
Prior to last years meeting the Owls won four straight over Army.
Army fullback Andy Davidson rushed for 100 yards last week against UTEP, his seventh of his career, good enough for eleventh all-time at West Point.
The Black Knights have four scoring drives of thirteen plays or more this season.
In two of Army's this season the Black Knights failed to register a completion.
Rice is the fifth least penalized team in the FBS.
Austin Walter's 70 yard touchdown against Pitt last week is Rice's longest play from scrimmage this season.
Jack Fox leads CUSA in punting average.