Western Kentucky vs. Rice Prediction, Game Preview

    Western Kentucky vs. Rice prediction and game preview. The Hilltoppers look to improve to 4-1 as they travel to Houston to take on the 2-2 Owls.

    September 28, 2015

    The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers and the Rice Owls square off in a matchup between two of Conference USA’s best teams. Check out the Western Kentucky vs. Rice prediction and game preview.

    Western Kentucky vs. Rice Prediction & Preview

    Broadcast

    Date: Saturday, October 3

    Game Time: 3:30 ET

    Network: FSN

    Follow and/or Contact @Rich Cirminiello

    Why You Need To Care

    East meets West Saturday afternoon in one of the more intriguing regular season games Conference USA will stage this fall. Western Kentucky and Rice play for the first time this weekend, both hoping to see one another two months from now in the league title game. The Hilltoppers rebounded from their lone loss of September by hammering Miami University. Rice returns home for the first time in a month, fresh off a 70-17 spanking at the hands of Baylor.

    Why Western Kentucky Will Win

    Western Kentucky the week after seeing Baylor almost seems cruel and unusual for the Owls. Rice lacks the defensive stoppers to slow down the potent Hilltopper attack, which ranks No. 4 nationally in passing at just under 400 yards per game. The Owls have already 13 touchdown passes, including seven last week.

    Why Rice Will Win

    The Owls are one of the few teams on the WKU schedule capable of going step-for-step with the WKU offense. Rice averages almost 35 points a game, and Driphus Jackson sets up a very interesting QB duel with Hilltopper gunslinger Brandon Doughty. The Owls will also keep defenses off balance with a deep and talented stable of backs.

    Player Who Matters

    In a game that’ll feature plenty of passes, which receiver will wind up as the statistical star? Dennis Parks is off to a great start for Rice. But Western Kentucky goes five deep with proven producers, headlined by big-play WR Taywan Taylor and sure-handed TE Tyler Higbee.

    What’s Going To Happen?

    Purely from an entertainment standpoint, this ought to be one of Conference USA’s signature games of 2015. Both teams will have success on offense, with the quarterbacks combining for more than 700 yards through the air. However, Doughty versus the rebuilt Rice secondary is the kind of mismatch that the Owls won’t be able to overcome in a back-and-forth track meet that leaves the defenses gassed and demoralized.

    Western Kentucky vs. Rice Prediction

    Prediction: Western Kentucky 43, Rice 37, Line: Western Kentucky -8, o/u: 69.5

    Must See Rating: 5: 99 Homes – 1: The Intern … 2

    MORE: College Football Bowl Projections After Week 4

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