At long last, the college football season is upon us. Starting this Saturday, NCAA Football gets underway as two seeded teams, South Florida and Stanford, look to build on their successes from last season. Stanford, in particular, is an extremely interesting team to follow early on due to the loss of their phenomenal running back Christian McCaffrey. Although Rice is expected to be a below average team this season, Stanford could potentially struggle adjusting to life without their best player from last season being on the current roster.
Stanford, led by coach David Shaw, is looking to build off of the 2016 season where the team won ten games including a bowl game victory over North Carolina. According to various sportsbooks, Stanford is expected to regress a bit and is only expected to win around eight or nine games this season. The main reason for the small regression is due to the loss of Christian McCaffrey, who I eluded to earlier. Replacing McCaffrey will be junior running back Bryce Love along with fellow junior Cameron Scarlett. Both running backs have the capability to generate big plays on the ground. However, they are not nearly as skilled as McCaffrey in terms of catching passes out of the backfield which could be a potential problem for the team going forward.
In addition to the loss of McCaffrey, this team has lower expectation than usual due to the resurgence of USC in the Pac-12. USC, led by Heisman hopeful quarterback Sam Darnold, is expected to compete for an NCAA Football championship this season and is favored over Stanford to win the Pac-12 conference. USC can play an extremely important role in Stanford’s first game against Rice because of their clash on September 9. Stanford is in danger of overlooking Rice and focusing heavily on their USC match-up the following week. If Stanford does not pay enough attention to Rice, they could potentially be upset.
The Rice Owls look to rebound from their three win season in 2016. Unfortunately for them, they have to start the campaign against a top 15 team in the country. Led by sophomore quarterback Jackson Tyner, Rice looks to make some noise in the C-USA conference and potentially reach their first bowl game since 2014. However, Vegas along with various sports-books, expect this Rice team to be as bad as last season and expects Rice to win around 3 to 4 games. Due to this expectation, Rice is currently a 30.5 point underdog against Stanford and rightfully so. Realistically, this Rice team is atrocious on defense and is likely to get torched by this Stanford running game. However, their offense is somewhat underrated and can potentially put up some points against Stanford.
As for my prediction, I cannot see Stanford losing this game. David Shaw’s teams are usually well coached and focus heavily on ball security. I expect Stanford to dominate the line of scrimmage and to win this game pretty handily despite the likelihood that this team is already planning for their contest against USC. However, I do expect this offense to struggle producing big plays without McCaffrey. As a result, I think that Rice will cover the 30.5 point spread. Gimme Stanford winning this game by a score of 34-14.
Rice vs. Stanford: Game Time, TV Channel & Viewing Details
Event: Rice vs. Stanford
Date: Saturday, August 26, 2017
Start Time: 10:00 P.M. EST
Location: Allianz Stadium, Sydney, Australia
How To Rice vs. Stanford Online & Mobile
Mobile user can watch the match using the WatchESPN app (iTunes Store | Google Play Store | Amazon Store | Windows). You’ll need a cable subscription though, like you would watching it on your desktop.
Sling TV is a service that allows subscribers to watch live and on-demand TV channels on TVs, computer or mobile device. It’s just like a cable or satellite TV service, except it’s delivered over the internet. You can sign up for Sling TV’s free 7-day trial. If you cancel your subscription within seven days, you will not be charged. Once signed up, simply download the app for your computer or mobile device to start watching.