Rice Owls vs North Texas Mean Green Preview

The Mean Green look to get their season back on track against Rice.
Photo Courtesy: Sandy McAnally

By DaVince “Dino” Wright

Game Info
Rice Owls vs North Texas Mean Green
Saturday – November 21 – 1:00 p.m.
TV: ESPN3
Apogee Stadium – Denton, TX

Records Before the Game
Rice Owls (1-1, 1-1 C-USA)
North Texas Mean Green (2-3, 1-2 C-USA)

Both teams have been conquered by COVID! Games have been canceled or rescheduled because of the pandemic. Rice has been hit the hardest. I’m sure the Owls will be ready to play on the road in Denton. UNT has played a total of five games and they desperately need a win at home this week.

The team that needs this win the most
Both. Both teams need a win this week to stay close in conference play. North Texas has the losing record between the two.

The COVID Challenge
At the time of this article (Friday, November 20, 2020) this game is still scheduled for play. Oh wait, this is two Texas teams. It might change by 1 p.m. like the Texas weather. Praying this won’t happen…

Rice Owls
Senior QB Mike Collins didn’t plan for his last season to turn out like this. He has passed for 475 yards with eight touchdowns and an interception in a pair of games. His completion percentage is 57.7. Don’t let the numbers fool you, this guy can play. Running back Juma Otoviano is from the north Texas area and he will showcase his speed in Denton this weekend. The Owls defense gives up 32 points per game. If they create turnovers they could get a win on the road this week.

North Texas Mean Green
The Mean Green are always in the game, but the last few minutes of the fourth quarter they have looked as if they are out of gas. Their last five games don’t show much… Closing teams out has been this team’s Achilles heel. The defense will be the X factor this week. They have to play hard and smart at home or Rice will come into Denton and leave with a win. Look for the Mean Green defensive line to get to the quarterback early and often in this one.

Prediction
ESPN has the Rice Owls with a 67% chance of winning on the road this week. I’m sure someone from UNT will read this article and allow it to spark a flame. I’m taking UNT by 10!

Final Score
Mean Green – 21
Owls – 17