Rice vs

Southern Miss

at Mobile AL
Sat, Dec 17
2:45 PM Pacific
Rotation: 213
Odds: Southern Miss -6.5, Total: 45.5

Game Analysis

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Southern Miss (-6.5)  25   Rice  21

Southern Miss earned their way into this bowl game by winning their final regular season game  to get to 6-6 and the Eagles were 9-3 ATS this season with 3 straight spread wins to close the regular season. Rice, meanwhile, lost their final 3 games to finish at 5-7 but were rewarded a bowl game based on a high academic score to fill the final bowl spot.

The Owls are down to their #4 quarterback after #3 QB Shawqi Itraish proved to be a disaster filling in for injured starter TJ McMahon (opening day starter Wiley Green is also out). AJ Padgett is getting first-team reps in practice and is the presumed starter here and he averaged 9.0 yards per pass play in his lone start against North Texas. However, Padgett completed just 20 of 40 passes in his two appearances and he’s not likely to continue averaging 17 yards per completion. After adjusting for his variance in yards per completion I rate Padgett as a 0.7 yppp downgrade from McMahon and McMahon’s running 306 yard on 40 scrambles is made up for by the absence of RB Ari Broussard, who averaged a paltry 2.8 yards on his 91 runs and has been replaced by Montgomery and Otoviano, who have combined for over 889 yards and averaged 5.6 ypr in non-garbage time against FBS opponents. Rice was 0.6 yards per play worse than average for the season and I rate that unit at -0.8 yppl coming into this game with Padgett at quarterback (with some upward potential). The Southern Miss defense has been 0.3 yppl worse than average this season and I project Rice at 340 yards and 5.1 yppl in this game (even with some chance for rain in Mobile).

The Southern Miss offense was 0.8 yppl worse than average over the course of the season (5.1 yppl against teams that would allow 5.9 yppl to an average team) and the Eagles scored 20 points or fewer in 7 of their 11 games against FBS teams while topping 27 points just once. The pass attack is downgraded a bit with Trey Lowe at quarterback the last 3.5 games, even with a boost from RB Frank Gore throwing 1 or 2 passes per game lately (he’s averaged 14.3 yards on his 12 passes from the wildcat formation). However, the rushing attack is upgraded with Gore (4.9 ypr vs FBS teams) running the ball more often and taking carries away from his far less productive backups. I rate the Eagles the same heading into this game as their season rating on offense.

Rice has had some injuries to their secondary but the young cornerbacks filling in for starter Sean Fresch (6 passes defended in 9 games) have defended 4 passes in 3 games and the Owls’ defense doesn’t appear to be any worse off than they’ve been this season, which is 0.6 yppl worse than average. Southern Miss is projected to gain 329 yards at 5.7 yppl.

The projected total yards are pretty even in this game but Southern Miss has a solid edge in special teams and in projected turnovers and my math favors the Eagles by 4.7 points (and 45.3 total points with -0.4 for projected weather included). Rice enters this game off 3 losses but that has not been a negative historically in bowl games (30-21 ATS) while teams entering their bowl game on a 3-games or more spread win streak (Southern Miss) are just 100-149-3 ATS (if not facing another such team).

  • Team Stats
  • Game Log
  • Rice
  • Southern Miss


  • Run Plays 32.9 30.8
  • Run Yards 160.4 182.8
  • YPRP 4.9 5.9


  • Pass Comp 17.8 16.8
  • Pass Att 30.3 27.0
  • Comp % 58.7% 62.3%
  • Pass Yards 228.6 214.3
  • Sacks 2.6 2.0
  • Sack Yards 15.6 12.9
  • Sack % 7.9% 6.9%
  • Pass Plays 32.8 29.0
  • Net Pass Yards 213.0 201.3
  • YPPP 6.5 6.9


  • Total Plays 65.8 59.8
  • Total Yards 373.4 384.1
  • YPPL 5.7 6.4


  • Int 1.6 0.7
  • Int % 5.2% 2.5%
  • Fumbles 0.9 0.6
  • Turnovers 2.5 1.3
  • Points 25.3 33.8
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