Stanford vs. Rice prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins Saturday night’s matchup between the Cardinal and Owls.
When: Saturday, Nov. 26 – 8:00 p.m. ET
Where: Stanford Stadium, Stanford, California
Other than one four-game stretch in the middle of the season, Stanford (8-3) has played a winning brand of football this year. The Cardinal have been bothered by injuries like most teams have, but it has bounced back and won its last four games. After victories over Arizona, Oregon State and Oregon, Stanford went into Berkeley this past weekend and took down Cal, 45-31.
Rice (3-8) got off to a very slow start when it lost its first six games of the season before taking down the Prairie View Panthers. Two more losses to Louisiana Tech and Florida Atlantic, and the Owls apparently had enough. In the past two weeks, they’ve won back-to-back games against Charlotte and UTEP. Rice sits in fifth place in the C-USA West division.
The Cardinal and Owls will play for the fifth time ever and will renew their all-time series for the first time since 1964 when Stanford won, 34-7. Rice had won the previous three meetings before that.
What To Know About Stanford
Keller Chryst stepped up for the Cardinal in the win over Cal. He completed 13-of-23 passes for 198 yards and two touchdowns. One of his touchdowns was caught by Trenton Irwin, who had only the one catch for 30 yards. Dalton Schultz caught the other scoring strike, which was his only grab for nine yards. JJ Arcega-Whiteside led the team with four catches for 107 yards.
And, of course, Christian McCaffrey did what he does best. Last year’s Heisman runner-up burst for 284 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 31 carries. Bryce Love tacked on 43 rushing yards on 10 carries, and Chryst added a rushing touchdown and 23 yards on six attempts.
What to Know About Rice
In the win over UTEP, the Owls got a solid outing from quarterback Jackson Tyner. He completed 18-of-25 passes for 196 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Cameron Decell caught four passes for 53 yards, and one of those grabs was for six points. Tyner’s other touchdown toss was reeled in by Darik Dillard, who had two catches for 11 yards. Tyner, himself, also caught a 24-yard touchdown pass from Temi Alaka.
In the running game, Jowan Davis found the end zone once and picked up 84 yards on 11 carries. Kylen Granson helped the cause with 41 yards on four touches, and Austin Walter ran for a touchdown and 27 yards on four carries.
Offense: Stanford – This isn’t even close. McCaffrey is a beast — enough said.
Defense: Stanford – The Cardinal is No. 20 in scoring defense, allowing 20.5 points per game. Rice is No. 115, surrendering 37 points per game.
Special Teams: Stanford – McCaffrey is electric in the kick return game.
Coaching: Stanford – David Shaw has done a great job fighting through injuries and getting his team back on track.
Matchup To Watch
Christian McCaffrey vs. Stanford
Let’s be real. The only person in this game capable of stopping, or even slowing down the Stanford halfback, is McCaffrey, himself. The Cardinal gave him a heavy workload last time out. With the postseason looming, it’s doubtful we’ll see McCaffrey get 25-plus carries against Rice. So, the only way the Owls don’t get gashed by McCaffrey is if Shaw limits his star player, which would be a smart idea. Love can handle a bigger workload this week. It shouldn’t be a problem.
Spread: Stanford -35
Over/Under: No line as of publication
Stanford vs. Rice Prediction
If this isn’t a blowout from the very beginning, it’s a disappointment for Stanford. Sure, a win is a win, but the Cardinal should straight-up demolish the Owls on Saturday. McCaffrey will get double-digits but won’t get too many touches. He’ll go off for 100-plus rushing yards and a couple of touchdowns. Love will add a few scoring runs of his own, and Chryst will deliver dimes. Stanford wins easily.
Stanford vs. Rice Score Prediction: Stanford 56, Rice 17