Who's Playing

Rice @ Western Kentucky

Current Records: Rice 5-4; Western Kentucky 6-4

What to Know

The Rice Owls have enjoyed the comforts of home their last two games, but now they must head out on the road. The Owls and the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers will face off in a Conference USA battle at 2 p.m. ET Saturday at Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium. With a combined 1,096 yards of offense in their previous games, we can expect a fast-paced game.

Rice bagged a 37-30 victory over the UTEP Miners last Thursday. Rice QB TJ McMahon was slinging it as he passed for two TDs and 334 yards on 31 attempts in addition to punching in one rushing touchdown.

Special teams collected 13 points for Rice. K Christian VanSickle delivered a perfect 3-for-3 game.

Meanwhile, WKU turned the game against the Charlotte 49ers into a track meet and took the gold after outgaining them 594 yards to 384. WKU steamrolled past Charlotte 59-7 on the road. With the Hilltoppers ahead 35 to nothing at the half, the contest was all but over already. QB Austin Reed went supernova for WKU as he passed for six TDs and 409 yards on 38 attempts. Near the top of the highlight reel was Reed's 64-yard TD bomb to WR Malachi Corley in the first quarter.

WKU's defense was a presence as well, as it embarrassed Charlotte's offensive line to sack the QB six times for a total loss of 30 yards. It was a group effort with eight guys contributing.

Rice have to know they'll be fighting an uphill battle given the 13.5-point spread they are up against. However, those who like betting on the underdog should be happy to hear that they are 4-1 against the spread when expected to lose.

The wins brought Rice up to 5-4 and the Hilltoppers to 6-4. A pair of numbers to keep in mind before kickoff: The Owls rank 32nd in the nation when it comes to passing yards allowed per game, with only 201.2 on average. But WKU comes into the matchup boasting the fourth most passing yards per game in the nation at 332. These opposing strengths should make for an exciting matchup.

How To Watch

  • When: Saturday at 2 p.m. ET
  • Where: Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium -- Bowling Green, Kentucky
  • TV: ESPN Plus
  • Online streaming: fuboTV (Try for free. Regional restrictions may apply.)
  • Follow: CBS Sports App
  • Ticket Cost: $3.00


The Hilltoppers are a big 13.5-point favorite against the Owls, according to the latest college football odds.

The oddsmakers were right in line with the betting community on this one, as the game opened as a 13.5-point spread, and stayed right there.

Over/Under: -110

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Series History

Western Kentucky have won all of the games they've played against Rice in the last eight years.

  • Nov 13, 2021 - Western Kentucky 42 vs. Rice 21
  • Sep 01, 2016 - Western Kentucky 46 vs. Rice 14
  • Oct 03, 2015 - Western Kentucky 49 vs. Rice 10