The Lincoln Riley era begins in Southern California as the Rice Owls face the USC Trojans at the Coliseum on Saturday, September 3 at 6 p.m. ET. The game is scheduled to air on the Pac-12 Network.
Last season was an encouraging performance for the Owls, even though a four-win season sounds underwhelming to pretty much everybody else. Case in point, it’s hard to win at Rice given that the program hadn’t hit the three-win mark since 2015. The Owls’ last winning season was back in 2014 when they finished 8-5 and came away with a bowl victory. Heading into 2022, they must improve on their 21.5 team points per game average as they prepare to depart for the American Athletic Conference in 2023.
The Trojans may be the best representation of the future era of college football. After making a splash in hiring Lincoln Riley as head coach and leveraging the transfer portal to bring in the likes of Jordan Addison and Caleb Williams, USC is arguably must-watch football and the likely preferred school to play for amid the college landscape. The Trojan’s success under Riley in year one will be telling as they prepare for a seismic move to the Big Ten in 2024.
Rice vs. USC odds from DraftKings Sportsbook
Spread: USC -34.5
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