Tune-up games are a natural part of any college football season. For Texas, they'll be playing in one the week before their first Big 12 outing.
Texas returns home to Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium to face Rice in Week 3. The last time they played at home, they looked the part of a top 25 team with a 38-17 victory over then-No. 23 Louisiana.
The following week, things went south. The SEC is calling, but Texas needs time. A 40-21 loss to Arkansas, who posted a 3-7 record last fall, all but proves there's room for improvement.
Can things get better against the Owls?
Rice is now 0-2 following losses to Arkansas and Houston. Texas becomes the third Power 5 game of the season, but things have actually gotten worse since the start. Something needs to change, but what can it be? And will it be enough for Rice to pull off the upset?
Likely no, but never say never on any given Saturday.
Make sure to hang with Longhorns Country through our season preview series, where we will analyze every opponent on the Longhorns schedule in 2021. Let's take a look at the Owls' offensive names to remember.
QB Luke McCaffrey
McCaffrey likely didn't transfer to the Houston-based school to ride the bench. According to Louisville's Scott Satterfield, that played a role in his decision to leave the program less than a week after arriving at camp.
Last season with the Cornhuskers, McCaffery split reps with veteran Adrian Martinez. He started two games and played in seven total outings, throwing for 466 yards, rushing for 364, and scoring four total touchdowns against six interceptions.
So far, his Owls career has come with hiccups. He's gone 14 of 19 for 161 yards, one touchdown, three interceptions and a 48.5 percent completion rating. Maybe this is the week where he turns things around?
RB Khalan Griffin
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Griffin didn't find the end zone last year, but he did find consistency when pounding the rock. So far, he falls in a similar category to that of McCaffery. In 32 carries, he's averaging 3.2 yards per play and has yet to score against Power 5 defenses.
WR Jake Bailey
Bailey played the No. 2 role to Austin Trammell in the passing game. Rice's overall passing attack was limited, but the junior seemed to be one of the more consistent players. He finished the season with 23 catches for 276 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Bailey so far has five catches for 56 yards and averages 12.4 yards per play. Every wide receiver has been slow out of the gate, but Bailey's size and frame should allow him to get decent reps against Texas' corners.
Of course, his quarterback must connect with him first before talking about scoring.
TE Jordan Myers
Every quarterback loves to use a security blanket. Consider Myers the Owls' go-to in those terms. Not only did he lead Rice with 24 catches last year, but he also averaged over 9.0 yards per catch in three games.
New year, same story. The hybrid receiver/tight end leads the team with seven catches, but is only averaging 7.4 yards per play. Linebackers have had their way with him thus far, meaning this could be an interesting matchup against DeMarvion Overshown in coverage.
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What do you think of the Longhorns' matchup with Rice? Comment and join in on the discussion below!
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