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2016 Prairie View game page



HOUSTON (Oct. 21) – The Rice Owls take on the Prairie View A&M Panthers in Saturday’s annual Homecoming game for the Institute at Rice Stadium, kicking off at 2:30 p.m.


This may be the only game in history where a sole remaining winless entrant in NCAA Division One enters a contest as a 25-point favorite. That’s the deal, as the Owls, at 0-6 on the season thus far, are the only 2016 FBS-level team with a goose-egg to the left of its name, while the FCS-level SWAC school meanwhile has gone 4-2 thus far in the season.

So why the apparent disparity? Computers say so. Seems one of PV’s two losses came at the hands of the Texas Aggies, in a 67-0 walkover in College Station in early September.

That’s the only Football-Bowl-Series team the Panthers have faced thus far this season, while going 4-1 this far against five Football-Championship-Series level teams, three of them from the generally low-rated Southwestern Athletic Conference.

Former Clemson star Willie Simmons came in as a young new head coach for Prairie View in 2015, where he thereupon promptly produced an 8-2 season for the oft-also-run Panthers, who finished the season with a six-game winning streak.

Prairie View A&M went 8-1 in league play, just missing out on a berth in the Toyota SWAC Championship Game. The Panthers were the highest-scoring Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) team in the nation in 2015, averaging 44.9 points per game.

The Panthers once again this season are led by senior quarterback Trey Green, who last year lea the SWAC in total offense. In PV’s 67-0 September loss to the Aggies, though, Green was only 13-of-39 for 160 yards passing against the Ags’ Wrecking Crew defense.

Green had the greater measure of success early in the PV-A&M game, as the Panthers had a 38- yard field goal blocked and missed a 42-yard field goal in the first half. Hmmm...sounds familiar.

But the Aggie pass rush had him pretty much dinged up by halftime, and he was ineffective the rest of the day.

PV had a bye week last Saturday, so have had a couple of weeks to sharpen up their deep passing game with which to test the Owls. The week before, the Panthers beat Alabama State 24-17 at home, rallying late to win in overtime after trailing 17-7 at the half.

QB Green was7-of-15 passing for 140 yards before being injured in the second quarter, whereupon backup QB Jalen Morton came off the bench to lead three second-half scoring drives, while the PV defense pitched a shutout in the second half and overtime periods.

Owl fans will be undestandably concerned about the capabilities of PV’s receiving corps, especially the speedy wideouts. Among them, Demarquo Lastrappe and KhaDarel Hodge have combined for 620 receiving yards and five touchdowns while Joshua Simmons has 13 receptions.

On the ground, the Panthers are averaging 134.7 yards per game, with Sta'fon McCray the leading rusher with 249 yards and two touchdowns.

On the defensive side, PVAMC – or is it PVAMU? – is giving up 31 points and 402.8 yards per game, but bear in mind those totals include the stats surrendered in the 67-0 loss to Texas A&M. Terrence Singleton leads the Panthers with 44 tackles, while DeVohn Reed has 6.5 sacks and Raleigh Johnson has one interception.

Does anybody in the house here think the Owls will beat this bunch by 25? Show of hands, please....

Figures.


 --P.T.H.