BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - No. 7 LSU has played one of the toughest schedules in the nation this year, but not this weekend, when the Tigers host the Rice Owls.
The Owls are 1-10 this season, winning only their season opener in August against Prairie View, 31-28. Opponents are averaging 37 points a game against Rice, while the Owls average only 19 points on offense.
On offense, Rice averages 136 yards rushing and 189 yards passing per game. Senior running back Austin Walter leads the ground game with 543 yards on 129 carries and four touchdowns. Emmanuel Esukpa has carried the ball 122 times for 461 yards and three touchdowns.
Quarterback Shawn Stankavage has thrown for 1,227 yards and 10 touchdowns. He has completed 117-of-206 passes and thrown 10 interceptions. Austin Trammell has 59 receptions for 600 yards and three touchdowns. Aaron Cephus (seven touchdowns) and Walter (2 touchdowns) each have 40 catches.
On defense, the Owls are giving up 173 yards on the ground and 267 through the air. Defensive back George Nyakwol leads the team with 54 tackles, along with one interception and two pass breakups. The pass rush is led by linebacker Anthony Ekpe’s 6.5 sacks and defensive lineman Myles Adams’ four sacks. Prudy Calderon is the interception leader with four and Justin Bickham has a team high 10 pass breakups.
Rice will once again be overmatched this weekend against LSU and the main goal for the Tigers will be to finish the game with no injuries.
Kickoff between the Tigers and Owls is set for 6:30 p.m. and will air on ESPNU.