No. 14 Stanford (10-3) vs. Rice (3-9) at Sydney, Australia, 10 p.m. (ESPN) Line: Stanford minus 31.
No. 14 Stanford (10-3) vs. Rice (3-9) at Sydney, Australia, 10 p.m. (ESPN)
Line: Stanford minus 31.
Series: Rice leads 3-2.
WHAT'S AT STAKE
Stanford begins life without running back Christian McCaffrey, who was a first-round draft pick by the Carolina Panthers. Big favorites against Rice, things get tougher for Stanford after a week off, playing Pac-12 favorite Southern California on Sept. 9. Rice gave up a home game in Houston to travel Down Under for the College Football Sydney Cup.
Rice QB Sam Glaesmann, playing his first collegiate game, against the Stanford defense. The Cardinal have to replace star DL Solomon Thomas, who is now with the San Francisco 49ers, but the secondary should be strong with CBs Quenton Meeks and Alijah Holder and S Justin Reid.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Rice: CB Justin Bickham. He's replacing sophomore D'Angelo Ellis, who was set to be a starter. But Ellis tore a ligament in his left wrist that required surgery and he'll miss at least the first half of the season.
Stanford: QB Keller Chryst is back after tearing the ACL in his right knee in Stanford's bowl game. Chryst was 6-0 as a starter last season with 10 TD passes and only one interception in those games.
FACTS & FIGURES
Stanford RB Bryce Love, McCaffrey's replacement, averaged 7.2 yards per carry the past two seasons. ... After having not played each other since 1964, the teams are meeting for the second time in nine months. Stanford beat Rice 41-17 at Stanford in November. ... Last year, 62,000 watched Cal beat Hawaii 51-31 in the college season opener at the Olympic stadium in western Sydney (where two-foot-long hot dogs were on the menu). This year the game has been moved to the 45,000-seat Allianz Stadium just minutes from downtown Sydney. New South Wales state government officials are subsidizing both teams for their travel and expenses while Down Under as part of a tourism promotion, and last year estimated more than 15,000 fans came to Sydney specifically for the game. It will start at noon Sunday in Sydney to coincide with prime time television in the U.S. on Saturday night. It's the last Sunday of winter in Australia and there's a chance of rain in the forecast along with a high temperature of 64 degrees Fahrenheit (18 Celsius).