The Rice Owls are hoping to guarantee a spot in a bowl game for the first time since 2008 and need a win on the road against the UTEP Miners to get their sixth win. Rice's last bowl game was a 38-14 win over the Western Michigan Broncos in the Texas Bowl.
Although the possibility exists that Rice could make a bowl game at 5-7 because of their strong academics, a victory on Saturday ensures that the Owls will play in a postseason game. The New Orleans Bowl, Hawaii Bowl, BBVA Compass Bowl, Armed Forces Bowl and Beef O'Brady's Bowl are all possible destinations for Rice with a victory on Saturday, with the New Orleans bowl and Armed Forces Bowl (Houston) making the most geographical sense.
To guarantee their bowl berth, Rice will need to defeat UTEP. The Miners are tied with the Tulane Green Wave for last place in the Conference USA West division, and their only two conference victories this season came against Tulane and the Southern Miss. Golden Eagles, who are winless on the season.
Game Time: Saturday, November 24; 6 p.m CT
Location: Sun Bowl; El Paso, Texas
TV: Fox College Sports
Odds: UTEP -1