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SMU vs. BYU, 7:30 ET
The battle of the acronyms or three-lettered schools comes to New Mexico for the New Mexico Bowl. This is probably one of the few games on this day where the offenses will certainly be the highlight of the matchup. After a long day of games, this is a good one to wind down with between two teams that want to throw the ball and move it quite a bit.
SMU ended the season with a 7-5 record. Over their past five games, they won four of them and the only loss came against Tulane. Tulane has actually been pretty good but for them to be blown out by 35 is pretty drastic for SMU. Most of it was an absolute blitz from Tulane taking out 21 points on SMU in the first quarter. SMU just couldn’t ever recover. Tanner Mordecai, quarterback of SMU, has accumulated over 3,300 yards and 31 touchdowns on the year. He has been able to connect with receiver Rashee Rice for about a quarter of his stats this season. If BYU can stop Rice, they should have a good chance to cover and win this game. In wins, Rice has averaged 94.2 yards – most of that came from two games – and only has one touchdown. Over the other seven games, he has nine touchdowns and averages over 126 yards. He is the key BYU needs to slow down.
BYU also has a 7-5 record for the year and are coming in hot having won their past three games. The teams they have played though are probably not the same talent level that SMU has been playing. In fact, the two losses over their past five games were to teams they probably could’ve beaten in East Carolina and Liberty. The defense of BYU isn’t the best unit I’ve seen in football, but they do have some capability of stopping the pass. I mentioned already they need to focus in on Rashee Rice, if they hold him down, they should be able to keep the game close. They do give up a lot of running yards and SMU would be wise to vary up their offense by handing the ball off at times. I do think it will be tough for SMU’s to stop this BYU passing game though. Jaren Hall has spread the ball nicely this year and has played just about as well as Mordecai.
I think this will be a pretty high-scoring game. I am not sure that the line is low enough for me to take the over, but I’d never feel safe playing the under in this one. I’m going to take SMU to cover this one at -4.
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