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SMU

vs.

Baylor

College Football Pick

9/10/16

Week 2 brings a rematch of the Bears and Mustangs from 2015. Last year's game was closer than the 56-21 final indicated. Baylor won comfortably, but the Bears only held a 28-21 halftime lead.

This time around, Bayloe is favored by 32 with a total of 76. Those odds are cirrent as of Thursday at 5 dimes sportsbook.

Much of the offseason for Baylor was spent evaluating Art Briles and the state of his program. Then he was dismissed. In stepped Jim Grobe. Gone are big-time playmakers Corey Coleman and Shawn Oakman. Needless to say, there has been a lot going on in Waco. Despite all the changes, little appeared different in Week 1 as Baylor dismantled Northwestern State 55-7.

Seth Russell, again, is the starter for the Bears after injuring his neck last season. He showed no rust as he threw for 163 and four touchdowns on 14-of-20 attempts. Russell still has the younger Briles, Kendal, calling plays for him this season. This pair should continue to prove difficult for opponents to slow down throughout 2016.

Coleman was a first-round draft pick and leaves a void, but K.D. Cannon is back and was a threat in the passing game against the Demons. Cannon caught five passes for 46 yards and a touchdown in a relatively tame season debut.

Shock Linwood returns as an imposing force in the backfield. He toted the ball nine times for 97 yards in the opener. The 5-foot-9, 200-pound running back acts as a bowling ball heading down the field and is especially dangerous when the Bears' passing attack is spreading out opposing defenses.

SMU, on the other hand, displays a lot of continuity from last season to 2016. Head coach Chad Morris is in his second season with the Mustangs. SMU had improved play a year ago, but the results were not any better as they finished 2-10.

Matt Davis is back at quarterback after leading the Mustangs in both passing and rushing last season. But Davis injured his knee last weekend as SMU defeated North Texas 34-21 on the road. Davis is said to be a game-time decision for the trip to Baylor. Ben Hicks finished the game after Davis left. The two combined to complete 13-of-26 passes for 300 yards, three touchdowns and an interception (thrown by Davis).

Whoever is at quarterback has the luxury of throwing to Courtland Sutton. Sutton led SMU with 49 receptions for 862 yards and nine touchdowns in 2015. Last week he was back at it with four receptions, 162 yards and three touchdowns. Quite a game, to say the least.

The Mustangs also return their top back from last season in Xavier Jones. Last year, Jones ran for over 600 yards and 10 touchdowns. In the win over North Texas Jones ran the ball 11 times for 115 yards and a touchdown.

Much of what plays out in the spread for this game will likely depend on whether Jones is available. Hicks did not run the ball a single time last Saturday. Jones ran it 14 times for 91 yards.

Our Pick - Just how much SMU has improved, and whether Baylor is down a notch, remains to be seen. Either way, we should still expect the score baord to light up when these two square off. We'll go OVER 76

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