Neither one of these teams closed the season that well, but both bring in exciting squads that should result in an exciting Game, which means offenses that can Scoreand defenses that can’t stop anyone. If you’re wondering, this is the inaugural Frisco Bowl as it replaces the Miami Beach Bowl. SMU opened as a -5 point favorite as seen at 5Dimes Sportsbook.
The Mustangs had slightly higher expectations this season and had a decent shot at the AAC, but once their Schedule picked up in Conference play, that changed. They fell in three straight late in the season against three of the best teams in the Conference with their other two losses at Houston and TCU. It’s a respectable 7-5 record given the Schedule, but it’s hard to overlook single-digit wins late in the season to the AAC’s worst teams (Cincy, Tulsa, Tulane).
Louisiana Tech never got things figured out, but at least won its season finale, which got them to a bowl. It was still an up-and-down season that didn’t feature any great wins. The best thing may have been a one-point loss at South Carolina. But similar to SMU, none of their losses were all that bad as they all came against winning teams. In similar opponents, SMU beat North Texas early in the season 54-32, while LA. Tech fell 24-23 in early November. Looking at that score, the clear thing that needs to be discussed is SMU’s offense.
The Mustangs are averaging 40 points per Game and kept this team competing no matter the opponent. Quarterback Ben Hicks kind of came out of nowhere to post 32 touchdowns and only nine picks as a sophomore. He got plenty of help from his receivers and it wasn’t just COurtland Sutton (1,017 yards, 12 TDs). Trey Quinn actually led the team in receiving yards (1,191 yards, 12 TDs), while James Proche (816 yards, 6 TDs) wasn’t far behind. To boot, Xavier Jones ran for 1,019 yards showing the potency of this offense in all facets.
So the question is if Louisiana Tech can stop this offense and the answer is probably not. The Bulldogs are better against the pass allowing only 216 yards per Game, but still allow 4.7 yards per carry, which won’t help. against the most potent offense in C-USA, Florida Atlantic went for 48 points against LA. Tech. To win or cover this Game, the Bulldogs will need to keep up on the scoreboard and that could be possible because SMU is bad on the defensive side, allowing 35.5 points per Game and almost 500 yards per contest. Of note, a lot of those big numbers came against solid offenses in UCF, Memphis and TCU.
While the Bulldogs run more than pass, this Game will come down to quarterback J’Mar Smith. He can look electric at times, but more often than not he struggled for consistency in his first season as a full-time starter. Smith finished with just 13 passing touchdowns while completing 55.4 percent of his passes. If SMU gets ahead early, it may not be possible for LA. Tech to lean on the ground Game between Boston SCott (937 yards, 8 TDs) and Jarred Craft. Then again, the Mustangs are allowing 5.0 yards per carry to go with 32 rushing touchdowns this season.
If Louisiana Tech had a good defense that could stop SMU, it’d be a different story, but going against this SMU offense will be tough. The only time LA. Tech’s offense really went off was against teams in the bottom of C-USA, which isn’t a good sign.
The Bulldogs are 4-1 ATS in their last five bowl Games, while the Mustangs are 4-1 ATS in their last five against C-USA. After a hot start, SMU is just 1-6 ATS in its last seven Games overall.
Our Pick – Looks like there will be plenty of points scored in this one and Our model suggests that SMU will have the bulk of them. We’ll lay the small spot in this one and will also go over the total. SMU -5 and OVER 70