TCU did everything it wanted in its opener, taking care of Southern in a 55-7 win. The Horned Frogs have their sights on upending Oklahoma in the Big 12 and that won’t happen unless the offense can stick with the best teams in the conference. They get another favorable Game against SMU before taking on Ohio State. SMU scored 23 points in the Fourth quarter of its opener against North Texas, but still lost 46-23. The Frogs are large -23 point road favorites with an over/under of 61 points at 5Dimes Sportsbook.
There’s little to be said of SMU’s first Game especially after beating North Texas by 22 points last year. Its defense gave up 36.7 points per Game in 2017 and that will be the major problem in trying to cover this Game. The Horned Frogs got everything they needed from new quarterback Shawn Robinson in the opener as he had five total touchdowns. He scored touchdowns on both of his carries, which gives the offense a little more mobility than it had with Kenny Hill. Robinson’s accuracy will be important all season, but it probably won’t be a factor against SMU.
The Mustangs just let UNT quarterback Mason Fine do whatever he wanted en route to 444 yards and three touchdowns on 40-of-50 passing. Robinson won’t throw that much, but that’s not good news for SMU, whether for this Game or the outlook on the season. The Frogs should again be near 40 or 50 points, assuming they find plenty of room on the ground from Darius Anderson and company.
The better bet may be to take the over, though at 61 points, it’s a bit lower than expected. That likely has something to do with the zero points SMU scored in the first three quarters in the opener. SMU’s final two touchdowns came from bombs, a 59- and 71-yarder. SMU quarterback Ben Hicks was solid last season and led the offense to 37.8 points per Game, but he couldn’t get anything going and ended up completing 12 of 24 passes. If the running Game behind Braeden West has similar issues with TCU, the Mustangs will likely have trouble scoring again.
The Frogs weren’t tested in their opener, but they still have loads of talent on the defensive side and should again be one of the better units in the country. End Ben Banogu and linebacker Ty Summers will be immediate problems for the Mustangs.
The bigger question is which SMU offense will show up on a national stage under the lights. When these teams met last year, Hicks connected on a couple bombs and led the offense to 36 points. After the first Game, it’s hard to see that happening again unless the ground Game can match the 4.1 yards per carry it had in last year’s contest. The problem is a young offensive line that returned only two starters. TCU should again do whatever they want offensively and if Hicks has trouble completing passes for SMU, this could be an early blow out.
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