Louisiana Tech (6-6) vs SMU (7-5)
When: Wednesday, December 20th 2017
Where: Toyota Stadium, Frisco, TX
Time: 8:00 ET | TV: ESPN
Opening Odds: SMU -4.5/68
The high-flying SMU Mustangs and Louisiana Tech Bulldogs will square off in the inaugural Frisco Bowl on Wednesday, December 20th, and the Mustangs will be one of several teams going with an interim coach this postseason. Sonny Dykes, whose first head coaching job was at Louisiana Tech in 2010, will coach the Mustangs at the bowl game formerly known as the Miami Beach Bowl. Sponsors have moved this affair to Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas. Chad Morris, who led SMU to its first bowl game since 2012, was hired at Arkansas on December 6th after a 14-22 record in three seasons with the Mustangs. The Bulldogs had to win their final two games to become bowl eligible and earn their fourth straight postseason bid under coach Skip Holtz. Louisiana Tech is one of nine schools that enters the postseason with three straight bowl wins. The Bulldogs are playing their third bowl in the past four years in the state of Texas after winning the Heat of Dallas Bowl in 2014 and the Armed Forces Bowl in Forth Worth last year. SMU and Oklahoma State are the only FBS teams with a 3,000-yard passer, 1,000-yard rusher and two 1,000-yard receivers, as the Mustangs averaged 40.2 points per game. Sophomore quarterback Ben Hicks threw for 3,442 yards and 32 touchdowns while Trey Quinn and Courtland Sutton each caught 12 touchdowns.
Sophomore quarterback J’Mar Smith threw for 2,758 yards and 13 touchdowns, including five scoring strikes to Conference USA co-newcomer of the year Teddy Veal (69 catches, 832 yards). Junior defensive end Jaylon Ferguson (26.5 career sacks) had a team-high six sacks while senior safety Secdrick Cooper had 63 tackles and two interceptions for a Bulldogs defense that ranked near the middle of Conference USA in opponents’ points (26.7) and passing yards (215.1). Freshman cornerback Amik Robertson led the team with four interceptions to go with 58 tackles and two sacks. The Bulldogs beat winless UTEP and Texas-San Antonio in the final two weeks to become Bowl-eligible.
Quinn (106 catches, 1,191 yards) leads the country with 8.8 receptions per game and needs six catches to tie the single-season school record and is tied with Sutton (62 catches, 1,017 yards) for second place in single-season touchdown catches. Senior defensive end Justin Lawler joined Quinn and Sutton as first-team All-AAC picks after blocking three kicks and leading the Mustangs with 9.5 sacks and 15.5 tackles for loss. The Mustangs’ defense allowed at least 31 points in its final five games, which included three straight losses before a last-second goal-line stand against Tulane in the finale snapped the skid. That win prevented the Green Wave from becoming Bowl-eligible.
I know SMU’s defense isn’t the best, but the offense is terrific and will tear-apart Louisiana Tech. This is the type of game I can see SMU winning 51-31. The Bulldogs will simply not be able to keep up with the Mustangs.
Pick: SMU -5
- Bulldogs are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 bowl games.
- Bulldogs are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games after accumulating less than 170 yards passing in their previous game.
- Bulldogs are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 Bowl games.
- Bulldogs are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games following a ATS win.
- Bulldogs are 7-19 ATS in their last 26 games after allowing less than 275 total yards in their previous game.
- Bulldogs are 2-6 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
- Mustangs are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 non-conference games.
- Mustangs are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 vs. CUSA.
- Mustangs are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games following a straight up win.
- Mustangs are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games in December.
- Mustangs are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games on grass.
- Mustangs are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS loss.
- Mustangs are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games overall.
- Under is 4-0 in Bulldogs last 4 games following a straight up win.
- Under is 6-0 in Bulldogs last 6 games following a ATS win.
- Over is 5-1 in Bulldogs last 6 games on grass.
- Over is 4-1 in Bulldogs last 5 games after allowing less than 275 total yards in their previous game.
- Over is 6-2 in Bulldogs last 8 non-conference games.
- Over is 6-2 in Bulldogs last 8 games after allowing less than 170 yards passing in their previous game.
- Under is 5-2 in Bulldogs last 7 neutral site games.
- Over is 17-8 in Bulldogs last 25 games overall.
- Over is 35-17 in Bulldogs last 52 vs. a team with a winning record.
- Under is 4-0 in Mustangs last 4 Bowl games.
- Under is 4-0 in Mustangs last 4 bowl games.
- Under is 5-1 in Mustangs last 6 games in December.
- Over is 4-1 in Mustangs last 5 games after scoring more than 40 points in their previous game.
- Under is 4-1 in Mustangs last 5 games after accumulating more than 280 yards passing in their previous game.
- Over is 7-2 in Mustangs last 9 games on grass.
- Over is 19-7 in Mustangs last 26 games following a ATS loss.
- Under is 14-6 in Mustangs last 20 games following a straight up win.