Cougars on Three-Game Winning Streak
The SMU Mustangs will try for a second straight win when they take on the BYU Cougars in the New Mexico Bowl on Saturday. SMU has made bowl games in the past two seasons, but they were canceled due to COVID-19 problems. BYU is on a three-game winning streak and playing in its first bowl game since the 2019 season. Both teams are hungry to finish their seasons with a victory, so make sure you check out our in-depth preview of this bowl game before you make your bet online.
Let’s check the latest college football odds, stats, injury reports, and college football lines for SMU vs BYU. We’ve plenty of NCAA football odds for you to consider.
SMU Missing Key Parts on Offense
The SMU Mustangs averaged 38.4 points and 324.9 passing yards per game this season, but the team will be without two key pieces of that offensive attack come Saturday. Senior wide receiver Rashee Rice and offensive lineman Jaylon Thomas are recovering from injuries and are preparing for the NFL Draft, so they won’t be on the field for the bowl game.
Rice is the bigger loss, as he’s garnering a lot of All-American honors for his performance this season. Rice finished with 96 catches for 1,355 yards and 10 touchdowns, leading the country in total receiving yards and receiving yards per game (112.9).
Quarterback Tanner Mordecai will look for other receivers to power the Mustangs’ offense. Mordecai has thrown for 3,306 yards and 31 touchdowns this season, completing 64.3% of his passes and tossing just nine interceptions.
Wide receiver Jordan Kerley had the second-most receptions on the Mustangs, with 31 for 538 yards and five touchdowns. Rice was the main target in the regular season, but SMU will have to spread the wealth around on Saturday.
Scoop on Free Play from the Locker Room
BYU Uncertain of Hall’s Status
BYU isn’t sure if they’ll have their signal caller back under center on Saturday. Junior Jaren Hall was injured in the Cougars’ final regular-season contest against Stanford, hobbling off the field in the second half, and it’s uncertain if he’ll be ready to go for the bowl game.
“Jaren has not been eliminated from contention to play, so there’s that,” BYU coach Kalani Sitake said when asked about Hall’s status. “He hasn’t been participating as much as we’d like him to be in practices, but this week will tell. (Monday) will be important for us to see how much he’s progressed and where he’s at, but he’s still in the mix.”
Hall has thrown for 3,171 yards and 31 touchdowns this season while also rushing for 346 yards and three scores. If Hall can’t go, the Cougars will likely turn to either Boise State transfer Cade Fennegan – who has been taking a lot of the snaps in practice leading up to Saturday – to run the offense.
Whoever throws the passes on Saturday will be looking for junior Puka Nacua to be on the receiving end. Nacua leads the Cougars with 48 receptions for 625 yards and five touchdowns this season.
Senior Christopher Brooks may see more carries if Hall can’t go, as the Cougars rely more on the ground attack. Brooks had 164 yards against Stanford to give him 729 yards and five touchdowns on the ground for 2022.
SMU vs BYU Game Injuries
SMU vs BYU Head-to-Head
This will be the fourth-ever meeting between the SMU Mustangs and the BYU Cougars on the gridiron and the second time they’ve met in a bowl game. The Cougars are 3-0 against the Mustangs, including a 19-16 victory in 1997 in the teams’ last matchup.
The previous bowl game was the 1980 Holiday Bowl, which BYU came from behind to win, 46-45. The college football lines for Saturday’s game favor SMU to get its first-ever victory against the Cougars.
SMU vs BYU Game Information
- Game: SMU (7-5) vs BYU (7-5)
- Location: University Stadium, Albuquerque, NM
- Day/Time: Saturday, December 17, 7:30 p.m. ET
- SMU vs BYU Live Stream: ESPN
SMU vs BYU Betting Lines
SMU vs BYU Picks & Prediction
The likelihood that the BYU Cougars won’t have Hall under center makes it hard to bet on the Cougars in this one. The high-powered offense of the SMU Mustangs should be able to propel the team to victory.
When doing your college football betting, take SMU to win and cover.
The SMU Mustangs are listed at -210 in our Vegas NCAAF lines. This means that if you wager $100 on SMU Mustangs, you have a chance to win $48. The BYU Cougars are +175, offering a chance to win $175 on a $100 wager.
The implied probability attached to the betting lines gives SMU Mustangs a 67.74% chance to win, with BYU Cougars at 36.36%.
The odds and predictions in the article are based on the time of writing and publication. They may differ as to when the actual event takes place.
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