SMU at BYU - 12/17/22 College Football Picks and Prediction
BYU Cougars (7-5) vs SMU Mustangs (7-5)
Game Info: Saturday, December 17, 2022 at 7:30 pm (University Stadium)
Betting Odds: BYU Cougars +1.5 -- Over/Under: 70.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds
Where to Watch: ABC Stream live sports and exclusive originals on ESPN+. Sign up now!
The BYU Cougars and the SMU Mustangs will face off in the New Mexico Bowl at University Stadium in Albuquerque this weekend. This will mark the fourth meeting between the Mustangs and the Cougars, and BYU has won all three contests.
SMU defeated Memphis in Week 13 to finish the regular season at 7-5. The Mustangs won four of their final five games to gain bowl eligibility, including a memorable shootout victory over in-state rival Houston. Southern Methodist is scoring 38.4 points per game, while passing for 324.9 yards per game (11th) and rushing for 154.9 ypg (134th). The SMU defense allowed 34.7 points per game.
Tanner Mordecai ended his college career on a really nice note, with his TEN-touchdown performance against Houston going down for the ages. The senior quarterback passed for 3,306 yards with 31 touchdowns to nine interceptions through eleven starts in 2022. Tyler Lavine finished as the team’s leading rusher after finishing with 551 and nine touchdowns. Rashee Rice has an amazing senior season , and he capped it off with a 13-catch, 147-yard performance in the win over Memphis. Rice finished among the nation’s leaders with 96 receptions for 1,355 receiving yards and ten touchdowns.
BYU beat Stanford in Week 13 to wrap the regular season up at 7-5. The Cougars won their final three games to qualify for the postseason, picking up road wins on the blue turf (Boise) and in the palm trees (Stanford). Brigham Young scores 31.9 points per game, while passing for 266.6 yards per game (59th) and rushing for 173.5 ypg (98th). The BYU defense allowed 31.9 points per game.
BYU will head into this one without starter signal caller Jaren Hall, as the junior quarterback is set to miss this game with a sprained ankle. The Cougars did not attempt a single pass after Hall’s exit, but Jacob Conover is set to start in Albuquerque this weekend. Cal transfer Chris Brooks finished as the Cougs leading rusher after gaining 164 yards in the win over Stanford with 725 rushing yards. Puka Nacua was one of the more explosive players in the country this season, catching 48 passes, gaining 834 total yards (625 rec, 209 rush), and scoring ten touchdowns (5 rush, 5 rec).
SMU is 5-7 against the spread this season, with a 5-7 over/under record. BYU is 4-8 ATS this season, with a 8-4 O/U record. BYU is 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games overall.
No Jaren Hall is big here, and I expect a big final game from Tanner Mordecai. The Mustangs momentum towards the end of the season is a good sign heading into this one as well, and the end result just may sum up BYU’s season of dismay. With their starting QB set to sit this one out, fade them here and take SMU’s spread for the New Mexico Bowl this weekend. Give the under a look as well with BYU trotting out their backup quarterback.