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DAWGS PREVIEW SMU @ MEMPHIS



The SMU Mustangs (8-2 6-0 AAC) will travel to Memphis, TN to face the Memphis Tigers (8-2 5-1 AAC). SMU -8.5 O/U 66.5



BROADCAST INFORMATION:


- 12:00 PM Eastern Time Kickoff on ESPN2

- Beth Mowins and Kirk Morrison will be on the call for ESPN2 and Stormy Buonatony will be on the sideline.

- On the SMU side radio: FM 96.7 and AM 1310.

- On the Memphis side radio: FM 98.9.


WHAT’S AT STAKE?


Both teams are 8-2 on the year but SMU is undefeated in conference, tied for first with Tulane and UTSA. Memphis is in fourth place having only lost one conference game. The Mustangs control their own destiny as they do not play Tulane or UTSA. With Tulane and UTSA facing off in the final weekend of the season, one of those schools will end up with a loss. SMU does not want to be left out of the AAC Championship game due to a tiebreaker. If Memphis wins they will move up to at least 3rd in the AAC. Their one conference loss is to Tulane, so to make the AAC Championship Game they will need to win out and hope that UTSA loses to Tulane next weekend.

KEY PLAYERS - SMU


QB Preston Stone – 58.6% passes completed, 2,589 yards, 23 TD, 6 INT. Stone has also chipped in 197 rushing yards and 3 rushing TD.

The entire SMU wide receiver room – SMU has had 23 different players record a catch in 2023. Jake Bailey leads in receptions with 32 and yards with 414, but he has yet to find the end zone. RJ Maryland leads with six receiving touchdowns.



Key players - Memphis


QB Seth Henigan – 66.3% passes completed for 2,864 yards with 22 TD, and 8 INT. Henigan is also 3rd on the team with 229 rushing yards and 4 rushing TD.

RB Blake Watson – 909 rushing yards, 12 rushing TD, 43 catches for 393 yards, 2 receiving TD.


KEY MATCHUPS


SMU’s pass offense against the Memphis pass defense. SMU is 21st in the country averaging 284.8 passing yards per game. The Memphis pass defense is ranked 95th in the country, giving up 242.2 per game. As stated above, SMU spreads the ball out amongst all of their playmakers. I’ll say it again, 23 different Mustangs have recorded a catch this season. Memphis is 32nd in the country with 10 interceptions, so they are capable of creating turnovers.


Memphis’ pass offense, which is 14th in the nation with 296.5 passing yards per game against the SMU secondary. Henigan is hitting a high percentage of passes and the way Memphis uses Watson can be dangerous for the SMU defense. However, Memphis is 75th in the nation with nine interceptions thrown. SMU’s pass defense is 13th in the nation, only giving up 173.8 yards per game. The Mustangs are sixth in the nation with an average of 3.5 sacks per game, led by defensive lineman Elijah Roberts, who has 8.5 sacks, tied for 13th.


PREDICTION:


This is going to be a shootout! Two Air Raid-style types of offense going at it. SMU has the stronger defense but Memphis can run the ball better than SMU. The Mustangs distribute the ball incredibly well, have I mentioned TWENTY-THREE different Mustangs have registered a catch? Memphis will keep it close in the first half, but I think SMU is just too good offensively and will pull away with a win in the second half. SMU 41 Memphis 27. SMU gets the win, covers, and the over!

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