The Memphis Tigers are up for bowl consideration after wins over ECU and Tulsa in the previous two weeks. Southern Methodist are on a two-game winning streak as well, but they still need one more to entre bowl eligibility. They welcome Memphis in Week 12 and then conclude the regular season with a trip to Tulsa to face the Hurricane. Having to say goodbye to Courtland Sutton was a blow to the SMU program. Drafted by the Denver Broncos in the most recent draft, Sutton was a force in the Mustangs’ offense.
They’ve found a new stroke in their offense recently, though, as the Mustangs have put up monster numbers recently. James Proche has gone into the No. 1 role pretty well in the absence of Sutton. Porsche enters Friday night with 882 receiving yards and 9 touchdowns. A couple of solid games will push him over the 1,000-yard mark. He has already surpassed his career-high of 816 yards from a season ago.
Ben Hicks is still at SMU in his junior season. He has been performing well, and most importantly of all, is that Hicks has limited his turnovers. He’s thrown 16 touchdowns and 4 interceptions, so protecting the ball has been a strong point for him. His numbers are down overall, but they are still putting up points because he is avoiding interceptions.
With the Mustangs on a roll offensively, Memphis will be under pressure to play competently on defense. It’s been hit and miss for them, with mostly misses against good offenses, and hits against bad offenses that they can take advantage of. SMU just allowed 50 points to UConn this past week, so they can’t be feeling good about their effort in that one. Memphis will attack with a powerful combo of Brady White at quarterback, and one of the best runners in the nation, Darrell Henderson touting the rock. Henderson is averaging just under 10 yards per carry at 9.2 to go, with his 1,446 yards rushing and 283 yards receiving with a combined 20 touchdowns. The SMU defense is going to have to work in this game to contain the two. Head below for our free Memphis vs. SMU pick.
Memphis Tigers vs. SMU Mustangs NCAAF Betting Odds:
vs. SMU +8.5(-110)
Betting odds provided by Sportsbetting.ag
Memphis vs. SMU Pick:
Along with Henderson running like a battering ram for Memphis, they also have Brady White, an Arizona State transfer, dicing up secondaries at quarterback. White has connected for 22 touchdowns and only 3 interceptions. In his last two games, he has thrown 5 touchdowns with no interceptions. His only time struggling this season was against Navy and Missouri.
Against inferior competition, he’s touched them up pretty nicely. Memphis are 6th in the FBS with 532 yards per game and scoring a whopping 44.6 points per game. The 44.6 points puts them in elite company with teams like Clemson, Oklahoma, and Alabama.
SMU are 98th defensively, with 432 yards allowed per game and 36.8 points. I’m not exactly sure what they will be able to draw up to slow down White and Henderson. They’re allowing over 200 yards per game on the ground and that is certainly going to go up against Memphis. No one has shown any ability to slow Henderson down and the Mustangs do not have the kind of talent to be the team to do it. Note that SMU have allowed 81 points the past two weeks.
The only thing going for SMU in this game is that the Memphis defense is beatable. They are going to be able to hold down Hicks and company all game. Like I said, Hicks has been careful with the ball and doesn’t give the other team many takeaways, nor does White.
Memphis have allowed 39.5 points per game in their last four games. Overall, they’re 65th with 401 yards per game, so expect opportunities to be there for the SMU offense on Friday night. This has the makings of a back-and-forth affair, with SMU needed to air it out to keep up with White and Henderson. With that in mind, the OVER looks like a solid play in this spot.