College football is officially back with a slate of six games being played on Saturday. After much speculation, some conferences have decided to play, while others backed out, and some are still trying to figure out a Plan B. The SMU Mustangs have their eyes on a big season behind former Texas Longhorn quarterback, Shane Buechele. All eyes are on Buechele to lead the Mustangs to a memorable season in Texas.
SMU is coming off a 10-3 season under head coach Sonny Dykes. They capped the season off with a 52-28 loss against the FAU Owls in the Boca Raton Bowl in December. Disappointing performance for SMU, but they were playing against a team playing at home, and didn’t look like the most motivated squad out there during bowl season. With talent returning for SMU, they are thinking AAC Championship and beyond.
Expectations are high for SMU this season. They provided a glimpse into what could be for this team in 2019. The key for the Mustangs is going to be their defense. Buechele is going to have this offense scoring points and scoring them often. However, the Mustangs lost talent defensively, and will have some key contributors to replace. That’s especially true up front, where they had plenty of disruptors on their defensive line.
The recruiting class has been strong for Dykes, though, and SMU are confident with what they have going into 2020. They were scheduled to get a real test next week against the TCU Horned Frogs, but that game has been postponed after several Horned Frogs tested positive for Covid-19. The good news for SMU is that there is no looking ahead to next week.
They can just go about their business and concern themselves with Texas State. You could have made the argument that Texas State could compete in this one because the Mustangs had their eyes on TCU, but that is not the case now. SMU won a shootout last year against TCU by a score of 41-38. They can focus on beating the Horned Frogs in back-to-back years later in the season. The Bobcats enter Saturday following a tight quarterback battle in camp. Texas State is just hoping for progress following a 3-9 season in the Sun Belt. Head below for our free SMU vs. Texas State pick for September 5, 2020.
SMU Mustangs vs. Texas State Bobcats NCAAF Betting Odds:
SMU Mustangs vs. Texas State Bobcats Prediction:
The Mustangs were one of the most prolific offenses in the country in 2019. They piled on the points to a tune of 41.8 points scored per game for 7th in the nation. Shane Buechele wasn’t a terrible quarterback at Texas, and his experience in the Big 12 paid off big time against inferior opponents in the AAC.
Buechele passed for 3,929 yards and 34 touchdowns in his first season with the Mustangs. He also turned the ball over with 10 interceptions, which was acceptable. Cutting down to single-digit interceptions would impress NFL scouts. Throwing to Reggie Roberson should make his life pretty easy back in the pocket. Expect Roberson to have a big game for the Mustangs out of the gate today.
Sonny Dykes has indicated that SMU wants to go faster this season. More short and intermediate routes to wear out of the defense and pick up chunk yardage here and there. SMU has an offense built to go fast, and I think Buechele is the perfect pilot to have at the reins. If the Mustangs follow through and do go warp speed, expect to see big numbers on the board for Buechele in 2020, including today against the Bobcats.
Texas State gave up 416 yards and 32.6 points per game a season ago. The only standout defender on the Bobcats is Jarron Morris. If the Mustangs can stay away from him, their biggest playmaker, Buechele should be able to do whatever he wants. Texas State is the perfect tune-up defense for SMU in their opener. The Bobcats will be forced to play keep up offensively, but I don’t foresee that happening for a Texas State team that is uncertain at quarterback.
The Bobcats are young offensively and are just looking for signs of progress this season. SMU has to replace talent up front, so that helps, but not so sure Brady McBride can do much to take advantage. He will be making the first start of his career after transferring from Memphis.
McBridge appeared in one game in 2018, completing 8 passes for 88 yards and an interception. Texas State is raw and looking to develop, while SMU feels they’re in a position to be the best team in the nation outside of the Power Five. They have some defensive kinks to work out, but it’s likely not going to be evident against Texas State on Saturday. I like a 45-17 win for the SMU Mustangs in their season opener.