Washington State vs Southern Methodist University Free Week 3 College Football Pick
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Cougars at Mustangs Matchup
Saturday September 18 – 3:30PM
Gerald J. Ford Stadium
Washington State (1-1) vs SMU (1-1)
Moneyline: SMU -1800, Washington State +1100
Spread Favourite: SMU -23
Over/Under: None listed yet
(Odds courtesy of SportsInteraction)
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Given how far this program has fallen it is hard to imagine that this team won 10 games 3 years in a row 2001-2003. Last year they had only a single victory but it was against this week’s opponent SMU in overtime. How bad were they last year? Every single one of their losses was by more than 13 points. Last year they had no FCS squads on the schedule but this year they scheduled Montana State for an easy victory. Except it wasn’t, they won by a single point. A point that is likely to separate them from a winless season.
The highest rated recruit on the team is RB James Montgomery, who began his career at Cal but transferred. Why is anybody’s guess but at one time he was considered the 21st best RB in America. For them to have a chance in this game or any other they have to establish the running game. The O-Line is stocked with juniors and seniors. They may not be the most talented group but they have to suck it up and create some holes for Montgomery. Without the threat of a running game. QB Jeff Tuel, who is good at protecting the ball, doesn’t have a chance.
Lets face it. If Washington State wins another game this season it will be a surprise. This week especially so because SMU is looking to avenge last year’s suprise loss in Pullman. Last year’s results aside SMU is tough for WSU because of their potent offense. Washington State struggles to score more than any team in the nation so even if they can grab the lead they are easy to catch up to. This one could be ugly.
The Mustangs rebounded from an opening week disappointment against Texas Tech with a very solid win against conference opponent UAB. Not normally known for their defense they held the Blazers to just 261 yards, they were only that stingy once last year. If this team can just play average defense they are going to be in and win a lot of ball games this season.
SMU flipped the script last week against UAB. They rushed for 247 yards, ripping off an amazing 6.7 yards per carry. This dominance let them control the clock which is a stat not usually important to a June Jones club. His numbers were not that impressive but QB Kyle Padron was efficient and threw for two TDs with no picks. He was also in the runnning mood with 66 yards on the ground. Impressive considering he had all of 42 net yards a year ago. If he can make a play or two with his legs per game this offense becomes even tougher to stymie.
SMU has to be careful this week as they might be looking ahead to next week’s opponent TCU. A win next week would make their whole season while a loss this week would destroy it. It is easy to forget that all the players in these games are just kids and thus susceptible to major mental letdowns. Lucky for SMU the revenge factor in this one should be enough to keep them focused this week, at least for the half it will take to put this game out of reach.
The Pick: SMU should have no trouble making easy work of Wazzu. The spread on this one seems about right which limits the value here. I usually avoid big favourites but if I had to make a pick I would back the Mustangs.
College Football Gambling Trends
Cougars are 2-10 ATS in their last 12 games in September.
Mustangs are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 non-conference games.
Over is 11-4 in Cougars last 15 games in September.
Over is 16-5 in Mustangs last 21 games following a S.U. win.
Score Prediction: SMU 45 – Washington State 17
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