Houston vs. SMU prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins the matchup between the Cougars and Mustangs.
Houston vs. SMU Game Preview
When: Saturday, October 22 – 7:00 p.m. ET
Where: Gerald J. Ford Stadium, Dallas, TX
TV Broadcast: ESPN2
Houston struggled with Tulsa last week, ultimately surviving in a 38-31 victory. Quarterback Greg Ward Jr. was kept out of the end zone, but running back Dillon Birden filled the void with three rushing touchdowns. The defense was generous to Tulsa through the air, allowing 365 passing yards.
SMU had a bye week after losing its last three, including a close three-point loss against the same Tulsa team the Cougars just beat. Quarterback Ben Hicks has been so-so this year, throwing six touchdowns with nine interceptions.
What To Know About Houston
The Cougars came out a bit flat after the loss against Navy and let a decent Tulsa team hang around with them. Despite scoring a touchdown, Ward Jr. was still the catalyst, rushing for 142 yards while passing for 254. He will have a field day against the SMU defense that ranks No. 109 in the nation in total defense, allowing 454.8 yards per game.
Houston is still nasty in defense, despite the last two games of allowing a combined 77 points in the last two games. The Cougars allow only 298.7 yards per game.
What to Know About SMU
The SMU offense has had trouble putting points on the board all season, scoring just 23.2 points per game. Hicks has to be better with his choices when throwing the ball, as the nine interceptions are killer. The rushing game needs a spark as well, with only five touchdowns coming on the ground this season.
The defense has been shredded all season, and stopping the high-powered Cougars might be too much to ask. The Mustangs must force some turnovers to stay in this game.
Offense: Houston. Still as explosive, but not getting as much publicity after the loss.
Defense: Houston. The last two games have been tough on the Cougars defense. Look for them to rebound against SMU.
Special Teams: Tie. Both field goal kickers have been solid on field goal attempts.
Coaching: Houston. May the highest bidder come on down for the Tom Herman Sweepstakes!
Intangibles: Houston. The Cougars can still accomplish a lot this season.
Matchup To Watch
Greg Ward Jr. vs. SMU defense
He’s going to get his yards. The Mustangs need to contain him from breaking out completely.
Houston vs. SMU Betting Odds
Spread: Houston -21
Houston vs. SMU Prediction
SMU just doesn’t have the horsepower (sorry, lame pun) to keep up with Ward Jr. and the Cougars. Once again, Houston might come out flat since the College Football Playoff is off the table, but the overall talent will take over. I would bet all of my ponies (okay, did it again) on a Houston win.
Houston vs. SMU Score Prediction: Houston 51, SMU 21