SMU vs

Boston College

at Boston
Thu, Dec 28
8:00 AM Pacific
Rotation: 249
Odds: Boston College +10.5, Total: 47

Game Analysis

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Southern Methodist (-10)  30   Boston College  22

I don’t know how fired up SMU players will be to be playing a .500 Boston College team when they were hoping for a New Year’s 6 bowl game as the highest rated Group of 5 team (they fell 1 spot short to Liberty). SMU’s only two losses were in September road games at Oklahoma and at TCU while BC rolls into this game on a 3 game losing skid by an average margin of 20 points. Recent results are not an indication of the Eagles struggling in this game as Bowl underdogs on a 3 games or more losing streak are 9-1 ATS against a team that has comes into the bowl game on a straight up and spread win streak – and 8 of those 10 slumping dogs won straight up.

SMU’s offense was playing at an elite level for a 5 week stretch from week 9 through week 13 but quarterback Preston Stone was injured and Kevin Jennings managed just 5.7 yards per pass play against Tulane in the AAC Championship Game win (the offense averaged only 5.1 yppl). Jennings isn’t bad but he was 0.2 yppp below average on his 60 pass plays this season and hasn’t shown the big-play ability that Stone had (15.5 yards per completion for Stone and just 11.5 ypc for Jennings).

I do expect Jennings to post good numbers in this game against a bad BC pass defense (7.6 yppp allowed to quarterbacks that would combine to average just 6.3 yppp against an average defense) that is even worse now without two injured starters in the secondary, including their only good defensive player. Cornerback Elijah Jones was injured in week 10 and will miss this game after missing the final 3 games of the regular season. Jones was Boston College’s only impact defensive player, as he had 5 interceptions and 13 total passes defended in just 9 games. Next on team in total passes defended is just 3 and one of the three players who accomplished that, safety Cole Batson, is also out with injury. In the 3 games without Jones the Eagles allowed 9.5 yards per pass play and allowed a 5.7% higher completion percentage than they had in the 9 games with Jones. I don’t think the pass defense is going to be that bad, but I value Jones and Batson at 2.5 points in this game – mostly due to Jones, who has 5 of the team’s 8 interceptions and 38% of the team’s total passes defended. BC is also worse than average defending the run (5.8 yprp allowed to teams that would average 5.4 yprp) and SMU will likely lean on the ground game more than usual as they did against Tulane in Jennings only other start. I project 417 yards at 6.4 yppl for SMU in this game, with an adjustment for the wind and rain expected in Boston on Thursday morning.

The Boston College offense rates at 0.1 yppl worse than average and will be up against an SMU defense that’s been 0.7 yppl better than average this season (4.7 yppl allowed to teams that would combine to average 5.4 yppl against an average defense). I project just 337 yards at 4.8 yppl for the Eagles.

The math favors SMU by 9.2 points and 51.6 total points without adjusting for this game being played in the Eagles’ home city, which is probably worth a bit.

  • Team Stats
  • Game Log
  • SMU
  • Boston College


  • Run Plays 37.3 31.7
  • Run Yards 189.8 143.5
  • YPRP 5.1 4.5


  • Pass Comp 18.6 19.5
  • Pass Att 31.5 32.9
  • Comp % 59.3% 59.1%
  • Pass Yards 272.6 201.2
  • Sacks 1.4 3.6
  • Sack Yards 8.9 20.6
  • Sack % 4.1% 9.7%
  • Pass Plays 32.8 36.5
  • Net Pass Yards 263.7 180.5
  • YPPP 8.0 5.0


  • Total Plays 70.1 68.2
  • Total Yards 453.6 324.0
  • YPPL 6.5 4.8


  • Int 0.6 0.9
  • Int % 2.0% 2.8%
  • Fumbles 0.4 0.5
  • Turnovers 1.0 1.4
  • Points 40.6 17.4
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