SMU vs


at Albuquerque
Sat, Dec 17
4:30 PM Pacific
Rotation: 209
Odds: BYU +4, Total: 64

Game Analysis

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Lean – Over (64) – Southern Methodist (-4)  36   Brigham Young  32

It appears that BYU’s star quarterback Jaren Hall will be out, and top receiver Puka Nacua may join him on the sideline. SMU, meanwhile, will be without leading receiver Rashee Rice but replacing Rice is not the biggest issue, as his 8.6 yards per target (on 158 targets) and 48% success rate is below average for this team. The real loss for the Mustangs is the absence of explosive receivers Dylan Goffney and Jake Bailey, who have combined for 574 yards at an incredible 15.9 yards per target with a 74% success rate.

SMU’s offense probably won’t be as good as it’s been throughout the season, but I still rate the Mustangs’ attack at 0.2 yards per play better than average without the receivers and NFL caliber OL Jaylon Thomas and that’s more than good enough to take advantage of a sub-par BYU defense (6.0 yppl allowed to teams that would combine to average 5.8 yppl to an average team) that has struggled even more down the stretch without two starting linebackers (Wilgar and Tooley) and their best linebacker, and leading tackler, Keenan Pili has opted out of this game. I project SMU’s up tempo attack to rack up 504 yards at 6.6 yards per play in this game.

BYU should be able to keep up even with third-string quarterback Cade Fennegan at the controls with Hall unlikely to play and backup Conover transferring. Fennegan had one start two seasons ago for Boise State against #9 BYU and performed at a respectable level (6.4 yards per pass play). Even with some improvement expected in the two years since then I still rate Fennegan as an average FBS quarterback, which is 1.1 yppp worse than Hall and with more interceptions expected. What BYU will be able to do is run the ball, as Christopher Brooks (729 yards at 6.6 ypr) is healthy again and ready to be the workhorse against a soft SMU defensive front that’s allowed 224 rushing yards at 5.9 yards per rushing play this season (against teams that would average 5.1 yprp against an average defense). SMU is not good defending the pass (0.1 yppp worse than average) but the Cougars will likely run the ball a lot in this game to take pressure off the backup QB. That strategy should work, as I project BYU to average 6.3 yprp in this game (and Fennegan to average 6.7 yppp) and for the Cougars to gain 456 yards at 6.5 yppl.

The total on this game opened at 74 points and has come down 10 points despite good weather expected in Albuquerque (just 4 mph wins). My math model has projected 73 total points prior to the adjustments, and I project 68.2 points after all of the adjustments (and adjusting for weather) even with BYU expected to play at a slower pace with more run plays likely. I don’t see any value on the side, as I favor SMU by 4.3 points. I’ll lean Over 64.5 points or less.

  • Team Stats
  • Game Log
  • SMU
  • BYU


  • Run Plays 34.6 38.0
  • Run Yards 167.3 223.8
  • YPRP 4.8 5.9


  • Pass Comp 25.4 18.3
  • Pass Att 39.7 31.8
  • Comp % 64.1% 57.5%
  • Pass Yards 324.0 243.4
  • Sacks 1.5 2.3
  • Sack Yards 9.7 14.8
  • Sack % 3.6% 6.6%
  • Pass Plays 41.2 34.0
  • Net Pass Yards 314.3 228.7
  • YPPP 7.6 6.7


  • Total Plays 75.8 72.0
  • Total Yards 481.6 452.4
  • YPPL 6.4 6.3


  • Int 0.8 0.8
  • Int % 2.1% 2.4%
  • Fumbles 0.8 0.7
  • Turnovers 1.6 1.4
  • Points 38.4 34.7
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