SMU vs Memphis : An American Athletic battle is on tap Saturday between the No. 15 SMU Mustangs and the No. 24 Memphis Tigers at 7:30 p.m. ET at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium. Memphis is 7-1 overall and 4-0 at home, while SMU is 8-0 overall and 4-0 on the road. Memphis is 5-3 against the spread this season, while SMU is 6-2 against the spread. The Tigers are favored by six points in the latest Memphis vs. SMU odds, while the over-under is set at 71.5. Before entering any SMU vs. Memphis picks, you’ll want to see the college football predictions from the model at SportsLine.
College Gameday is featuring a pair of nationally ranked teams in the American Athletic Conference. Both of these teams are a combined, 15-1 this season. SMU has struggled against the Tigers in recent years. Its last win against Memphis was 2013. Over the past five matchups, the Mustangs have been outscored against the Tigers, 80-258. This year, that all changes. Junior quarterback Shane Buechele has brought SMU back to its respectable level of college football. The transfer from the Texas Longhorns has been playing phenomenal football this season throwing for over 2000 yards and leading the team to an undefeated season thus far. Both of these teams average over 40 points per game and have struggled to stop opposing offenses. This game will be a shootout to say the least. The key factor in this one will be decided by who gets off to a fast start and avoiding turnovers. Memphis had two turnovers last week and barely got by Tulsa. They won’t be so lucky this time around.
SMU vs. Memphis: SMU: 41 Memphis: 35
Tavian: This week we look towards to College Gameday of the week SMU Mustangs versus the Memphis Tigers. This games implication means a lot because whoever wins might just end up in a New Year 6 bowl game. Junior Quarterback transfer from Texas, Shane Buechele has had an excellent season for the Mustangs by throwing for over 2000 yards and completing for about 63% of his passes. SMU averages 43 points per game, while giving up about 28 points per game. Memphis junior Quarterback comes into this game completing almost 70% of his passes. Memphis averages 39 points a game and gives up about 23 behind its solid defense, but ultimately this game will come down to special teams. SMU has had trouble kicking field goals and extra points and even protecting the ball on punts. This game will be a shootout, but with SMU’s special team woes, I’m giving this one to Memphis.
College Game Day is in Memphis for Saturday’s American Athletic Conference West Division showdown between the the 23rd ranked Memphis Tigers and the 15th ranked Mustangs of SMU.
The party starts bright and early at 8 a.m. downtown on Beale Street as the stage is set for ESPN’s Rece Davis, Kirk Herbstsreit, Lee Corso and company to do their thing for three hours straight right here in the Bluff City!
“We’re fired up to get out here, we think it’s going to be a tremendous scene,” said Davis. “This is one of the iconic spots in the entire country and to have our show associated with it and to have a marquee game on Saturday night, it’s going to be fun!”
Desmond Howard says ESPN chose the Bluff City for a reason.
“Y’know, it’s not a charity case, we’re not here by accident,” he said. “Memphis has deserved this opportunity and we’re glad to put the spotlight on Memphis.”
David Pollack says this game will be one to keep an eye, much like other Tigers’ games–Saturday’s should be interesting.
“Never turn a Memphis game off, because you never know what’s gonna happen…good, bad, right, wrong, indifferent. Replays.. missed field goals, whatever’s gonna happen will happen,” said Pollack.
Those looking for the delightful chaos that has branded college football over the past couple of Saturdays might want to look away this Saturday: The Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 5 teams in the Associated Press poll all have the weekend off (No. 1 LSU and No. 2 Alabama meet next Saturday, so get ready), while No. 2 Clemson gets a pseudo-bye week against FCS-level Wofford. There are only two games featuring two ranked teams, and one of them involves the AAC (which is probably a better thing, these days, than the game involving two teams from the ACC). So rest up for the stretch run.
The University of Memphis announced on Friday night that Saturday’s game between Memphis and SMU is officially sold out. The Memphis-SMU matchup is the first time Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium has sold out since October 17, 2015 when the Tigers hosted Ole Miss.
With ESPN’s College GameDay set to be on Beale Street Saturday morning and the game slated for ABC’s primetime slot (6:30 CT), the excitement surrounding the game is massive.
Coming into the game, the Tigers are ranked No. 24 in the country in the Associated Press Top 25 with a 7-1 record, and the Mustangs are No. 15 and hold an 8-0 record.
Oh boy, talk about a gem on this week’s schedule, SMU’s trip to Memphis is my choice for the game I really gotta’ see. The No. 15 Mustangs are undefeated and coming off a tough AAC win in Houston last week, while the No. 24 Tigers can get a leg up on the conference’s West Division with a victory.
One of two matchups pitting ranked teams, with Georgia-Florida the other and also part of our free college football picks lineup, Memphis was sent out favored by a field goal before the spread was driven up to -5½ at some shops. In a contest that features two of the top-scoring teams in the nation, the total has been set at 70.
Both Sides Coming Off Narrow Victories
Southern Methodist survived its trip to Houston last week, building a 15-point lead early in the third quarter before settling for a 34-31 win to stay undefeated. Shane Buechele threw for two scores to up his total to 20 touchdown passes, 10th in the country, and Xavier Jones ran topped the 100-yard rushing mark for the fourth consecutive week.
The Mustangs came out of the game in relatively good health, though they could be without deep threat Reggie Roberson Jr. The junior wideout left the Houston game with only one catch due to a leg injury, and is questionable for Saturday night.
Memphis also survived a tough road test at Tulsa, needing a late touchdown to leave with a 42-41 triumph in a contest BetOnline closed the Tigers as 10-point chalk. Up by 14 late in the second quarter, Memphis watched its lead disappear behind a strong offensive performance by the Golden Hurricane who amassed close to 600 yards of offense.
Brady White completed 15-of-25 passes and two scores, leaving him with 20 TD aerials to sit tied with SMU’s Buechele. Freshman Kenneth Gainwell ran for 149 yards and three touchdowns, his 6th-straight 100+ yard effort of the campaign.
Tigers Seeking 6th-Straight Win In Rivalry
This series has belonged to Memphis in recent years, with the Tigers winning the last five matchups and covering each decision as the favorite on NCAAF odds boards. Last year’s clash in Dallas saw the Tigers break open a close contest with a couple of 4th-quarter touchdowns to secure a 28-18 final.
That one was also expected to be a shootout with a 74-point total, but never even reached the halfway point of that number thanks in part to the two sides combining to turn it over five times. Two years ago in Memphis, the game lived up to the hype in a 66-45 Tigers triumph.
Clear skies and a game-time reading around 50° on the thermometer is the Saturday evening forecast for Bluff City. The matchup will have a little extra hype with ESPN’s College GameDay in Memphis, and I’m playing the ‘under’ in this battle of ranked AAC squads.