SMU vs. North Texas fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Saturday, September 1
Game Time: 7:30 pm ET
Venue: Apogee Stadium, Denton, TX
SMU (0-0) vs. North Texas (0-0) Game Preview
How much fun do you want to have in an afternoon?
Not only will SMU vs. North Texas be – most likely – the most exciting game of offensive fireworks in Week 1, but it’s followed up by a pro wrestling event.
The two teams combined for almost 800 passing yards in the firefight of a 54-32 SMU win, and it should be every bit as fun this time around.
It’s the beginning of the Sonny Dykes era at SMU, taking over for now-Arkansas head man Chad Morris, and looking to take the already great passing game to another level. Coming off a bowl season, the expectations are there to at least be a factor in the American Athletic title chase.
North Texas isn’t just supposed to be a player in Conference USA; it’s supposed to push Florida Atlantic for the title.
For two schools just 40 miles apart, this should be under-the-radar interesting for the DFW area, and again, in terms of purely fun college football games, it’s going to be worth paying attention to on a national scale, too.
One Reason Why SMU Will Win
If you liked the SMU offense before, you’re going to love what’s coming.
Yeah, the receiving corps loses Courtland Sutton and Trey Quinn, but Ben Hicks is now a veteran bomber coming off a 33-touchdown season operating a Sonny Dykes offense – this is going to be fun.
There are more than enough good targets back, the running backs can catch, and the offensive line that was good in pass protection should be solid again.
The offense will be able to keep up the pace throughout, and it might just be even more dangerous than the one that managed almost 500 yards and couldn’t be slowed down in last year’s game. But …
One Reason Why North Texas Will Win
The SMU defense might be options again.
To be fair, a lot of teams bombed away to try keeping up, but with a secondary that had to spend the offseason getting healthy, and a run defense that has to prove it can stop someone from cranking out massive chunks on a regular basis, there’s a lot of work to do.
SMU finished 121st in the nation in total defense, and the high-powered North Texas offense isn’t going to make that any better.
QB Mason Fine is coming off a 4,000+ yard passing season, almost all of the receivers are back, and four starters return up front. As long as Fine isn’t throwing a ton of picks – he gave up 15 last season and two in the loss to SMU – watch out. Hitting the 400-yard mark won’t be a problem.
What’s Going To Happen
Like last year, expect more than 80 points, about a 1,000 yards of total offense, and big play after big play.
SMU is rebuilding just enough to allow North Texas to make it a whole lot closer than the early meeting of 2017, but the Mean Green defense will be just a wee bit stronger than the Mustang version in crunch time.
It’s a cliché, but it probably fits – last team with the ball wins.
Fearless Prediction & Line
North Texas 48, SMU 42
Line: North Texas -3.5, o/u: 70.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 1
Must See Rating: 4
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