Saturday, November 14, 2020, Skelly Field at H.A. Chapman Stadium, Tulsa, Oklahoma, 7 p.m. ET
Mustangs at Golden Hurricane Betting Preview: Mustangs (+3), Golden Hurricane (-3)
SMU Mustangs Betting Preview
No. 19 SMU goes into Saturday’s game knowing it cannot afford another conference loss if the Mustangs (7-1, 4-1 American Athletic Conference) are going to catch league leader Cincinnati. They already have lost to the Bearcats.
At Tulsa, the Mustangs will be facing a mystery opponent that has had six games affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, including two cancellations. With eight results in the bank, the Mustangs could spend a handful of idle weeks watching the rest of the competition slug it out for league positioning.
“There are so many games that have yet to be played in our league,” Mustangs coach Sonny Dykes said. “Who knows how all of this stuff is going to play out?
“And then there’s probably, after we wrap up our season, maybe some teams that are playing for two more weeks. There’s just so many unknowns right now so your approach has to be a game-by-game approach.
“Our guys are aware of what’s going on for sure. We won’t talk about it much. I don’t know if there’ll be any extra emphasis on this, but they’ll be aware of the standings.”
The Mustangs are equally reliant upon talent and maturity to navigate the uncertain waters ahead. Senior quarterback Shane Buechele provides a healthy heaping of both, leading FBS in completions (189), attempts (283) and passing yards (2,581), while ranking sixth in passing touchdowns (20) and 20th in passing efficiency (164.6). Buechele has just three interceptions.
The Texas transfer could have a greater profile than he currently sports. If the Mustangs keep winning, their results and the play of their signal-caller will be exceedingly difficult to ignore.
“If anybody does their homework and actually watches the games and they watch Shane play, it’s going to be pretty obvious what kind of football player he is,” Dykes said. “You turn the game on and he’s just productive. He makes good decisions with the ball, he’s accurate, he’s a great leader. He wants to win.
“He’s done everything we’ve asked him to do from the moment he set foot on campus. He’s made everyone around him better and has really been a catalyst for improving our program. I think he deserves national attention.”
Tulsa Golden Hurricane Betting Preview
Unranked Tulsa (3-1, 2-0 AAC) is off to its best conference start in its seven years in the AAC and will play its first game since a 34-30 win over East Carolina on Oct. 30.
That contest represented the latest home opener in program history after the Hurricane had three prior home games either canceled or postponed.
What amounts to an unbalanced schedule seems to put the Hurricane at a disadvantage. But given the circumstances of this unusual season, Tulsa isn’t complaining.
“For us, we’re just excited for getting on the field again,” Hurricane coach Philip Montgomery said. “They’ve played eight games, we’ve played four, so obviously it’s a different scenario for the two of us as we look at our seasons and where we’re at and where we’re wanting to be.”
Quarterback Zach Smith has been a big spark for Tulsa’s offense. He has completed just under 60 percent of his 118 pass attempts and has five interceptions but also has averaged over 211 yards a game passing with seven touchdowns.
His favorite targets have been Keylon Stokes with 20 catches for 306 yards and Josh Johnson with 17 receptions for 212. They, along with Juan Carlos Santana (10-158), have two touchdown receptions each.
Mustangs at Golden Hurricane Betting Pick for November 14, 2020
The Mustangs are looking for a ninth road win since the start of the 2010 season. They hold a 15-11 advantage in the series, though the two teams have split the last four games. The Mustangs won 43-37 in triple overtime last year with Buechele passing for 280 yards and two touchdowns, lost 27-24 in 2018, won 38-34 in 2017, and lost 43-40 in 2016.
Mustangs at Golden Hurricane Betting Pick:
Mustangs 41, Golden Hurricane 27
Mustangs at Golden Hurricane Best Bet for November 14, 2020
The average score of the last seven meetings between these two teams is 35-34 with the advantage to Tulsa with four wins over that span. SMU as averaged 40.5 points a game in eight outings this season to 29.2 for Tulsa in four games.
Mustangs at Golden Hurricane Best Bet: OVER 63.5