Tulsa Golden Hurricane vs. SMU Mustangs
Date and Time: Friday, October 27, 2017, 9 p.m. ET
Location: Gerald J. Ford Stadium, Dallas, TX
Opening College Football Odds: SMU -10
Tulsa vs. SMU TV Coverage: ESPN2
SMU had every reason to fall on its face against Cincinnati in Week 8. The Mustangs blew leads of 14-10 and 28-20 before ultimately winning in overtime.
The Bearcats pulled off an improbable comeback on the penultimate drive of regulation. They converted a 4th and 26 that led to a 21-yard touchdown pass and a two-point conversion to level things up. In the overtime, though, it was SMU that held strong, coming up with a turnover on defense after kicking a field goal to start the extra period.
That leaves the Mustangs in good shape in the AAC. They almost certainly aren't going to win the conference, but at 5-2 overall and 2-1 in conference, they at least have to be feeling good about themselves for the time being. SMU would just be wise to not look past this foe, because it has three straight comes coming up against UCF, Navy and Memphis that will all be tough to win.
Tulsa's 45-17 win over Houston was made to look rather insensible last week against UConn. Though the Golden Hurricane fought back, they built themselves a 20-0 hole and allowed Bryant Shirreffs to go 23-for-29 for 372 yards. You're not going to win many games when you let the Huskies rack up 441 yards of offense and possess the ball for 33:44.
We can't blame the Golden Hurricane for turning the ball over to Luke Skipper, but we have to wonder if he's really ready for the job of being an FBS starting quarterback. The sophomore is averaging 10.5 yards per pass attempt, but he often looks frazzled in the pocket and chucks balls up aimlessly at times.
Justin Hobbs and Keenen Johnson have bailed out Skipper plenty of times this season at the wide out spot, but their production is just as much a matter of lucky as good.
We just don't get it with Tulsa. Stringing two halves of good football together seems impossible for this team.
Over the course of the last five games, the Golden Hurricane have had at least one half of football being stuck in single-digits. These zeroes on the scoreboard are devastating to try to get past, and the only reason why Tulsa lived to tell about it against Houston was because the Cougars kept shooting themselves in the foot in that first half of play and were lucky to get out of the half up 10-7.
It seems like when it rains, it pours on the Golden Hurricane, and it'll be up to SMU to figure out how to slow this speedy offense down to let its offense go to work.
Tulsa vs. SMU Free Picks
Ben Hicks and the SMU offensive have been fabulous this season. The Mustangs rank No. 13 in the nation in total offense and No. 8 in scoring. Hicks is one his way to a 3,000-yard season, and he has three wide receivers and three running backs that are all likely to finish with at least 600 yards.
Given our choice of the total, we'd easily play the over in this game. Tulsa's offense is good enough to score three or four touchdowns in a half of football if given the chance, and even if it only plays one good half, that should be enough to get it to the number.
However, with just a spread to play as of the publication of this article at all of the top online sportsbooks, we'll give the points with SMU. Tulsa's defense probably won't be coming up with all that many stops.
College Football ATS Pick: SMU -10 at BookMaker.eu
College Football Score Prediction: SMU 52, Tulsa 30