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Southern Methodist Mustangs Vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders Free Pick 8/30/13

Texas Tech Red Raiders (8-5) at Southern Methodist Mustangs (7-6)

College Football: Friday, August 30, 2013 at 8:00 pm (Gerald J. Ford Stadium)

The Line: Southern Methodist Mustangs +2.5 --- Over/Under: 63 See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN

The Southern Methodist Mustangs kick off 2013 as they host in-state foe Texas Tech Friday August 30th at 8PM (CST).

SMU lost quite a few key players to graduation this past season but the Mustangs have been successful with transition under June Jones.  The Mustangs finished last year but disposing of Fresno State 43-10 in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl.  The Mustangs defense locked up one of the most potent offenses in the country in Fresno State in their bowl win and they will rely heavily on the seconday where they return everyone and hope to equal or better their record-tying eight interceptions returned for TD’s last season.  On offense, the Mustangs expect some progression from quarterback Garrett Gilbert.  Gilbert threw for just under 3,000 yards and 15 touchdowns last season but was not very opportunistic, often making turnover in key spots.  A key player to keep an eye on is Texas transfer Traylon Snead.  Snead should factor into the running back conversation fairly quickly as camp progresses.

Southern Methodist Mustangs Vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders Free Pick 8/30/13

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Texas Tech Red Raiders have plenty room for optimism and will turn to some key young talent this season to try and build on their 8-5 showing a year ago.  The Red Raiders seem likely to name Michael Brewer the starter at quarterback replacing Seth Doege.  Doege threw for over 4,000 yards and nearly 40 touchdown’s last year -- most of them coming to a number of talented young skill players who all return for the Red Raiders.  Leading the way is wideout Eric Ward -- Ward racked up over 1,000 yards and 12 TD’s last year and will be joined on the outside by Jakeem Grant.  Grant had just shy of 300 yards receiving last year but is expected to take on a bigger role this season.  On D, the Red Raiders will need to focus on the secondary where they will feature four new starters and a ton of uncertainty.  Given their offense’s ability to put up points, if the new guys can step in and be solid, the Red Raiders could push for double digit wins.  A veteran line and linebacking corps should help make the secondary’s transition a little less overwhelming.

Some trends to consider - SMU is 6-0 against the spread in their last 6 home games and the over is 4-0 in Texas Tech’s past 4 games.

This one should be exciting and I expect the scoreboard to reflect that.  The key will be the matchup of Texas Tech’s offense and the Mustangs secondary.  I like a big game from Garrett Gilbert and the SMU secondary being opportunistic as the Mustangs get the win.  I also like the over in this one as both these teams will look to pass early and often.

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SMU +2.5

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