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TCU Horned Frogs vs. Southern Methodist Mustangs Free Pick 9/28/13

Southern Methodist Mustangs (1-2) at TCU Horned Frogs (1-2)

NCAAF Football: Saturday, September 28, 2013 at 12:00 pm (Amon Carter Stadium)

The Line: TCU Horned Frogs -19.5 -- Over/Under:52.5 See the Latest Odds


Storyline: TCU hasn’t taken the field in almost two weeks now and were upended 20-10 by a loaded Texas Tech team the last time they did. In short, the Horned Frogs knocked true freshman QB Baker Mayfield out of the game, only to be burned by another true freshman QB, Davis Webb, who came on in relief and threw the game-winner. TCU now sits at 1-2 after also dropping its season-opener to LSU. SMU, meanwhile, also sits at 1-2 after a 42-13 rout at the hands of Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M Saturday.

The Breakdown: The Horned Frogs couldn’t have envisioned a more tumultuous beginning to their 2013 campaign. This was to be Casey Pachall’s time to shine after a 2012 cut short by suspension following his arrest for suspicion of drunken driving.  But Pachall’s collegiate career and NFL future were once again put on hold when he broke his left forearm against SE Louisiana in week 2. The loss to LSU in week 1 was not insurmountable in terms of the Big 12 picture, but with the meat of the schedule still on the horizon, the loss to Texas Tech more than likely is. In essentially a mirror image of last season, the onus will now be on Soph. QB Trevone Boykin to carry this TCU team on his back with both his passing and rushing ability. He’s responded thus far, with 547 total yards and 2 touchdowns in about six quarters of play. Boykin did his thing against Texas Tech, passing for 194 yards and rushing for 101, but he threw two costly interceptions, both of which ended TCU drives in Red Raider territory. The TCU run defense was stout, conceding just 47 total yards.  Soph. DE Devonte Fields made his first start of 2013 after a two-game suspension, but had no real impact, recording just three tackles.

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TCU Horned Frogs vs. Southern Methodist Mustangs Free Pick 9/28/13

Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

The SMU Mustangs are probably just hoping to wake up on the conference side of the slate after suffering a 41-23 beating against Texas Tech in week one, pulling out a last second 31-30 victory against FCS Montana State in week two, and a 42-13 rout at Texas A&M last week. It hasn’t all been bad, though. Sr. QB Garrett Gilbert has shown glimpses of brilliance, hitting on 65.7% of his passes for 1,015 yards and 2 touchdowns and throwing for over 300 yards in each of his three starts in leading the nation’s 10th-ranked passing game at 348.7 yards per contest. The Mustangs aren’t much for defense, though, ranking 115th in the FBS in points allowed at 37.7 a game and allowing an average of 473.3 yards per contest.

Betting Trends: TCU is 0-5 ATS in its last 5 games, 1-4 SU in its last 5 games, 1-5 SU in its last 6 home games, 0-5 ATS in its last 5 home games, 1-6 ATS in its last 7 games against SMU, 1-4 ATS spread in its last 5 home games against SMU, the total has gone under in 5 of TCU’s last 7 games, and the total has gone over in 4 of TCU’s last 6 games at home. SMU is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games, 1-4 ATS in its last 5 road games, 1-4 SU in its last 5 road games, 2-11 SU in its last 13 games against TCU, 1-7 SU in its 8 road games against TCU and the total has gone under in 8 of SMU’s last 11 road games.

Rick’s Pick: The line for this matchup settled at -19.5 for TCU and that’s just about right. Boykin should have his way against an SMU defense as equally inept at stopping the pass as they are the run. Defensively, look for Devonte Fields and the TCU pass rush to breakout in this one and disrupt what little chance Gilbert will have at putting points on the board. The Frogs cover, but I don't see a ton of points going up so the under is the better play there.

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