SMU Mustangs (4-5) at East Carolina Pirates (3-6)
College Football: Saturday, November 12, 2016 at 12:00 pm (Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium)
The Line: East Carolina Pirates -5 -- Over/Under: Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The SMU Mustangs will travel to Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium to take on the East Carolina Pirates this Saturday afternoon in College Football action.
The SMU Mustangs had their two-game winning streak snapped and dropped to 4-5 (2-3 AAC) on the season after being defeated by the Memphis Tigers, 51-7, this past Saturday. SMU had no answers on the defensive end early against the Tigers and couldn’t fight back after falling behind by a 41-7 margin at halftime. SMU was outgained by Memphis by a 474-308 margin and lost the turnover battle by a 3-0 margin. Leading the way for SMU was RB Ke’Mon Freeman had 16 carries for 83 yards while adding a 16-yard TD reception. On the season, SMU is averaging 24.3 ppg on 405.0 total yards per game (241.9 passing, 163.1 rushing). Offensively, SMU has been led by QB Ben Hicks who has completed 52.1% of his passes for 12 TD and 11 INT while averaging 220.4 passing yds/game. Courtland Sutton (5.0 rec/g, 85.3 yds/g, 5 TD) and James Proche (5.0 rec/g, 64.2 yds/g, 4 TD) and Jeremiah Gaines (1.1 rec/g, 13.0 yds/g, 3 TD) have been the main targets for Hicks this season. Braeden West (15.7 att/g, 84.9 yds/g, 6 TD) and Ke’Mon Freeman (11.4 att/g, 48.1 yds/g, 2 TD) have led the Mustangs out of the backfield. Defensively, SMU is allowing their opponents to average 32.7 ppg on 433.0 total yards per game (255.2 passing, 177.8 rushing). SMU has committed 19 turnovers on the season and has an overall turnover margin of -1.
The East Carolina Pirates dropped to 3-6 (1-4 AAC) on the season after being defeated by the Tulsa Golden Hurricane, 45-24, this past Saturday. East Carolina couldn’t keep up with the explosive Golden Hurricane early in this one and couldn’t fight back after being down by a 24-7 margin at halftime. East Carolina was outgained by Tulsa by a 616-474 margin and allowed Tulsa to gain 342 yards on the ground. Leading the way for the Pirates was WR Zay Jones who had 206 yards and a TD on 13 receptions. On the season, East Carolina is averaging 28.0 ppg on 500.0 total yards per game (364.6 passing, 135.4 rushing). Offensively, East Carolina is led by WR Zay Jones who has 5 TD and is averaging a remarkable 14.1 rec/game (1st in CFF) for 144.4 yds/game. QB Philip Nelson has completed 68.5% of his passes for 16 TD and 6 INT while averaging 275.2 passing yds/game. Outside of Zay Jones, the leading receivers for the Pirates has been Jimmy Williams (3.9 rec/g, 78.2 yds/g, 6 TD), Quay Johnson (5.1 rec/g, 51.7 yds/g, 3 TD) and Anthony Scott (2.9 rec/g, 20.5 yds/g, 3 TD). James Summers (13.0 att/g, 66.0 yds/g, 5 TD) and Anthony Scott (9.9 att/g, 48.0 yds/g, 2 TD) have led the Pirates backfield. Defensively, East Carolina is allowing their opponents to average 30.6 ppg on 438.8 total yards per game (242.6 passing, 196.2 rushing). East Carolina has committed 17 turnovers on the season and has an overall turnover margin of -9.
The Mustangs are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 road games vs. a team with a losing road record and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games. The Pirates are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS loss and just 4-17 ATS in their last 21 conference games.
SMU came into their recent game against Memphis with a ton of confidence after picking up two straight wins against Houston and Tulane, however, once again struggled on the defense end in stopping the Tigers passing attack. East Carolina has struggled on the defensive end this season as they come into this matchup ranked 93rd in total defense, however, the Pirates do have one of the most explosive passing games in College Football and ranks 3rd in passing offense. SMU has shown some signs of improvement this season however as their passing defense ranks just 94th in College Football, I just don’t see the Mustangs being able to slow down Zay Jones and the Pirates passing attack in this one. I’m going to take East Carolina to cover this small home spread.