Texas State vs. SMU - 9/5/20 College Football Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Texas State vs. SMU - 9/5/20 College Football Pick, Odds, and Prediction Photo by Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

SMU Mustangs (0-0) at Texas State Bobcats (0-0)

College Football: Saturday, September 5, 2020 at 4:30 pm (Jim Wacker Field at Bobcat Stadium)

The Line: Texas State Bobcats +23 -- Over/Under: 69.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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The SMU Mustangs and the Texas State Bobcats square off in college football action from Jim Wacker Field at Bobcat Stadium on Saturday.

The SMU Mustangs come into this one looking to build on one of the most successful seasons in program history, posting a 10-3 record with the Mustangs’ first double-digit win season since 1984 under now third-year head coach Sonny Dykes. The Mustangs went 6-2 in AAC conference play, earning an invite to the Boca Raton Bowl where the Mustangs lost to FAU by a final score of 52-28. The Mustangs’ pass attack improved by over 700 yards and 7 touchdowns from 2018 to last year, and a lot of that has to do with QB Shane Buechele in his first season after transferring from Texas. Top receiver James Proche is gone, but Reggie Roberson is back in the SMU receiving corps after missing the second half of last year with a foot injury. Kylen Granson also has some solid upside at tight end, posting 43 grabs for 721 yards and 9 scores last year. The SMU backfield is going to take some retooling with 1,800 yards and 23 touchdowns gone, but TJ McDaniel is expected to be the next man up in the rotation and it’s good to see that SMU brings back four offensive linemen that were part of a line that gave up the fewest sacks in the AAC last year. Defensively, the Mustangs are good at getting pressure, the only issue was that if they were playing a team that knew how to successfully run an offense, they didn’t look very good. SMU was one of the top teams in the country in sacks with 51 sacks in their 13 games last season but the defense also allowed almost 300 passing yards per game. The hard part for 2020 is that a lot of that pass rush is gone, but Turner Coxe has returned up front and Delano Robinson back in the linebacking group as the two top returning starters from last year’s team. The good news if you can call it that, is that the secondary has a ton of experience and should be better after being dismantled for much of the latter of 2019, but it’ll be a wait and see approach if that’s actually the case.

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The Texas State Bobcats on the other hand, come into the 2020 campaign looking to break through under second-year head coach Jake Spavital, finishing with a 3-9 record, including a 2-6 mark in Sun Belt conference play, finishing 4th out of 5 in the Sun Belt West division, marking the fifth straight season where the Bobcats finished the year with three wins or less. The first order of business for the Bobcats will be straightening out an offense that put up just 318 YPG and 18.4 PPG for Texas State last year, and it starts with making a decision at QB between Tyler Vitt who threw for just under 1,600 yards last year or Memphis transfer Brady McBride. Hutch White is gone from the Bobcats’ receiving group, but Trevis Graham and Javen Banks should have an immediate impact and Washington State transfer Drue Jackson could be a receiver to watch for as well. The Bobcats also need to find a way to establish a running game as it was a receiver, Caleb Twyford specifically, who led the Bobcats with 488 rushing yards last season. Robert Brown is back to fight for time in the backfield but Arizona State transfer Brock Sturges is expected to be the lead back for most of Texas State’s ground attack this season. Defensively, the Bobcats need to get better at stopping the run after giving up 216.8 yards per game on the ground last season, and it won’t help that the Bobcats’ top three tacklers from last season are all gone. Nico Ezidore and Caeveon Patton are expected to anchor the rush for the Bobcats while JUCO transfer Maureese Wren and Markeveon Coleman will be there to lead the linebackers. Only time will tell if Texas State can finally turn a corner in 2020 or if it’ll be just another year near or in the Sun Belt basement for the Bobcats.

SMU is 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 games and 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 road games while the over is 10-3 in their last 13 games overall. Texas State is 3-9-1 ATS in their last 13 games overall and 1-6-1 ATS in their last 8 home games while the under is 6-2 in their last 8 games overall.

SMU won the first meetings last season by 30 points in a 47-17 SMU beatdown of the Bobcats, and to be honest as much hope as I have for Texas State, I don’t think hope’s going to be enough to keep it close by halftime. Texas State was terrible against the run and luckily SMU doesn’t have the proven backs to exploit that, but the Mustangs were explosive on offense last year, and even with Proche gone from the receiving corps, this SMU team can make you go up and down the field and wear you down while racking up the points left and right. The Mustangs were really good against the below average teams last year, it was the tougher opposition that they struggled with. This is a huge line, but I honestly see no reason why SMU doesn’t get the job done and win this one by at least three TDs. Give me SMU and lay the points here.

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Chris’s Pick SMU -23

The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a Sports Chat Place site consensus.