College Football Odds and Predictions: SMU Mustangs at #10 Texas A&M Aggies
Southern Methodist Mustangs at #10 Texas A&M Aggies
Kyle Field – College Station, Texas
Saturday, September 21, 2013, 7:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPNU
Opening Line: Texas A&M -26 1/2
Current Line: Texas A&M -28 1/2
Opening Total: 82
Current Total: 78 1/2
Opening Money Line: TAMU -5000 / SMU +1700
Current Money Line: TAMU -7500 / SMU +3250
Former Southwest Conference rivals clash Saturday in College Station as the #10 Texas A&M Aggies host the SMU Mustangs. The 2-1 Aggies lead the series 43-29-7 against the 1-1 Mustangs. The two have only played 3 times since the Soutwest Conference dissolved in 1996. Texas A&M has gone 11-0-1 against SMU since 1984, including a 48-3 rout last year in Dallas.
SMU is coached by June Jones. The Mustangs lost at home to Texas Tech 41-23 to open the season and beat Montana St 31-30 two weeks ago also in Dallas. The Mustangs are 0-2 ATS and both games have gone over. SMU was a 10 point favorite against Montana St and the total was 51.5.
SMU opened the scoring against Montana St with a safety, The Bobcats scored a touchdown late in the first and made the 2 point conversion to go up 8-2. SMU added a field goal just before the end of the quarter to make it 8-5. The Bobcats scored two touchdowns in the second to go up 22-5. SMU scored a touchdown with 5 minutes left before halftime, and also scored on a 55 yard punt return as time expired for halftime to make it 22-19 Montana St going into the locker room.
Montana State scored again 6 minutes into the third quarter, and made another 2 point conversion to make the score 30-19. SMU added 2 field goals to pull within 30-25 with 9 minutes to go in the game. Montana State drove to the SMU 34 but the drive stalled. Instead of kicking the long field goal, the Bobcats pooch punted the ball and it was downed at the SMU 19. The Mustangs took over with 4 minutes to play. The Mustangs drove down to the MSU 4 yard line, and SMU quarterback Garrett Gilbert threw a touchdown pass on third and goal with 12 seconds left. The Mustangs went for two but missed, making the score 31-30. After the kickoff, Montana St tried a couple of laterals but only made it to midfield before being tackled. SMU had 461 total yards including 317 passing yards. The Bobcats had 378 total yards. The Mustangs overcame 11 penalties for 85 yards and 2 turnovers.
SMU is being outscored 35.5-27 this season. The Mustangs are averaging 475.5 yards per game including 352.5 passing yards. SMU is #10 nationally in passing offense. On defense, SMU is allowing 419.5 total yards per game including 315.5 passing yards. The Mustangs are -2 in turnovers with no takeaways so far. The Mustangs are averaging 90 penalty yards per game, and their opponents are averaging 75 yards per game. SMU is 17/39 on third and fourth down conversions. The Mustangs have forced 6 sacks and allowed 9 this season. SMU is 6/10 scoring in the red zone with 3 touchdowns.
Gilbert has completed 69.1% of his passes for 705 yards with a touchdown, and he also has 25 carries for 82 yards and a touchdown. Gilbert is some how the leading rusher for the Mustangs. Running backs K.C. Nlemchi and Prescott Line each have 54 rushing yards and a touchdown, along with a single catch. Receiver Jeremy Johnson has 19 catches for 243 yards. Darius Joseph has 23 catches, 216 yards and a touchdown. Keenan Holman and Der’rikk Thompson each ahve 10 catches.
Texas A&M, coached by Kevin Sumlin, is 2-1 this season with blowout wins over Rice 52-31 and Sam Houston State 65-28. The Aggies hosted #1 Alabama last week in what some people were already calling the game of the year. The Crimson Tide were 8 point favorites and the total was 63. The game certainly lived up to the hype as Alabama escaped with a 49-42 wild shootout win. The Aggies are 2-1 ATS and the total is 3-0.
Texas A&M sophomore quarterback Johnny Manziel who won the Heisman last year led the Aggies to two quick first quarter touchdowns to put the Aggies up early 14-0. Alabama would score 28 unanswered points before halftime though. Alabama added another touchdown early in the third on a 73 yard pick six to make it 35-14. The Aggies scored to make it 35-21 midway through the third but Alabama scored again to take a 42-21 lead into the fourth. Manziel threw two fourth quarter touchdowns, including one for 95 yards to receiver Mike Evans to make it 42-35. The Crimson Tide scored with 2:28 left to make it 49-35. Manziel threw his fifth touchdown pass of the day with 15 seconds left to get inside the 8 point spread 49-42. The Aggies were unable to recover the onside kick to try for the miracle Hail Mary.
The Aggies had 628 total yards including 464 passing yards from Manziel. Manziel threw two costly interceptions though and also rushed for 98 yards on 14 carries. The Crimson Tide had 568 total yards, including 334 passing yards from quarterback A.J. McCarron, who also threw 4 touchdown passes without an interception. Alabama had one turnover, but also had 12 penalties for 104 yards.
Texas A&M is outscoring teams 53-36 this season. The Aggies are averaging 609.3 total yards per game including 416 passing yards and 193.3 rushing yards. The Aggies are 4th or better nationally in total offense, passing yards, and scoring. On defense, TAMU is giving up 489 yards per game including 260 rushing yards. The Aggies are 108th or worse nationally in points allowed, total defense, and against the rush out of 125 teams. The Aggies are even in turnovers with four takeaways. Texas A&M is averaging 47 penalty yards per game and their opponents are averaging 66 yards per game. The Aggies are 21/34 on third and fourth down conversions. Texas A&M is 18/21 scoring in the red zone with 17 touchdowns.
Manziel has completed 70.8% of his passes for 984 yards with 11 touchdowns and 3 interceptions, along with 153 rushing yards and a touchdown on 27 carries. He was suspended for the first half of the game against Rice by the NCAA. Running back Ben Malena has 32 carries, 192 yards and 3 touchdowns, along with 8 catches and 88 yards with a touchdown. Tra Carson has 28 carries, 145 yards and 4 touchdowns. Receiver Mike Evans has 20 catches, 518 yards and 3 touchdowns. Malcome Kennedy has 13 catches, 135 yards and 3 touchdowns.
SMU is 6-1 ATS after failing to cover, 1-4 against teams with winning home records, after passing for more than 280 yards, in road games, and against SEC teams, and 2-8 on grass.
Texas A&M is 5-0 ATS in September, 4-0 after a straight up loss, 7-1 after allowing more than 200 rushing yards, 6-1 after passing for more than 280 yards, 5-1 after scoring more than 40 points, 4-1 after a cover, 8-2 after allowing more than 450 total yards, 4-1 overall, 10-3 after gaining more than 450 total yards, 6-2 on grass, and 0-4 after allowing more than 280 passing yards.
Look, if Alabama couldn’t slow down the Manziel express then what hope does SMU have to stop the explosive Aggie offense? They can’t but the problem is A&M can’t stop anybody either. It leads to some exciting shootouts that take four hours or more to play. This game screams back door cover with Manziel on the bench in the fourth quarter in a blowout and SMU scores a couple of garbage touchdowns.
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