Hawaii Bowl Betting Picks: SMU Mustangs vs Fresno State Bulldogs
2012 Sheraton Hawaii Bowl
Monday, December 24, 2012, 8:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Southern Methodist Mustangs vs Fresno State Bulldogs
Aloha Stadium – Honolulu, Hawaii
Opening Line: Fresno St -12 1/2
Current Line: Fresno St -12
Opening Total: 60 1/2
Current Total: 59 1/2
Opening Money Line: Fresno St -450 / SMU +370
Current Money Line: Fresno St -460 / SMU +380
The 9-3 Fresno St Bulldogs face the 6-6 SMU Mustangs in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl Christmas Eve in Honolulu. The two schools haven’t met since they were both members of the WAC in 2004. Fresno St leads the series 5-1 and has won five straight games against SMU.
Fresno St has played in 23 bowl games, with a 12-11 record. They lost to Northern Illinois 40-17 in the 2010 Humanitarian Bowl. SMU is 6-7-1 all-time in bowl games. For the first time in school history SMU has qualified for four straight bowl games. The Mustangs beat Pittsburgh in the BBVA Compass Bowl last year 28-6.
SMU is coached by June Jones. The Mustangs were 5-3 in Conference USA and finished second in the Western Division. SMU has road losses at Baylor 59-24, Tulane 27-26, Central Florida 42-17, and Rice 36-14, along with home losses to Texas A&M 48-3 and TCU 24-16. Besides Tulane, all losses were to teams that made bowl games. The Mustangs have home wins over Stephen F. Austin 52-0, Houston 72-42, Memphis 44-13, Southern Miss 34-6, and Tulsa 35-27, along with a 17-0 road win over UTEP. SMU had to beat eventual conference champ Tulsa in order to become bowl eligible.The Mustangs are 7-5 ATS and the total is 6-5 this season.
SMU is averaging 366.2 yards per game including 237.2 passing and 128.9 rushing yards. The Mustangs are being outscored 30-27 this season. SMU normally has one of the most explosive offenses in the country under Jones’ run and shoot system, but that hasn’t been the case this season. The Mustangs are 95th in total offense, and 96th in rushing out of 124 FBS teams. SMU has 21 turnovers but has forced 33 on defense. The Mustangs have allowed 29 sacks this season. SMU is 75/198 on third and fourth down conversions and 36/47 scoring in the red zone with 23 touchdowns. On defense, the Mustangs are allowing 400.2 yards per game including 271.2 passing and 129.1 rushing yards. SMU is #25 in rush defense, but 107th out of 124 teams against the pass. The Mustangs have forced 17 sacks this season. SMU opponents are 88/214 on third and fourth down conversions and 27/36 scoring in the red zone with 24 touchdowns. The Mustangs have 9 defensive touchdowns including 6 pick sixes.
SMU quarterback Garrett Gilbert has completed 254/478 passes (53.1%) for 2,720 yards with 14 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He has been sacked 28 times this season. Gilbert has 76 carries, 248 yards and 7 touchdowns. Running back Zach Line has 258 carries, 1,207 yards and 12 touchdowns, along with 32 catches for 231 yards. Line was the C-USA offensive player of the year. Receiver Darius Johnson has 61 catches, 747 yards and 4 touchdowns. Jeremy Johnson has 67 catches, 679 yards and 3 touchdowns. Der’rikk Thompson has 36 catches, 453 yards and 4 touchdowns. Keenan Holmes has 25 catches, 311 yards and 2 touchdowns. Three defensive players are out including 2 defensive backs.
Fresno St is coached by Tim DeRuyter. The Bulldogs tied with Boise St and San Diego St for the Mountain West Championship at 7-1. Fresno St has won 5 straight games. The Bulldogs have losses at Oregon 42-25, Tulsa 27-26, and Boise St 20-10, who all have at least 9 wins this season. Fresno St has home wins over Weber St 37-10, Colorado 69-14, San Diego St 52-40, Wyoming 42-14, Hawaii 45-10, and Air Force 48-15 to close out the regular season, and road wins at Colorado St 28-7, New Mexico 49-32, and Nevada 52-36. The Bulldogs are 11-1 ATS and the total is 5-6 this season.
Fresno St is averaging 489.2 yards per game on offense, including 322.6 passing and 166.7 rushing yards. The Bulldogs are outscoring teams 40-22 this season. Fresno St is in the top 15 nationally in total offense, passing, and scoring. The Bulldogs are +17 in turnovers with 16 giveaways. Fresno St is averaging 65 penalty yards per game and has allowed 22 sacks this season. The Bulldogs are 93/216 on third and fourth down conversions and 45/54 scoring in the red zone with 35 touchdowns. On defense, Fresno St is allowing 335.8 yards per game including 163.4 passing yards and 172.3 rushing yards. The Bulldogs are #19 in total offense and #5 in pass defense. Fresno has forced 35 sacks and 33 turnovers this season. Bulldog opponents are 27/35 scoring in the red zone with 22 touchdowns. Fresno St has 9 defensive /special teams touchdowns this season, including 6 pick sixes.
Quarterback Derek Carr has completed 311 of his 457 pass attempts (68.1%) for 3,742 yards with 36 touchdowns and 5 interceptions, along with 42 rushing yards. Carr was the Mountain West offensive player of the year. Running back Robbie Rouse has 269 carries, 1,468 yards and 12 touchdowns, along with 58 catches, 406 yards and 2 touchdowns. Rouse also threw a touchdown pass this season. Marteze Waller and Milton Knox will also get a few carries. Back-up quarterback Greg Watson has 128 passing yards with an interception, 65 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns, and 4 catches for 50 yards.
Receiver Davante Adams has 89 catches, 1,168 yards and 13 touchdowns. Isaiah Burse has 53 catches, 762 yards and 6 touchdowns. Victor Dean has 30 catches, 389 yards and 2 touchdowns. He is out for the season with a knee injury. Josh Harper has 24 catches, 333 yards and 4 touchdowns. He is doubtful with a groin injury. Marcel Jensen has 19 catches, 310 yards and 4 touchdowns. Rashad Evans has 31 catches, 294 yards and 5 touchdowns. He also has a punt return for a touchdown. Three defensive players including 2 linebackers are out for the season.
Fresno St is 7-0 ATS after scoring 40 points or more, and passing for more than 280 yards, 5-0 after allowing 170 passing yards or less, 4-0 after a win and a cover, and in non-conference games, 5-1 after allowing less than 20 points, 13-3 overall, 4-1 after a straight up win of 20 points or more, 20-8 on fieldturf, 16-33-2 after allowing 200 rushing yards or more, 1-4 in bowl games and in neutral site games.
SMU is 4-0 ATS after allowing 280 passing yards or more, 5-1 against Mountain West teams, and on fieldturf, 2-5 after a cover, 1-4 after a straight up win, and 1-6-1 after passing for less than 170 yards.
Both these teams are among the leaders nationally in forcing turnovers with 33 apiece. In fact, both have 6 pick sixes. In the last two seasons, SMU is 14-0 when scoring first and 0-14 when the other team scores first. SMU coach June Jones should have plenty of friends in attendance as he coached at Hawaii for many years before coming to SMU. Even though the Bulldogs are banged up at receiver, they still have plenty of weapons. SMU hangs around for a while but Fresno pulls away at the end in a high scoring game.
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