AAC game predictions – Week 6

by Dan M | Posted on Saturday, October 7th, 2017
2017-nfl-draft-could-cowboys-strike-gold-with-another-smu-wrBy James McAnally

GAME OF THE WEEK
SMU (4-1) at Houston (3-1)
John O’Quinn Field, Houston
Line: Cougars -6 / 63
TV: 6:00, CBSSN
Series history: Houston leads 20-11-1
Key players: Houston – QB Kyle Postma, WR D’Eriq King, DT Ed Oliver;
SMU – QB Ben Hicks, RB Xavier Jones, DE Justin Lawler
The Mustangs are averaging 51.3 points in their four wins, and as
well as Texas Christian is playing this year, they still put up 36 in
that outing. They were firing on all cylinders in last week’s victory
against UConn, rolling up 498 yards while averaging 5.3 yards per rush
and 10.4 yards per completion. RBs Jones, Braeden West and Ke’Mon
Freeman combined for 212 on 29 carries (7.3 ypr) with one TD apiece.
The Cougars hung on to win last week, but after keeping Temple
scoreless with a healthy Oliver in the first half, they gave up 13
points without Oliver – who left with a knee injury and didn’t return
– in the second half, and nearly blew the game. Needless to say, they
need their superstar defensive tackle to fortify a unit that, while
not as strong as last season, still is holding opponents to 14.8
points and 364.5 yards per outing.
Both teams are dangerous on kick returns. The Mustangs are
averaging 21.9 yards per return, with Kevin Johnson leading the way
with seven for 159 yards. The Cougars average 31 yards per kick return
behind John Leday (5-182). Houston K Caden Novikoff is 3-for-3 on FG
attempts in his last two outings, including makes of 25 and 35 yards
against Temple. SMU K Josh Williams is 6-of-8 on FGs this season.
Notable: The Cougars handled SMU with ease two years ago in Houston,
winning 49-28 for their third straight win and ninth in 10 years, but
last season’s meeting belonged to the underdog Mustangs, who prevailed
38-16 in Dallas. Hicks threw for 228 yards and three TDs in that
victory, and West, from Seven Lakes, ran for 115 yards and one score.
The Cougars improved to 6-0 against Temple, but it wasn’t the
dominating outing they were looking for after jumping out to a 20-0
first-half lead only to squeak out a 20-13 win. Now they’re taking on
an improved Mustangs team that shocked them last season. Postma made
his third career start (he had one in each of the past two seasons)
and first this year, finishing 25-of-36 passing for 226 yards and one
TD with one INT. The senior also rushed for 81 yards.
The Mustangs are one victory away from equaling last season’s win
total after beating Connecticut 49-28. The Huskies pulled even at
28-28 in the fourth quarter, but then the Ponies pulled away, scoring
three TDs in the final 11:46. Jones is the leading rusher on the
season, with 368 yards and three TDs on 63 carries. Hicks is 89-of-164
passing for 1,275 yards and 14 TDs to three INTs.
Pick: SMU 38 Houston 31

The rest of the schedule;

Memphis (3-1) at UConn (1-3)
Line: Tigers -14 / 72
TV: Friday, 6:00 ESPN
Pick: Memphis 40 UConn 24

Temple (2-3) at ECU (1-4)
Line: Temple -2.5 / 61
TV: 11am, ESPNU
Pick: ECU 27 Temple 17
Air Force (1-3) at Navy (4-0)
Line: Navy -7.5 / 53
TV: 2:30, CBSSN
Pick: Navy 35 Air Force 10

Tulsa (1-4) at Tulane (2-2)
Line: Tulane -4.5 / 59
TV: 3:00, ESPNU
Pick: Tulsa 32 Tulane 31

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