SMU Mustangs vs Memphis Tigers: Predictions and Odds

How to Watch

Where: Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis, TN

When: Saturday, November 2nd at 7:30pm EST

How (TV): ABC

SMU Mustangs (Away)

Head Coach: Sonny Dykes {All-Time: 54-52 | LT, CAL, SMU}

Regular Season Record: 8-0

It has been a landmark season for the Southern Methodist Mustangs, who are having by far their best season since receiving the death penalty in 1987. With a September 21 win over then-25th ranked TCU under their belt, the Mustangs will look to prove themselves once more against another ranked opponent in Memphis. SMU’s perfect record thus far has been the product of the sixth ranked scoring offense in the country, averaging 43 points per game, while ranking tenth yardage-wise with 504.1 yards per contest.

The Mustangs earned their eighth win of the season last Thursday night in a 34-31 victory over in-state rival Houston. After being up 21-7 just before halftime, the two Texas schools traded scores until the final whistle. Redshirt senior running back Xavier Jones powered the offense, running for 133 yards and two touchdowns, one of which was a 62 yard scamper. Former Texas quarterback Shane Beuchele threw for 203 yards, two touchdowns, and a pick, with his scoring throws being hauled in by receiver James Proche and tight end Kylen Granson.

SMU’s defense was porous to say the least, giving up 510 total yards to the Cougars, including 75 and 96 yard connections from Clayton Tune to Marquez Stevenson. Senior defensive tackle Demerick Gary saved the day by sacking Tune at SMU’s 45 yard line to end the game, while star safety Rodney Clemons added an interception to limit Tune’s damage to the secondary.

Memphis Tigers (Home)

Head Coach: Mike Norvell {All-Time: 33-15 | MEM}

Regular Season Record: 7-1

Ever since he took over for the departed Justin Fuente in 2016, coach Mike Norvell has never lost fewer than eight games in a season during his tenure at Memphis. With that streak almost guaranteed to continue for another year, Norvell and his Memphis Tigers will get to showcase their talents on national television. With a high powered offense that mirror’s SMU’s, it should not surprise anyone if a shootout breaks out in the Liberty Bowl.

In last Saturday’s game, the Tigers had to survive a high scoring thriller at Tulsa, eventually winning 42-41 despite losing the turnover battle 2-0. Redshirt freshman running back Kenny Gainwell lived up to his last name, gaining 149 rushing yards while running in three touchdowns, the last of which put Memphis up for good with four minutes left. Redshirt junior quarterback Brady White threw for 277 yards and two touchdowns, while redshirt junior receiver Damonte Coxie hauled in five catches for 112 yards.

Memphis’ defense left a lot to be desired against Tulsa, allowing the Golden Hurricane to put up 584 yards of offense, including 241 from running backs Shamari Brooks and Corey Taylor II. Those two runners would also combine for four touchdowns on the ground. Redshirt senior linebacker and captain Austin Hall led the defense with 13 tackles, while senior defensive end Bryce Huff registered 1.5 sacks.

SMU vs Memphis All-Time Series

Although the sample size is limited to just 11 games, the Tigers have dominated the Mustangs, winning eight of those matchups, including the last five in a row. During that win streak, Memphis has an average winning margin of 35.2 points, which includes 63-0 and 51-7 beatings in 2015 and 2016 respectively.

The Mustangs have not won in this series since the two teams began their first season’s in the newly formed American Athletic Conference in 2013. SMU would come out on top in that game 34-29, holding off a comeback led by former first round pick Paxton Lynch.

SMU Roster Notes

Junior receiver Reggie Roberson Jr. is listed as questionable with a lower body injury suffered against Houston.

Memphis Roster Notes

Senior running back Patrick Taylor Jr. is listed as doubtful with an ankle injury.

Head-to-Head: Patrick Nelson (SMU) vs Obinna Eze (MEM)

Although the scoreboard is likely to get lit up on Saturday, there will be two players to focus on who will likely not be contributing to the point total. SMU’s Patrick Nelson will look to wreak havoc in Memphis’ backfield, while the Tigers’ young left tackle Obinna Eze will be tasked with preventing such chaos.

Patrick Nelson

Safety/Linebacker | 6-0, 216lb | Hales Franciscan HS | Chicago, IL | Redshirt Senior

After starting his career close to home at Illinois, Patrick Nelson made a move down south for warmer weather and a chance to rebuild a middling program. After a promising first year in Dallas where he tallied six tackles for a loss and 65 tackles, Nelson has exploded onto the scene with 10 sacks so far, which ranks second in the nation behind Ohio State’s Chase Young. The fact that he his putting up these numbers as a linebacker/safety hybrid is more than impressive, as most defensive backs cannot rack up that many sacks in an entire college career. With his closing speed and ability to evade blockers, look for Nelson to possibly add to that sack total.

Obinna Eze

Offensive Tackle | 6-8, 303lb | Davidson Academy | Nashville, TN | Redshirt Sophomore

Stats: 8 Career Starts

Despite not playing football until 2015 after immigrating from Nigeria, it did not take long for Obinna Eze to catch the eye of college coaches as a recruit. With just one season of varsity football under his belt, the six-foot-eight blindside protector received multiple SEC offers but opted to sign with Memphis. His basketball background has allowed him to develop the necessary agility to keep pass rushers in front of him, while his massive wing span gives him proper leverage against bull rushes.

SMU at Memphis Predictions and Odds

Find the latest odds for SMU vs Memphis below. The odds are provided by New Jersey sportsbooks bet365 NJ, DraftKings, and Caesars NJ.

Good luck!

Money Line

Sportsbook SMU Memphis
bet365 NJ +180 -220
DraftKings +163 -200
Caesars NJ +190 -230

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