TCU Horned Frogs (2-1 SU, 0-3 ATS) vs. SMU Mustangs (2-1 SU, 3-0 ATS)
College Football Week 4
Date/Time: Friday, September 23rd, 8:00PM (EST)
Where: Gerald J. Ford Stadium Dallas, T.X.
by Jay, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: TCU -23/SMU +23
Over/Under Total: TBA
One week after an upset loss at the hands of Arkansas, TCU bounced back last week with a 41-20 win over Iowa State. Despite the early season loss, many people feel that TCU is still going to cause some havoc in the Big 12 this season and last week’s dominating victory over Iowa State only strengthened that argument. Now before the thick of Big 12 conference play begins, the Horned Frogs will step outside the conference once again as they go into Dallas for a date with the SMU Mustangs at Gerald J. Ford Stadium this Friday night.
The Mustangs are 2-1 on the season with their loss coming to Baylor 40-13 in week 2. The Mustangs put together wins over North Texas and then scored a 29-14 win last week over Liberty. So far this season, the Mustangs are a perfect 3-0 ATS as they move into this Friday’s home stand against TCU. So what are the Mustangs chances of scoring the upset this Friday? Well I don’t believe in the upset potential but they may be able to extend their perfect streak ATS if they play well. The problem is that they simply do not have a lot of talent on their football team. After all this is an SMU program that is on the heels of just 3 wins combined in the two previous seasons. Their 2-1 start may appear good on paper but they still have a long way to go before they have the talent to contend with teams like TCU.
One way that SMU could help their cause towards keeping their unblemished mark against the spread is by running the football. We saw TCU really struggle with stopping Arkansas running back Rawleigh Williams in the loss to the Razorbacks. The Mustangs have a bell cow back that they could potentially feed 20 plus times this Friday in running back Braeden West. West racked up 220 rushing yards on the ground in last week’s victory over Liberty. West and freshman Ke’Mon Freeman have been pretty effective running the football averaging 5.5 yards per carry between the two young backs. SMU has also racked up 734 yards on the ground during their first 3 games on the ground. I know things will be much more difficult against TCU’s defense this weekend but they have the ability to keep some fresh legs on the field and potentially aggravate this Horned Frogs’ defense.
TCU’s defense has been feeling the heat this season. The Horned Frogs started the season with a disastrous defensive effort against San Diego State. Despite the victory, TCU relinquished 41 points in the opener and backed that up with a loss to Arkansas in a game where they gave up another 41 points. The defense did look a little better last week against an inferior Iowa State group but they are far from having solved their concerns. To make matters worse, TCU ranks dead last in turnovers gained on the season with just 1 turnover earned this season by way of the defense. Therefore, questions linger for this TCU defense.
The good news for TCU fans is that the offense still has a ton of potential. Even with last week’s injury to WR KaVontae Turpin, this offense still has plenty of weapons. Kenny Hill is a dangerous passer with the ability to make plays with his feet. Running back Kyle Hicks is developing into a dual threat out of the backfield and the Horned Frogs have plenty of talent at the receiver position to pose threats on defenses this year. I have personally had high expectations for Hill in this TCU offense and even though his start has not been overly impressive; I do think this offense is only going to get better as the year progresses. How much is needed from this offense as a result of the defense will be one of the big questions in the weeks ahead.
Jay's Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I know TCU’s defense and the fact they are on the road makes this play suspect. However, I do think they have a huge talent gap that will be motivated by the Friday primetime stage. Therefore, I am rolling with the Horned Frogs -23
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