The #19 SMU Mustangs (7-1, 4-1 AAC) take on the Tulsa Golden Hurricane (3-1, 3-0 AAC) in a key American Athletic Conference showdown Saturday night. SMU took down Tulsa in a thrilling 43-37 overtime victory last season. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. EST inside Chapman Stadium in Tulsa, Okla. Tulsa is a 2.5-point favorite in the conference contest, according to oddsmakers.
What to Know – SMU Mustangs
Outside of a lopsided loss to Cincinnati three weeks ago, the Mustangs have looked excellent this season. The Mustangs have won both conference contests since the loss to the Bearcats, taking care of Navy, 51-37, and Temple, 47-23.
Senior quarterback Shane Buechele looked smooth in the victory last week over Temple. The gunslinger completed 24-of-35 passes for 355 yards and four touchdowns. Buechele now has 20 touchdown passes this season to just three interceptions.
Ulysses Bentley IV led the Mustangs in rushing on Saturday, carrying the ball 17 times for 79 yards, but it was TaMerik Williams (one carry, 49 yards, one touchdown) and Tyler Lavine (8 carries, 49 yards, one touchdown) who found the endzone.
Kylen Granson (6 catches, 149 yards, one touchdown) and Tyler Page (9 catches, 131 yards, two touchdowns) did most of the damage receiving for SMU. The two combined to account for 280 of the team’s 355 passing yards.
What to Know – Tulsa Golden Hurricane
Tulsa got a weekend off last Saturday when their contest against Navy was postponed due to COVID testing. So the last time the Golden Hurricane saw the field was a 34-30 victory over East Carolina. Tulsa and Cincinnati are the two remaining undefeated teams in conference play.
Zach Smith threw for 253 yards on 19-for-37 passing. The senior quarterback tossed a pair of touchdown passes with a pair of interceptions. In Tulsa’s four games played this season, Smith has thrown an interception in every game.
T.K. Wilkerson found the endzone twice, including the go-ahead score late in the fourth quarter to seal the victory against the Pirates. Wilkerson carried the ball 18 times for 89 yards.
Keylon Stokes (6 catches, 90 yards, one touchdown) and Juan Carlos Santana (4 catches, 88 yards, one touchdown) paced the receiving group for Tulsa. After not finding the endzone in the first two games, Santana’s touchdown catch on Saturday was his second-straight game with a touchdown reception.
The Pick is In
Both of these quarterbacks started last season’s thriller that went to three overtimes. Both of these offenses are strong, but both possess defenses that rank at the top of the league. Still, expect these two experienced quarterbacks to put up some points in this one.
SMU’s offense is second in the conference posting 526.3 yards off offense per game. On the flip side, Tulsa’s defense has been lights out, ranking second in the league surrendering 375.0 yards to opponents. This will be the matchup to watch, and we will take Buechele and the SMU offense to outscore the Golden Hurricane in this one.
The Pick: SMU +2.5