football | ncaaf

Houston Cougars vs. Southern Methodist Mustangs Pick & Prediction NOV 21TH 2020

ScheduledGerald J. Ford Stadium Dallas

OP
69.5
-3.5
LM
68.5o -111 | 68.5o -110 | 69o -110 | 68.5o -110 | 70.5o -115
-3 -110 | -3 -110 | -3 -115 | -3 -110 | -3 -109
CU
70.5o -115
-3 -109
ML
138
-148

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The disappointment was palpable for SMU following its loss at Tulsa last Saturday, a defeat that featured the Mustangs blowing a 21-point lead and cratering down the stretch.

The 28-24 setback cost the Mustangs their No. 19 national ranking and served as a stark reminder of what accompanies heightened expectations. For a nascent program like SMU, preparing to absorb the strongest blow from every opponent requires a mindset that takes time to fully cultivate.

It's a reversal that SMU coach Sonny Dykes hopes his team can learn from. And it needs to happen quickly, heading into Saturday's American Athletic Conference home game against Houston.

"We've just got to continue to understand that we're going to have a target on our back when people play us," Dykes said as his team tries to secure its eighth victory, which would mark back-to-back eight-win seasons for the first time since 1983-84. "When you play as a ranked team you've got to do a good job of getting up and playing at a high level every week. Our guys are starting to figure that out and starting to learn it."

SMU (7-2, 4-2 AAC) will host Houston (3-3, 3-2) at Ford Field looking to rebound and keep its slim conference title hopes alive. The Mustangs' conference losses came against No. 7 Cincinnati and No. 25 Tulsa, both of whom are undefeated in conference play.

The Mustangs can't afford another setback, and that reality comes with a certain amount of pressure that is becoming familiar for an ascendant program seeking to reclaim a measure of respect. The manner in which SMU prepares for Houston will reflect how the players are embracing the challenge.

"Bouncing back, our guys are fine," Dykes said. "We're used to playing big games. Every single game is a big game for us.

"I think that's where we're starting to be as a program where we expect to play at a high level. That's a good thing and that's where we want to be as a program."

The Cougars snapped a two-game skid with their 56-21 win over South Florida, racing to a 28-0 halftime lead and extending that advantage by two more touchdowns before the Bulls finally scored.

On the heels of their run defense surrendering 300-plus yards to UCF and Cincinnati, the Cougars needed a result that boosted their collective self-esteem. Houston got exactly that.

"That was a game that we kind of needed because we just needed to be able to have a little bit of fun with it," Cougars coach Dana Holgorsen said. "We obviously did that, and it should give us some confidence to be able to have a little bit more fun here this Saturday."

Central to the Cougars' bounceback was the performance of junior quarterback Clayton Tune, who rushed for a career-high 120 yards in the victory. With their depth at receiver sapped by injuries, including that of standout senior Marquez Stevenson, the Cougars turned to the running game.

Tune delivered, and despite six dropped passes, managed to throw for 165 yards and three touchdowns.

"Him in the running game was outstanding," Holgorsen said. "We schemed some things up and looked really good. He was very patient. His position where he needed to be was really good. His decision-making was really good. His patience running and protecting himself was really good as well."

--Field Level Media

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GAMES

Last 10

W 50% L 50%
3 3
  • Tulsa D 0 - 0
  • @Southern Methodist D 0 - 0
  • South Florida W 21 - 56
  • @Cincinnati L 10 - 38
  • Central Florida L 44 - 21
  • @Navy W 37 - 21
  • Brigham Young L 43 - 26
  • Tulane W 31 - 49
  • North Texas D 0 - 0
  • @Baylor D 0 - 0
W 75% L 25%
6 2
  • Houston D 0 - 0
  • @Tulsa L 24 - 28
  • @Temple W 47 - 23
  • Navy W 37 - 51
  • Cincinnati L 42 - 13
  • @Tulane W 37 - 34
  • Memphis W 27 - 30
  • Stephen F. Austin W 7 - 50
  • @North Texas W 65 - 35
  • @Texas Christian D 0 - 0

Next Games

  • Tulsa(11-28-20) D 0 - 0
  • @East Carolina(11-12-16) W 55 - 31

Last Meetings

  • Cougars @ Mustangs 0-0
  • Mustangs @ Cougars 34-31
  • Cougars @ Mustangs 31-45
  • Mustangs @ Cougars 22-35
  • Cougars @ Mustangs 16-38
  • Mustangs @ Cougars 28-49
  • Cougars @ Mustangs 35-9
  • Mustangs @ Cougars 0-34
  • Cougars @ Mustangs 42-72
  • Mustangs @ Cougars 7-37

Atlantic Coast

AtlanticWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Clemson Tigers71 0.8750.00.00.0 5-02-17-0-1
NC State Wolfpack63 0.6671.50.00.0 4-12-26-0-3
Boston College Eagles54 0.5562.50.00.0 3-22-25-0-4
Wake Forest Demon Deacons43 0.5712.50.00.0 3-11-24-0-3
Louisville Cardinals36 0.3334.50.00.0 3-20-43-0-6
Florida State Seminoles26 0.2505.00.00.0 2-20-42-0-6
Syracuse Orange18 0.1116.50.00.0 1-40-41-0-8
CoastalWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Miami Hurricanes71 0.8750.00.00.0 4-03-17-0-1
North Carolina Tar Heels62 0.7501.00.00.0 4-02-26-0-2
Pittsburgh Panthers54 0.5562.50.00.0 4-21-25-0-4
Virginia Cavaliers44 0.5003.00.00.0 4-10-34-0-4
Virginia Tech Hokies45 0.4443.50.00.0 2-22-34-0-5
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets25 0.2864.50.00.0 1-31-22-0-5
Duke Blue Devils26 0.2505.00.00.0 1-31-32-0-6

Big Ten

EastWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Ohio State Buckeyes40 01.0000.00.00.0 3-01-04-0-0
Indiana Hoosiers41 0.8000.50.00.0 2-02-14-0-1
Maryland Terrapins21 0.6671.50.00.0 1-01-12-0-1
Michigan Wolverines23 0.4002.50.00.0 0-22-12-0-3
Michigan State Spartans13 0.2503.00.00.0 0-21-11-0-3
Rutgers Scarlet Knights14 0.2003.50.00.0 0-31-11-0-4
Penn State Nittany Lions05 0.0004.50.00.0 0-30-20-0-5

Conference USA

EastWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Marshall Thundering Herd70 01.0000.00.00.0 5-02-07-0-0
Florida Atlantic Owls51 0.8331.50.00.0 4-01-15-0-1
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers46 0.4004.50.00.0 3-21-44-0-6
Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders36 0.3335.00.00.0 0-33-33-0-6
Charlotte 49ers23 0.4004.00.00.0 1-01-32-0-3
Florida International Panthers05 0.0006.00.00.0 0-30-20-0-5

Mid-American

EastWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Buffalo Bulls30 01.0000.00.00.0 1-02-03-0-0
Kent State Golden Flashes30 01.0000.00.00.0 2-01-03-0-0
Miami (Ohio) RedHawks11 0.5001.50.00.0 1-00-11-0-1
Ohio Bobcats11 0.5001.50.00.0 1-00-11-0-1
Akron Zips03 0.0003.00.00.0 0-10-20-0-3
Bowling Green Falcons03 0.0003.00.00.0 0-20-10-0-3

Southeastern

EastWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Florida Gators61 0.8570.00.00.0 3-03-16-0-1
Georgia Bulldogs52 0.7141.00.00.0 3-12-15-0-2
Missouri Tigers33 0.5002.50.00.0 2-11-23-0-3
Kentucky Wildcats35 0.3753.50.00.0 2-21-33-0-5
Tennessee Volunteers25 0.2864.00.00.0 1-21-32-0-5
South Carolina Gamecocks26 0.2504.50.00.0 1-31-32-0-6
Vanderbilt Commodores07 0.0006.00.00.0 0-40-30-0-7

Sun Belt

EastWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Coastal Carolina Chanticleers80 01.0000.00.00.0 5-03-08-0-0
Appalachian State Mountaineers62 0.7502.00.00.0 4-02-26-0-2
Georgia Southern Eagles63 0.6672.50.00.0 5-01-36-0-3
Georgia St. Panthers44 0.5004.00.00.0 2-22-24-0-4
Troy Trojans44 0.5004.00.00.0 2-22-24-0-4

Mountain West

MountainWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Boise State Broncos41 0.8000.00.00.0 2-12-04-0-1
Air Force Falcons22 0.5001.50.00.0 2-10-12-0-2
Colorado State Rams12 0.3332.00.00.0 1-00-21-0-2
Wyoming Cowboys12 0.3332.00.00.0 1-00-21-0-2
Utah State Aggies04 0.0003.50.00.0 0-20-20-0-4
New Mexico Lobos04 0.0003.50.00.0 0-10-30-0-4

Pacific-12

NorthWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Oregon Ducks30 01.0000.00.00.0 2-01-03-0-0
Washington Huskies20 01.0000.50.00.0 2-00-02-0-0
Washington State Cougars11 0.5001.50.00.0 0-11-01-0-1
Oregon State Beavers12 0.3332.00.00.0 1-10-11-0-2
California Golden Bears02 0.0002.50.00.0 0-00-20-0-2
Stanford Cardinal02 0.0002.50.00.0 0-10-10-0-2
SouthWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Southern California Trojans30 01.0000.00.00.0 1-02-03-0-0
Colorado Buffaloes20 01.0000.50.00.0 1-01-02-0-0
UCLA Bruins12 0.3332.00.00.0 1-00-21-0-2
Utah Utes01 0.0002.00.00.0 0-10-00-0-1
Arizona State Sun Devils01 0.0002.00.00.0 0-00-10-0-1
Arizona Wildcats02 0.0002.50.00.0 0-10-10-0-2

American Athletic

TeamsWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Cincinnati Bearcats80 01.0000.00.00.0 6-02-08-0-0
Southern Methodist Mustangs72 0.7781.50.00.0 3-14-17-0-2
Tulsa Golden Hurricane51 0.8332.00.00.0 3-02-15-0-1
Memphis Tigers52 0.7142.50.00.0 5-00-25-0-2
Central Florida Knights53 0.6253.00.00.0 2-23-15-0-3
Tulane Green Wave55 0.5004.00.00.0 2-23-35-0-5
Houston Cougars33 0.5004.00.00.0 2-21-13-0-3
Navy Midshipmen34 0.4294.50.00.0 1-22-23-0-4
East Carolina Pirates26 0.2506.00.00.0 0-32-32-0-6
Temple Owls16 0.1436.50.00.0 1-20-41-0-6
South Florida Bulls17 0.1257.00.00.0 1-20-51-0-7

Big 12

TeamsWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Oklahoma Sooners62 0.7500.00.00.0 4-12-16-0-2
Iowa State Cyclones62 0.7500.00.00.0 4-12-16-0-2
Oklahoma State Cowboys52 0.7140.50.00.0 3-12-15-0-2
Texas Longhorns52 0.7140.50.00.0 3-12-15-0-2
West Virginia Mountaineers53 0.6251.00.00.0 5-00-35-0-3
Kansas State Wildcats44 0.5002.00.00.0 2-22-24-0-4
Texas Christian Horned Frogs34 0.4292.50.00.0 1-32-13-0-4
Texas Tech Red Raiders35 0.3753.00.00.0 3-20-33-0-5
Baylor Bears15 0.1674.00.00.0 1-10-41-0-5
Kansas Jayhawks07 0.0005.50.00.0 0-30-40-0-7

Independents I-A

TeamsWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Brigham Young Cougars90 01.0000.00.00.0 6-03-09-0-0
Notre Dame Fighting Irish80 01.0000.50.00.0 5-03-08-0-0
Liberty Flames81 0.8891.00.00.0 5-03-18-0-1
Army Black Knights72 0.7782.00.00.0 6-01-27-0-2
Massachusetts Minutemen03 0.0006.00.00.0 0-00-30-0-3

Big Ten

WestWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Northwestern Wildcats50 01.0000.00.00.0 3-02-05-0-0
Iowa Hawkeyes32 0.6002.00.00.0 1-12-13-0-2
Wisconsin Badgers21 0.6672.00.00.0 1-01-12-0-1
Purdue Boilermakers22 0.5002.50.00.0 1-11-12-0-2
Illinois Fighting Illini23 0.4003.00.00.0 0-22-12-0-3
Minnesota Golden Gophers23 0.4003.00.00.0 1-21-12-0-3
Nebraska Cornhuskers13 0.2503.50.00.0 1-10-21-0-3

Conference USA

WestWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners64 0.6000.00.00.0 4-12-36-0-4
UAB Blazers43 0.5710.50.00.0 3-11-24-0-3
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs43 0.5710.50.00.0 3-11-24-0-3
North Texas Mean Green33 0.5001.00.00.0 2-31-03-0-3
Texas El Paso Miners34 0.4291.50.00.0 2-01-43-0-4
Southern Miss Golden Eagles27 0.2223.50.00.0 1-51-22-0-7
Rice Owls12 0.3331.50.00.0 0-11-11-0-2

Mid-American

WestWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Western Michigan Broncos30 01.0000.00.00.0 1-02-03-0-0
Ball State Cardinals21 0.6671.00.00.0 2-00-12-0-1
Toledo Rockets21 0.6671.00.00.0 1-01-12-0-1
Central Michigan Chippewas21 0.6671.00.00.0 1-11-02-0-1
Eastern Michigan Eagles03 0.0003.00.00.0 0-10-20-0-3
Northern Illinois Huskies03 0.0003.00.00.0 0-20-10-0-3

Mountain West

WestWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Nevada Wolf Pack50 01.0000.00.00.0 3-02-05-0-0
San Jose State Spartans40 01.0000.50.00.0 3-01-04-0-0
Fresno State Bulldogs31 0.7501.50.00.0 1-12-03-0-1
San Diego State Aztecs32 0.6002.00.00.0 2-11-13-0-2
Hawaii Rainbow Warriors23 0.4003.00.00.0 1-11-22-0-3
UNLV Rebels04 0.0004.50.00.0 0-20-20-0-4

Southeastern

WestWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Alabama Crimson Tide70 01.0000.00.00.0 4-03-07-0-0
Texas A&M Aggies51 0.8331.50.00.0 3-02-15-0-1
Auburn Tigers52 0.7142.00.00.0 4-01-25-0-2
Louisiana State Tigers33 0.5003.50.00.0 1-12-23-0-3
Mississippi Rebels34 0.4294.00.00.0 1-32-13-0-4
Arkansas Razorbacks35 0.3754.50.00.0 2-21-33-0-5
Mississippi State Bulldogs25 0.2865.00.00.0 1-21-32-0-5

Sun Belt

WestWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
UL Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns71 0.8750.00.00.0 3-14-07-0-1
Arkansas St. Red Wolves36 0.3334.50.00.0 2-11-53-0-6
South Alabama Jaguars36 0.3334.50.00.0 2-31-33-0-6
Texas State Bobcats29 0.1826.50.00.0 1-41-52-0-8
UL Monroe Warhawks08 0.0007.00.00.0 0-40-40-0-8

Last Injuries

Southern Methodist Mustangs

  • Bryan Massey

    Undisclosed
    Ques Sat | questionable

    Massey sat out the last game due to an undetermined injury, and it remains to be seen if he will play against East Carolina on Saturday.

  • Jaylon Thomas

    Undisclosed
    Ques Sat | questionable

    Thomas missed the last game due to an unspecified ailment, and it is unknown if he will take on East Carolina on Saturday.

  • Danny Gray

    Arm
    Prob Sat | probable

    Gray left the last game with an arm injury, but it is expected that he will take the field Saturday versus East Carolina.

Houston Cougars

  • Payton Turner

    Knee
    Ques Dec 5 | questionable

    Turner has sat out the previous two games with injuries to his knee and hand. It is unknown if he will be in the lineup Dec. 5 against SMU.

  • Donavan Mutin

    Undisclosed
    Ques Dec 5 | questionable

    Mutin has sat out the last three games with an undetermined ailment, and it has yet to be established if he will suit up for Dec. 5 versus SMU.

  • Dalton Witherspoon

    Undisclosed
    Ques Dec 5 | questionable

    Witherspoon was absent from the lineup during the last game with an undefined injury, leaving his status up in the air for Dec. 5 versus SMU.

  • Marquez Stevenson

    Ankle
    Ques Dec 5 | questionable

    Stevenson has sat out the previous two games due to an ankle injury, and it is uncertain if he will face SMU on Dec. 5.

  • Kyle Porter

    Undisclosed
    Ques Dec 5 | questionable

    Porter missed the last game with an unspecified ailment, and it remains to be seen if he will line up against SMU on Dec. 5.

  • Mulbah Car

    Ankle
    Ques Dec 5 | questionable

    Car exited the last game with an ankle injury, and his status for Dec. 5 against SMU is up in the air.

  • Tre'von Bradley

    Undisclosed
    Ques Dec 5 | questionable

    Bradley has sat out the last two games due to an undefined injury, and it is unknown if he will play against SMU on Dec. 5.

  • Atlias Bell

    Undisclosed
    Ques Dec 5 | questionable

    Bell sat out the last game due to an unannounced reason, and it is undetermined if he will face SMU on Dec. 5.