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New Mexico Bowl Prediction: Will BYU Have What It Takes To Upset SMU? | x Hatch Family Chocolates

New Mexico Bowl Prediction: Will BYU Have What It Takes To Upset SMU? | x Hatch Family Chocolates

I tell you why the Cougars strength of schedule actually benefits them in the Land Of Enchantment despite the early exits to the transfer portal

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New Mexico Bowl Prediction: Will BYU Have What It Takes To Upset SMU?

We all know how BYU showed up to play uninspired football last year, against UAB in the Independence Bowl.


  • The Cougars aren’t showing any of that malaise in Albuquerque.

  • They are on a three-game winning streak!

  • They had a signature victory AT Boise State—on the blue.

Whatever issues BYU had on defense have been corrected to a large degree since the Boise State game; in none of their last three games have the Cougars given up more than 400 yards against an FBS opponent [Utah Tech from the FCS got 420, but the majority came during the last drive when the Cougs were playing backups.]

SMU comes into the New Mexico Bowl as a 4-point favorite, but there are three things the Mustangs struggle doing:

  1. Run the football [average of 4.6 yards per carry for leading rusher Tyler Lavine]

  2. Protect QB Tanner Mordecai [sacked 15 times!]

  3. Control the game [opponents keep the ball an average of 5:00 longer per game]

The big reason I like BYU to win this game though?

Chris Brooks.

Brooks in his last two games:

  • 35 carries

  • 266 yards rushing

  • 7.7 yards per carry!

…WHATEVER injury the Cal transfer Brooks had … it’s in the rearview mirror along with the thousands of BYU fans making the trip down south for this one.

[5:30 p.m., Saturday, ABC.]

The BYU running game and SMU’s inability to stop it is my Hatch Family Chocolates Sweet Note at the New Mexico Bowl.

The Mustangs have allowed over 155 yards per game to their opponents, and so while their offense might be mighty—their defense is leaky all over. If you’re looking at games, think back to the USF game, one BYU dominated from start to finish. SMU had some trouble with USF [their one common opponent] while BYU boat-raced that AAC team, in Tampa.

Finally: While I think the Cougars will get a battle here in Albuquerque, I don’t think SMU will be able to handle BYU’s physicality on defense, a unit that has matured considerably over the past three weeks it’s played.

BYU 41, SMU 31

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