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SMU Mustangs vs. Baylor Bears Preview and Prediction

Shock Linwood

Shock Linwood

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Last season this matchup included a new head coach, SMU’s Chad Morris. This season’s meeting again includes a first-year head coach, but this time it is Baylor interim head coach Jim Grobe.

Both teams won their season openers. However, neither team was truly challenged. This weekend the Bears will still be without a challenge although SMU is definitely a step up in competition from FCS member Northwestern State.

Baylor at SMU

Kickoff: Saturday, Sept. 10 at 3:30 p.m. ET (Saturday)
TV Channel: FS1
Spread: Baylor -32

Three Things to Watch

1. Has SMU improved?

The Mustangs did put up 572 yards last week. But their opponent, North Texas, is in a rebuilding year and the final score was only 34-21 with SMU not pulling away until the third quarter.

SMU was able to muster up 21 points last season against the Bears at home to go along with 369 total yards. Baylor may not be as dangerous this season but still has plenty of firepower. If SMU can improve upon those 21 points and possibly hold Baylor to fewer than700 total yards of offense there may be reason for optimism in Dallas. But SMU gave up 311 passing yards to the Mean Green, which is not a good sign coming into Waco.

2. Will SMU’s Matt Davis be healthy?

Davis suffered a knee injury in last week’s win and his said to be a game-time decision. The junior QB rushed for 91 yards last week and passed for an additional 155 in the win. If Davis is unable to go the starting job will go to redshirt freshman Ben Hicks. This would be Hicks’ first collegiate start although he did see playing time last week going 5-for-9 for 145 yards and a touchdown.

3. Will Baylor’s defense bend?

It was only Northwestern State but the Bears held the Demons to 78 total yards of offense last week. No matter the opponent that is an impressive stat. The Mustangs were able to put up decent numbers last year against Baylor. It will be interesting to see if SMU is able to get any type of sustainable offense going.

Final Analysis

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Much like last season this game will only be as bad as the Bears allow it to be. SMU still does not have the ability to compete with Baylor on either side of the ball. Expect Seth Russell and the Bears to come out throwing to jump to an early insurmountable lead. Shock Linwood will close in on yet another 100-yard rushing day and the Bears will cruise to 2-0 on the season

Prediction: Baylor 56, SMU 20

— Written by Jeremy Simon, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and editor-in-chief of, a must visit for any and all West Virginia Mountaineer fans. Follow on Twitter @Blue_GoldSports.