SMU over North Texas by 16

Playbook Football (Midweek Alert) - - 2-minute Handicap -

The Mean Green im­proved might­ily un­der 1st-year head coach Seth Lit­trell last sea­son when they went from a 1-win cam­paign to a bowl game (al­beit the re­sult of a wacky bowl setup that al­lowed a 5-7 team to the party). The ques­tion is was the im­prove­ment gen­uine or did they sim­ply go from be­ing a re­ally bad team in 2015 to just av­er­age in 2016? Re­gard­less, North Texas has burned money when play­ing away from Den­ton the last three years, post­ing a mis­er­able record while be­ing out­gained by av­er­age of 175 YPG. That sets the stage for the Ponies here, a team look­ing to con­tinue their up­ward as­cent un­der 3rd-year HC (and for­mer Clem­son OC) Chad Mor­ris. After a 3-21 SU start in his first two sea­sons, Mor­ris and his Mus­tangs fell just one game short of earn­ing a bowl bid in 2016. Look for them to get one this sea­son be­hind an of­fense that re­turns 9 starters, in­clud­ing SO QB Ben Hicks and last year’s top eight tar­gets. The sched­ule gets tougher (road games against TCU, Hous­ton, Navy and Mem­phis) but a win here and a 2-0 start will send them to Fort Worth the fol­low­ing week brim­ming with con­fi­dence. Lean to the resur­gent Ponies.

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