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6pm est: SMU +16 (2 Units)
SMU is a strong offensive team and Oklahoma's defense has yet to show they can stop an FBS offense. Sure OU routed Arkansas State 73-0 in week 1 but that means practically nothing. SMU's defense impressed as they beat Louisiana Tech 38-14. 7 of Tech's 14 coming with 30 seconds to go against Mustang back-ups.
Preston Stone is in for QB at SMU. The highly touted prospect takes over for Tanner Mordacai, who transferred to Wisconsin. He takes over an offense that ranked 14th in yards per game and 12th in points per game in 2022. He and the majority of starters enter year two under HC Brett Lashlee and his offensive system. They did lose star WR Rashee Rice to the NFL but they're plenty deep at the position.
They have 7 capable WR's and that's thanks in part to HC Lashlee's former stomping grounds. He previously served as OC for Miami before joining SMU before the 2022 season. He nabbed 6 Miami transfers en route to the 12th ranked transfer class. Two WR's, their starting RB, starting and arguably the best Center in the AAC now, and a pair of defensive lineman. They also grabbed RB LJ Johnson JR from TX A&M. He ran for 128 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries last week.
They had the #1 offense in the AAC in 2022 and likely will again. They lost a couple starters along the OL but with the transfer portal this unit figures to be even better than last year. Preston Stone was a highly touted 4 star QB who's in his 3rd year of Collegiate Football. Anytime he's touched the field, he's delivered.
Even if you don't watch College Football you're probably aware of Oklahoma's defensive struggles. It's been this way for what feels like forever. It's why they elected to bring in former Clemson DC Brent Venables to be Head Coach. Last year was more of the same, allowing 461 yards per game which ranked 123rd among 131 FBS programs. They were actually worse than they were in 2021. Venables was able to land a a few big name defensive prospects in recent years but it's not enough. We do expect some improvement for OU's defense in 2023 but not enough to make them a respectable defense.
As far as SMU's defense against the OU offense, they're going to let up points but they should be able to get stops here and there. Their revamped secondary, thanks to the transfer portal, can provide some resistance. Their defensive line is vastly improved as well. Racking up 6 sacks and holding Louisiana Tech to 1.2 yards per carry. Oklahoma's an entirely different animal but there's some good players on the Mustangs defense. They don't need to outright stop OU, just get off the field enough to let the Mustangs offense keep SMU around.