College Football Bowl Game Season continues with the Boca Raton Bowl as SMU travels to FAU Football Stadium to take on FAU on Saturday, Dec. 21 at 3:30 P.M. This will be the first-ever meeting between these two teams as they will both be looking to take home that trophy.
SMU Looks For Rare Bowl Game VictorySMU enters this game with a very solid 10-2 record as it just missed out on making the conference championship game. However, the Mustangs actually started their season with an undefeated record through eight games and a spot in the AP Top-25 before losing two of their last four games in conference play. Now, SMU will be looking to end the season on a high note after faltering a bit down the stretch of the regular season. The Mustangs will definitely be motivated for this bowl game as they will be looking to make history. SMU has not won a bowl game since 2012 and these players have the chance to end that drought on Saturday despite playing on the road in this game. If SMU starts resembling the team that it was during the early part of the regular season, then it should be able to win this game.
SMU's offense is led by junior quarterbackShane Buechele who has looked good so far this season. Buechele has already thrown for 3,626 passing yards and 33 passing touchdowns. In addition, he also only threw two interceptions so he has done a very solid job at limiting turnovers throughout the season. Now, he will look to continue playing well in his second career bowl game appearance.
SMU's defense has been its biggest weakness all season long. The Mustangs are allowing 31.8 points per game which ranks 99th in the nation. In addition, the Mustangs are allowing 438.7 yards per game which ranks 102nd in the nation. SMU has particularly struggled with its pass defense that has allowed 284.9 passing yards per game which ranks 121st in the nation. This is a relatively large concern considering the fact that Florida Atlantic is averaging 278.7 passing yards per game.
FAU Looks To Win With An Interim Head CoachThe Florida Atlantic Owls have experienced a tremendous amount of success so far this season. After starting with consecutive losses against ranked teams, Florida Atlantic proceeded to win nine of its last ten games which culminated in a 43 point victory against UAB in the Conference USA Championship Game. However, a lot has changed since that game as FAU ended up switching head coaches. Lane Kiffin, the former head coach of the team, decided to accept the head coaching job at Ole Miss following the conference title game so he is no longer with the program. Replacing him as the interim head coach is Glenn Spencer who served as the defensive coordinator during the regular season. Although Spencer has a lot of coaching experience, he has never been a head coach before so one has to wonder just how well Florida Atlantic's players will respond to his leadership for this game.
Leading the Owls offensively is sophomore quarterbackChris Robison who has looked amazing so far this season. He has thrown for 3,396 passing yards and 26 passing touchdowns. In addition, Robison has only thrown six interceptions so he has done a solid job at limiting turnovers. With another game at FAU Football Stadium up next, Robison will look to continue playing well.
Florida Atlantic's defense has been pretty solid all season long. The Owls are allowing 22.3 points per game which ranks 33rd in the nation. In addition, the Owls are allowing 370.3 yards per game which ranks 48th in the nation. However, Florida Atlantic has struggled with its pass defense that has allowed 233.6 passing yards per game which ranks 81st in the nation. To make matters worse, this is a serious issue since SMU is averaging the 12th-most passing yards per game in the nation.
Trends found on Covers.com, are:
- Mustangs are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 non-conference games.
- Owls are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 non-conference games.