College Football Picks: Fast Paced Offenses to Light Up the Scoreboard in Baylor vs. SMU

Ross Benjamin

Friday, September 4, 2015 5:18 PM GMT

We’re going to examine the total in Friday’s college football contest between Baylor and SMU. Read this revealing betting preview article which makes a compelling case for our pick on the total.

Friday College Football Total
There are five college football games on Friday that involve games pitting FBS opponents against one another. I’ve isolated the one total on this abbreviated card that I will use for my college football picks in this opening week.

 

Baylor vs. SMU 7:00 PM ET
Baylor and SMU will kick their seasons off on Friday at Gerald J. Ford Stadium in Dallas. According to college football betting odds at BetOnline .com, the total in this contest is currently (12:15 PM ET) 71.0. These teams met during last year’s season opener in Waco. Baylor routed SMU 45-0 in that contest. That final score easily stayed under the closing total of 75.0. As a matter of fact, SMU was only able to muster 69 yards of total offense and 7 first downs in that game. Baylor had no such problems in amassing 574 yards of total offense. They could’ve scored much more if not for two turnovers and 96 yards in penalties. In addition, Baylor head coach Art Briles took his foot off the gas pedal after his Bears jumped out to a 31-0 halftime lead.

 

New Direct on Offense for SMU
You would be very hard pressed to find any positives pertaining to the Mustangs 1-11 season in 2014. They averaged a meager 11 points per game, and allowed 41 per contest. They captured their only win 27-20 during a regular season finale at Connecticut, and that came against a Huskies team that finished a dismal 2-10.  There are some positives entering 2015, and especially on the offensive side of the ball. Chad Morris was hired as their new head coach during the offseason. Morris spent the last four seasons as offensive coordinator of Clemson’s explosive attack. Morris was born in Texas, spent 16 years as a high school football head coach in the Lone Star State, and that should do wonders for recruiting. However, let’s talk about right now, more specifically Friday’s game. Morris has implemented a no huddle fast paced offense at SMU that will be on display versus Baylor. The Mustangs have nine returning starters on offense and should be much improved in that area.

 

Baylor Offense Won’t Miss a Beat
Last season’s prolific passer Bryce Petty is now playing for the New York Jets. Although that’s a huge loss, the cupboard is hardly bare in terms of offensive personnel. Seth Russell becomes the heir apparent to Petty, and he’s more than ready to assume that massive undertaking. In limited time a season ago, Russell threw for 804 yards, ran for 185 more (3 TDS), and tossed 8 touchdown passes versus one interception. He’ll have the luxury of having Baylor’s two leading wide receivers from a season ago that both return. Corey Coleman and K.D. Cannon combined for 122 catches, 2149 receiving yards, and 19 touchdowns last year. The Bears also return 2014-2015 leading rusher Shock Linwood who ran for 1252 yards and 16 touchdowns.

 

Final Analysis
The Baylor offense won’t skip a beat from the one that averaged 48.2 points and 581.5 yards per game last year. Seth Russell appears to be a star quarterback in the making, much like his two predecessors Robert Griffin III and Bryce Petty. He’ll certainly have plenty of experience and weaponry at his disposal pertaining to offensive skilled position personnel. I don’t look for SMU to perform miracles on offense in the first year under Chad Morris. However, it would be hard to imagine them not being drastically improved compared to the pathetic numbers they put up a season ago.

College Football Pick: Play on Baylor and SMU Over 71.0 (-110) at BetOnline