Friday Night Lights: Dykes' Air Raid Roots To Show Against TCU

Monday, September 3, 2018 5:28 PM UTC

Monday, Sep. 3, 2018 5:28 PM UTC

Our college football handicapper, Mark Lathrop, is coming off a blistering Week 1 start. Here he can't wait for Week 2 to begin and finds value in the game played under Friday night lights.

<p style="text-align:right"><em><strong>2018 NCAAF Record: 5-1, +7.46u</strong></em><br /><em><strong>*Note: Record includes official Twitter selections (@mlathrop3)</strong></em></p><h2 style="text-align:center"><a href="" title="Game Odds">TCU (1-0 SU) at SMU (0-1 SU)</a></h2><h2 style="text-align:center">Friday, 8 p.m. ET (ESPN2)</h2><h2 style="text-align:center">Free NCAAF Pick: Over</h2><h2 style="text-align:center">Best Line Offered: <a href=";book=5dimes" rel="nofollow" title="Top Rated Sportsbook">5Dimes</a></h2><p>[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3448798, "sportsbooksIds":[19,238,169,1602,1096], "LineTypeId":3, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]</p><p>Everything that could go wrong did go wrong in SMU’s week 1 matchup against the North Texas Mean Green, as they were buried in a 36-0 hole before some late scores made the final a misleading 46-23 North Texas win. The passing defense is the easy culprit to look at, as NTU’s Mason Fine completed 40 of 50 passes against SMU for 444 yards and 3 touchdowns. SMU’s defense had issues last year, although with a different coaching staff, as they took aggressive chances at havoc plays that had them get burned from time to time.</p><p>The good news, if there was any, was that quarterback Ben Hicks had some big completions in the 4<sup>th</sup> quarter when they were playing from behind. Their playing from behind is almost a certainty against TCU, given that they are a 21.5-point underdog and 0-25 SU against Big 12 opponents. SMU’s new head coach, Sonny Dykes, has roots back to the Air Raid offense of Texas Tech, so offense should not be the issue with the Mustangs this year. The fact that they had success when they opened things up while playing from behind will be a nugget to take into this game against TCU.</p><p>[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\" data-lang=\"en\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;Right back to it. 💯 &lt;a href=\";amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;#BeatSMU&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;— TCU Football (@TCUFootball) &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;September 3, 2018&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;\n&lt;script async src=\"\" charset=\"utf-8\"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;\n"}[/]</p><p>TCU did not have a good test in their 55-7 smothering of Southern in Week 1. Sophomore quarterback, Shawn Robinson played only the first half after torching the Jaguars for 182 yards and 3 touchdowns passing and 45 yards and 2 touchdowns rushing the ball. Robinson is going to be a nightmare for SMU’s defense, especially if the Mustangs couldn’t defend North Texas passing the ball.</p><p>TCU is ranked 16<sup>th</sup> right now and may not take SMU lightly in the “Battle for the Iron Skillet” in Dallas on Friday. SMU is 14-11 ATS against TCU in this series and have beaten TCU 6 times, although all of those victories were before TCU joined the Big 12. This will be the only game going on Friday night, so the chance at getting national exposure will have TCU keeping their foot on the gas, in my opinion. Last year’s matchup started out quickly, with a 28-22 TCU lead going into halftime. With Sonny Dykes pushing an Air Raid type offense this year, I like the opportunity for extra TCU possessions if SMU’s offense struggles. On the flip side, SMU should open things up and keep pressing until the final whistle should things go wrong (they scored 2 TDs in the final 2 minutes of their game against NTU). With a hook on the side at 21.5, I will take the "over" when the line opens as one of my Week 2 <a href="" title="Free NCAAF Picks">NCAAF picks</a>.</p>
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