NCAA Football: SMU Mustangs vs Louisiana Tech Bulldogs Prediction, Odds and Preview - 09/18/2021

by James Q

NCAA Football: SMU Mustangs vs Louisiana Tech Bulldogs Prediction, Odds and Preview - 09/18/2021

Game Time: 9:00 AM ET, Saturday, September 18th, 2021 
Venue: Joe Aillet Stadium, Ruston, Louisiana
Where to Watch:  regional only

Opening NCAAF Odds at USA Sportsbooks

BetMGM:  Spread:  SMU -13  O/U:  65.5 points
Caesars: Spread:  SMU -12.5,  O/U:  66 points
DraftKings:  Spread: SMU -12.5, O/U: 66.5 points


Season Record

SMU:  2-0  (AAC)
LA Tech:  1-1 (C-USA)


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SMU vs Louisiana Tech Preview and Analysis

Recent Form

SMU walloped Abilene Christian 56-9.  They were tuning up for the season and scheduled the easiest win first.  Then the Mustangs beat the North Texas Screaming Eagles 35-12.  Though not a powerhouse North Texas has gotten better over the last decade.  



Offensive Analysis 

In their last game visiting North Texas Mean Green, SMU quarterback Tanner Mordecai passed for 312 yards and four touchdowns.  The Mustangs started this one slow down 6-0 (two field goals), not scoring until late in the second quarter.  Once they got going with Rashee Rice from Mordecai’s 62-yard touchdown pass…  they never looked back.  Mordecai hit WR Danny Green for a TD, Grant Calcaterra for a TD, and RB Ulysses Bentley IV caught one for a TD… all this passing gave way to Ulysses breaking an 85-yard touchdown run towards the end.  The weakness for SMU was turnovers.  Mordecai threw 2 interceptions.  The strength in reserve was supplied by running back Ulysses who turned 10 rushes into 141 yards.  They clicked all around.

Louisiana Tech showed up for their last game and found themselves in a track meet.  They beat Southeast Louisiana 45-42.  The Over hit hard.  QB Austin Kendall threw 3 touchdowns and rushed for 1.  RB Greg Garner seemed unstoppable, rushing for 2 TD’s and catching a 3rd. Practically every receiver got involved; Jerrod Means had a team high 93 receiving yards and WR Smoke Harris' stat line was a simple 4 catches for 52 yards. LA Tech is averaging  39.5 points per game and 408.5 total yards per game.  They are a seemingly unstoppable force.  If only all the teams this year were as good as Southeastern Louisiana. 


Defensive Analysis

The SMU Mustangs play well on the defensive side of the ball.  They held North Texas to two field goals and 1 touchdown. And after a couple of minutes in the third quarter, North Texas never scored again. The Mustangs only allow 10.5 points per game.  They allow 100 YPG less than they gain on offense.  A low point total in two home games.  The only challenge about this week is: Can they defend these stats in road games?

The Louisiana Tech Bulldogs’ defense is giving up 38.5 points per game.  Only 1 point more than they score. They give up 515.5 yards per game.  The Bulldog’s defense is fairly OK against the run as they’ve hardly been run on yet.  They are awful at defending the pass. They have given up a lot of points and plenty of yards.  Can they handle the Mustangs of the American Athletic Conference?... No.

Huskies vs Black Knights Prediction

Our prediction for Saturday, September 18th is… SMU 42 - LA Tech 17


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NCAAF Betting Trends

SMU is 9-3 in its last 12 games.
The total has hit the Over in four of SMU's last five road games.
Louisiana Tech is 4-1 in five all-time head-to-head matchups against SMU.

Louisiana Tech defeated SMU, 51-10, on Dec. 20, 2017.

Key Injuries


Players to Watch

SMU:  RB Tre Siggers.  Ulysses Bentley IV is the current rushing star at SMU. Tre is getting an equal amount of carries and it’s only a matter of time before he breaks one big.  Then we will l see where the stats end up.  

LA Tech:  WR Tre harris.  Ya’ll act like you forgot about Tre.


Notable Quotes

"I believe that I still am one of the better guys at my position playing college football,...I want to play in the NFL and I want to be the best at my position." -TE Grant Calcaterra.  The SMU stud has recovered from a concussion forced retirement and wants another shot at the gridiron.  Give hell Grant.

"I watched you. That was the first time I've really seen you make a stupid call," -LA Tech coach Skip Holtz recalling what his famous football coach father told him about last game.  This is why Football coaches cry when they are alone.

Starting Lineups

SMU:  QB Tanner Mordecai, RB  Ulysses Bentley IV, TE Grant Calcaterra, WR Reggie Roberson JR, WR Rashee Rice, WR Danny Gray

LA Tech:  QB Austin Kendall, RB Marcus Williams Jr, WR Samuel Emilus, WR Bub Means, WR Smoke Harris, WR Griffin Hebert, 


Statistical Leaders

Passing: Tanner Mordecai  629 yards
Rushing:  Ulysses Bentley IV  189 yards
Receiving:  Danny Gray  159 yards
Tackles:  Shaine Hailey   14
Interceptions:  Isaiah  Nwokobia  2

LA Tech: 
Passing:  Austin Kendall  486 yards
Rushing:  Marcus Williams JR  120 yards
Receiving:  Bub Means  131 yards
Tackles:  Trey Baldwin  15
Interceptions:  BeeJay Williams  2 


SMU:  Sonny Dykes
LA Tech:  Skip Holtz


Weather Forecast 

Scattered thunderstorms.  60% chance of precipitation.  88% humidity (because of all the water in the air).  Wind 6 mph.  Gators are located in any shallow waterway. 


James Q

About the Author:

James Q. has been involved with sports and gambling his entire life. A former division 1 scholarship basketball player, James understands sports (and especially basketball) inside-and-out. Following his basketball playing days, James parlayed his gambling skills into a semi-pro poker career. James resides in Los Angeles, and especially loves the Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Rams, and Los Angeles Dodgers. And when he isn't betting on sports (and writing about it), James can be found performing stand-up comedy on the Sunset Strip.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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