Fresno State vs. Southern Methodist - December 24, 2012 - 8:00 PM
Pick: Your pick will be graded at sportsinteraction @ 12.5 -110 Southern Methodist
Expert: Steve Merril
Evaluation: Win (1000) - Final Score FRES 10 at SMU 43
Reason For Pick:
SMU head coach June Jones is returning to Hawaii where he built and turned Hawaii into a respectable football team for nine seasons. Jones’ homecoming cannot be underestimated as far as how much this game means to him. This is the second time SMU and Jones will play in this bowl game; they beat Nevada 45-10 as 11-point underdogs back in 2009. SMU has been all business in their preparation, and this isn’t a vacation trip for them, but more of a chance to close their season on a winning note after underperforming with a 6-6 record. SMU played well down the stretch as they won 4 of their final 6 games with their offense scoring 34 points or more in those four wins. SMU is led by running back Zach Line; he in on the verge of breaking Eric Dickerson’s school record of 46 touchdowns. Line needs just one TD and we expect him to get that and more in this game tonight.
Fresno St bounced back with a very strong year under new head coach Tim DeRuyter. The Bulldogs went 9-3 SU and an incredible 10-1 ATS. But they benefited from playing an extremely weak schedule and they padded their stats against the weaklings. All three of their losses came to bowl teams, and their other wins against bowl teams came against San Diego St, Nevada, and Air Force. The Aztecs and Wolfpack already lost their bowl games so Fresno St’s form took a bit of a hit when those teams lost; Air Force has yet to play. To compare, SMU played six bowl teams and only one has played so far and Central Florida won their game by 21 points. The other five teams play in later games which means they were better than the bowl teams Fresno St played. Fresno St played significantly worse away from home this season as they only out-scored their opponents by a 190-164 margin for 4.4 points per game. At home, they out-scored their opponents by a 293-103 margin for 31.6 points per game. They were clearly more dominant at home, and since they are laying double digits into a coach and team who will have the fan support in Hawaii, we’ll take the underdog in this game on Monday night.
10* Play SMU (+).