No. 23 SMU (home) vs. East Carolina (away)
Current Records: SMU 8-1; East Carolina 3-6
What to Know
The East Carolina Pirates fans better hope the squad plays one heck of a game on Saturday as the odds are decidedly against them. East Carolina and the SMU Mustangs will face off in an American Athletic battle at noon ET at Gerald J. Ford Stadium. Keep an eye on the score for this one: both teams posted some lofty points totals in their previous games, so things might heat up even more when they meet.
It was a hard-fought contest, but East Carolina had to settle for a 46-43 loss against the Cincinnati Bearcats last week. The losing side was boosted by QB Holton Ahlers, who passed for 535 yards and four TDs on 52 attempts. Ahlers’ 75-yard touchdown toss to WR C.J. Johnson in the first quarter made for one of the most memorable moments of the night. Ahlers scored five touchdowns overall– his season high.
Meanwhile, SMU was within striking distance but couldn’t close the gap as they fell 54-48 to the Memphis Tigers. SMU’s defeat shouldn’t obscure the performances of QB Shane Buechele, who passed for 456 yards and three TDs on 54 attempts, and RB Ke’Mon Freeman, who rushed for 74 yards and two TDs on six carries. One of the most memorable plays of the game was Freeman’s 68-yard touchdown rush in the fourth quarter. Freeman’s sharp night set his single-game touchdown high for the season.
These two teams will surely be fighting tooth and nail to get back into the win column after losses last week. A couple defensive numbers to keep in mind before kickoff: East Carolina are stumbling into the matchup with the 11th most rushing touchdowns allowed in the nation, having given up 23 on the season. To make matters even worse for the Pirates, the Mustangs come into the game boasting the most sacks in the league at 40. So the cards are definitely stacked in SMU’s favor.
How To WatchWhen: Saturday at 12 p.m. ETWhere: Gerald J. Ford Stadium — Dallas, TexasTV: ESPN UniversityFollow: CBS Sports AppOdds
The Mustangs are a big 21.5-point favorite against the Pirates.
SMU and East Carolina both have one win in their last two games.
Nov 12, 2016 – SMU 55 vs. East Carolina 31Oct 03, 2015 – East Carolina 49 vs. SMU 23
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