SMU Mustangs at Connecticut Huskies: Game Preview

SMU must protect the ball and execute their game plan against UConn. Photo Courtesy: Michael Kolch

By Zach Walker

Game Info
SMU Mustangs vs Connecticut Huskies
Saturday – November 10 – 11:00 a.m.
TV: ESPN3
Pratt & Whitney Stadium – East Hartford, CT

Records Before the Game
SMU Mustangs: 4-5 (3-2 in AAC)
Connecticut Huskies: 1-8 (0-5 in AAC)

Who’s got the advantage?
When SMU has the ball
Needless to say, that was a big victory. Don’t let detractors un-fizz your bubbly, that win against Houston was just as big as it was two seasons ago, when it was the biggest win in decades. The game, which went SMU’s way, puts the Mustangs only a single game back of Houston (with the obvious tie breaker in hand) for the American Athletic West, with a chance to not only become bowl eligible with two more victories, but an opportunity to be in a conference championship game. Really, just drink THAT previous sentence in, while going back to the beginning of the season, the thought of what’s in front of this SMU team is truly breathtaking. Though I framed out how the Mustangs could have beaten Houston, though I’m not held to my predictions, no one would have thought that was happening. Ben Hicks got as far away from the Cincinnati final as he could while remaining a starting quarterback and had a very strong game, though a few of the touchdowns were more catch and run than ball distance, Hicks still was very strong, and the Reggie Roberson touchdown was a thing of beauty out of the duo. I’m sure that coach Dykes and former UConn offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee will attempt to replicate the ground game production that they got against Houston, where they gave Ke’Mon Freeman twenty carries and those gained 107 yards and Freeman got into the endzone a pair of times, including the dagger touchdown to give SMU their finishing total of 45 points. Not just Hicks putting his Cincinnati tape behind him, Kyran Mitchell had a two sack Saturday.

What will it take for the Mustangs to win?
The Mustangs are looking to win consecutive games for just the second time this season, improve their conference record, and get to the doorway of bowl eligibility, all against a team that is struggling mightily. The Huskies have had a comparably difficult schedule to SMU, but haven’t fared nearly as well, though the game against Charlie Strong’s Bulls was entertaining, but this isn’t a game that SMU can afford to let get away, though the Mustangs are very easily capable of playing to the level of UConn in this game. Hicks must go up to Connecticut and have him and his skill position talent shine through.

Prediction
SMU 41
UConn 28