2022 New Mexico Bowl Preview: SMU Mustangs vs BYU Cougars

Look for the Mustangs to lay it all on the line against the Cougars. Photo Courtesy: Dominic Ceraldi

By DaVince “Dino” Wright

Game Info
SMU Mustangs vs BYU Cougars
Saturday – December 16 – 6:30 p.m.
University Stadium (NM) – Albuquerque, NM

Records Before the Game
SMU Mustangs (7-5)
BYU Cougars (7-5)

This bowl game is a win-win for both schools. There were times during the season that both schools struggled to put up points and play solid defense. SMU showed that they could close out teams in the 4th quarter while BYU went on a 3-game winning streak allowing them to get a bowl bid. Let’s take a look at this year’s New Mexico Bowl.

SMU Mustangs
All season I shared my thought about quarterback Tanner Mordecai. I shared that he’s one of the best quarterbacks in the country. He has passed for 3306 yards with 31 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. In the middle of the season when his team needed him the most he shined and carried the Mustangs to some huge wins. Running back Tyler Lavine has carried the ball 119 times, racking up 551 and 9 touchdowns. The key for a Mustang win will be getting the ball to wide out Rashee Rice. He has 1355 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns.

BYU Cougars
The Cougars are a really good team that needs to win this game. The Cougars offense averages 31.9 points per game while defense is giving up 30 points on their side of the ball. Starting quarterback Jaren Hall is listed as questionable for the game. He is the heart and soul of the Cougar offense. Running back Christopher Brooks will need to carry the load. He has 729 rushing yards this season with 5 touchdowns. The Cougar defense will be the x-factor for this game. Stopping the SMU offense will be a huge task.

ESPN has the Mustangs with a 52.5% chance of winning this year’s bowl game. The over/under is 64, so take the over in this one. Neither team can state that their defense is the strength of their team. I’m taking SMU by 9! BYU will need to regulate the Mustangs on offense and special teams. SMU is a dangerous team, and this will be what the country is waiting to see the rebirth of the “Pony Express!”

Final Score
Mustangs – 39
BYU – 30