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P6 Pick’em: Houston seeking revenge against SMU

An embarrassing loss to the Mustangs last year motivates this year’s team

NCAA Football: Houston at Southern Methodist Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

Week 5’s Game of the Week ended up being a flop, but the winning team did look mightily impressive. UCF took control of the top spot in our latest Power Rankings, but the season is just beginning to heat up. Three top teams will face stiff competition, and we could have more changes after this week’s P6 Pick’em. We welcome back our co-host of this series, Joe Serpico. We have used the honor code to update Joe’s scores from last week in which he predicted all six winners correctly. The race is tight between us two average Joe’s, and another week of tightly contested games could fluctuate our records even more.

P6 Pick’em Records- Joe: 39-5 Joey: 40-4

Game of the Week

SMU at Houston (Houston -6, Saturday 6:00pm CT)

Houston was favored by six the last time they were at home, and they did not play well in their loss to Texas Tech. Now, they face another high-octane offense in SMU. Houston’s defense showed it can compete with the best, but they’ll need to do a better job of limiting the big plays even if the offense can’t get on the board right away. They won’t have the luxury of hanging around that long against SMU, especially if Ed Oliver doesn’t play. The star was injured on a chop block to his knee, and will be a game-time decision.

Against the Red Raiders, Kyle Allen struggled to get the offense going, and putting in Kyle Postma changed the dynamic of the offense. The offense stalled last week even with Postma playing all game, but that could be attributed to multiple things. With another week of experience under his belt, the offense could gel better and put up more points against what should be yet another weak SMU defense.

The Mustangs have talent on defense, don’t get us wrong, but the depth is the concern. Defensive end Justin Lawler and safety Jordan Wyatt are two names to note, but other players need to step up. There offense can’t keep outscoring teams, although that side has the talent and depth to do it.

Quarterback Ben Hicks is off to a fantastic start, and could be considered the best quarterback in the conference at this point. SMU’s success has hinged on his progression, and he has performed beyond expectations. Both the backfield and receiving corps are deep, and will give Houston all they can handle and more.

Joe: SMU 35 - Houston 30

Joey: Houston 27 SMU 24

The Rest of the AAC

Memphis at UConn (Memphis -14, Friday 6:00pm CT)

Memphis finds themselves on the other end of a big matchup, but they can’t let a hangover hurt them once again. When the Tigers upset UCLA, they struggled the following week against Southern Illinois. UConn’s offense is starting to show some life under Rhett Lashlee, and the Tigers defense was exposed on Saturday. UConn’s defense can feel their pain as they’ve been struggling the last few weeks as well.

Joe: Memphis 33 - UConn 20

Joey: Memphis 31 UConn 17

Temple at ECU (Temple -2.5, Saturday 11:00am CT)

A battle of the worst ensues but, believe it or not, these two teams are headed in different directions. Temple is headed towards the bottom, and seems to have more questions than answers this season. ECU may have the worst defense in the country, but their offense is starting to gain some traction with Thomas Sirk at quarterback.

Joe: Temple 27 - ECU 23

Joey: ECU 31 Temple 28

Air Force at Navy (Navy -7.5, Saturday 2:30pm CT)

Is Navy a legitimate contender? We’ll find that out with the next three games. Air Force may not be what anyone expected, but this is still a rivalry game. Navy follows this week up with games against Memphis and UCF, so we will get the answer to our question soon enough. We’ll also see if Zach Abey has what it takes to win big games.

Joe: Navy 31 Air Force 20

Joey: Navy 34 Air Force 24

Tulsa at Tulane (Tulane -4, Saturday 3:00pm CT)

The fact that Tulane is favored tells you all you need to know about 2017 for both of these teams. Tulsa consistency on both sides of the ball has been missing, while Tulane finally has an offense to compliment its defense. Good news for the Green Wave: Tulsa allowed 420 rushing yards to their last opponent, Navy, who also runs the triple option. That stat should give a pretty good indication for how this game should play out.

Joe: Tulane 30 Tulsa 21

Joey: Tulane 34 Tulsa 31

#25 UCF at Cincinnati (UCF -10, Saturday 7:00pm CT)

UCF dominated its conference matchup with Memphis last week, but they could learn from the Tigers for this game. The Knights need to move on from last week’s game quickly, because the Bearcats won’t care. Cincinnati is a wild card so far this season, and we’re never quite sure which team will show up. Inconsistency on both sides of the ball, and they can’t afford to slip up against one of the best teams in the conference.

Joe: UCF 33 - Cincinnati 17

Joey: UCF 35 Cincinnati 21