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Gut Check Time: SMU vs Tulsa

The SMU Mustangs and the Tulsa Golden Hurricane have defenses made of glass. Expecting the teams to score a combined 100 points isn't out of the question. The winner may be whoever has the ball last.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The SMU Mustangs are coming off of a beatdown by the South Florida Bulls where they gave up 201 yards rushing.  To a Sophomore.  Quarterback.  A 38-14 loss may not seem like a back breaker, but was how SMU lost that may have psychological effects.  When Quentin Flowers wanted to run for a first down, he did.  And there was nothing that SMU could do about it.  They simply didn't have the athletes to keep him corralled.

Sometimes a team can blame a loss on poor execution, or a bad play call.  But, when you simply do not have athleticism, the game plan and faith in coaches can also suffer.  This will be a game where SMU can bounce back against a Tulsa team that is winless in conference. but has the 6th highest scoring offense in the nation.

Players To Watch

SMU:

Matt Davis:  The Mustang Quarterback was absolutely horrible last Saturday against USF, completing 9-24 for 113 yards and a pick.  Davis is also a very capable rushing threat with nearly 450 yards rushing so far this season and 7 TDs.  He'll need to use every tool possible to keep the score close.

Courtland Sutton:  At 6'4'' and 215lbs the SMU freshman is a straight-up stud.  He has good speed to go with his large frame which will create issues for the 118th ranked Tulsa defense.  For Davis to have any success passing the ball, he has to get the ball to the playmakers, and Sutton is pretty much the only legitimate threat to take over the ballgame.

Tulsa:

Keyarris Garrett:  Fresh off a 268-yard, 3 touchdown performance in a loss against Memphis two weeks ago, Garrett has defenses trembling.

Even when he isn't open, it doesn't matter.

The Scuttlebutt:

Both teams are winless in conference play with no real hopes of catching Temple, Memphis, or Houston.  However, with SMU's remaining schedule comprising of Navy, #21 Temple at home, and #16 Memphis on the road this would be a perfect game to gather any kind of moment (and hope) to knock of one of the leaders of the AAC.

Tulsa on the other hand has all the horses to play with anyone offensively.  It's their defense that lets them down, especially late in games when fatigue sets in.  The rest of their schedule has very winnable games, save Navy, so a run at bowl eligibility is very much in their grasp.  A 3-4 record isn't disastrous, unfortunately none of them have been in conference play.