SMU Mustangs 2021 College Football Preview

SMU Mustangs 2021 College Football Preview

Created July 31, 2021

2020 Recap

Record – 7-3

ATS – 5-5

The Mustangs stormed out of the gate and won their first five contests which included a pair of squeakers vs solid Memphis and Tulane squads. They got their heads caved in by Cincinnati in game number six (L 42-13) and lost their final two games of the campaign (Tulsa, East Carolina). Lets see how things shape up heading into 2021.

SMU Mustangs 2021 Outlook


It’s not gonna be easy to replace veteran starting QB Shane Buechele who booked an excellent 57-16 TD to INT ratio with the Mustangs in his two years as the starter. First call will go to highly-regarded Oklahoma transfer Tanner Mordecai and he’ll have the best WR unit in the AAC to call his own. Rashee Rice, Danny Gray, and Reggie Roberson are a formidable trio and they’re complemented by another Oklahoma transfer in TE Grant Calcaterra (9 TD LY). The top-three RBs return including #1 Ulysses Bentley who rushed for over 900Y and 11 TD LY whilst caching 21 balls out of the backfield in his spare time. Center Hayden Howerton and guard Jaylon Thomas lead a talented and experienced offensive line that returns over 140 career starts. This offense has every right to be lethal (#12 FBS total offense LY).


The Mustangs allowed 30.9 PPG LY (#6 AAC) and have improved three straight years in that regard since allowing 36.7 PPG in 2017. Nine starters return for battle and they get a yuuuuge upgrade at DC in MEGALOCKS fav Jim Leavitt who’ll get these guys moved into a 3-4 alignment. They have a number of interesting options at DE and Elijah Chatman is excellent inside (7.5 TFL LY). Three starters are back at LB including #1 tackler (3 sacks) Delano Robinson, and they also return a trio of starters on the back end whilst adding Florida transfer CB Jahari Rogers. We fully expect improvement on defense and they could be really good if they can find an elite pass rusher.


PR Tyler Page is gone (15.2 avg LY) and they’ll need to find replacements for P AND PK Chris Naggar. The good news is that excellent PK Blake Mazza comes over from Washington St (20/21 FG 2019, 4/4 LY).

Schedule Analysis

Overall – They should get off to a 3-0 start before facing TCU on the road. The AAC road docket is pretty nasty (Houston, Memphis, Cincinnati).

Potential ATS Trouble Spot – at Louisiana Tech (September 18th)

This could be a lookahead spot given that the date with in-state Power 5 opponent TCU is on deck.

Season Win Total

per 5Dimes July 31

Over 6.5 +105

Under 6.5 +125


Lean: Over.

They should be able to hit AAC play with a mark of 3-1. Can they win four conference games? They have a tough draw to be sure but our best guess is that they GIT ER DONE.

MEGAmazing Tidbit

SMU has lost five consecutive games vs UCF with the last win coming back in 2011. They face the Knights in Dallas on November 13th and that game could have yuuuuge implications.


The Mustangs look like a 2nd tier threat in the AAC simply due to their schedule. The offense will be fantastic presuming that QB Tanner Mordecai has the GAME that we expect and the defense has significant upside potential. Legit AAC SURPRISE PACKAGE with a shot to take it all down.

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