Bowl Preview: SMU vs. Louisiana Tech in the Frisco Bowl


Photo by John Hamilton

DXL Frisco Bowl

SMU (7-5) vs. Louisiana Tech (6-6)

December 20, 7 p.m.


About SMU

SMU got off to a 4-1 start in Chad Morris’ third year at the helm of the program, but the Mustangs struggled late in American Athletic Conference action. Three straight losses to UCF, Navy and Memphis put somewhat of a damper on what could have really been a breakout year, but regardless SMU is going bowling again for the first time since 2012. The Mustangs ended the regular season with a win after holding off Tulane 41-38 at home, as Ben Hicks put on a show throwing for 375 yards and four touchdowns. Unfortunately, Hicks and company are making the short trip to Frisco without Morris, who accepted the job at Arkansas after the conclusion of the regular season. The Mustangs original plan was to enter the game with former Gilmer coach Jeff Traylor as the interim head coach, but the school hired former Cal coach Sonny Dykes on Dec. 11. That move led Traylor to accept a position on staff with Morris, so Dykes will coach in the bowl game looking to lead the program to just its fourth bowl win since 1985.

About Louisiana Tech

The Bulldogs will finish 2017 short of the nine-win mark for the first time since 2013, but the team’s 6-6 record is somewhat misleading. La Tech lost four of its six games by a combined 10 points, and the Bulldogs have lost three of their games by a single point. While coach Skip Holtz has caught a few tough breaks throughout the year, the team finished the regular season on a high note with back-to-back wins over UTEP and UTSA. A win over SMU would move the Bulldogs to 4-1 against the state of Texas, as North Texas is the only in-state school to record a victory over La. Tech this season.

Players to Watch

WR Courtland Sutton (SMU) – Trey Quinn leads the team with 106 catches for 1,191 yards this season, but this may very well be the last time Sutton (62 catches, 1,017 yards) lines up in an SMU uniform. The junior has a year of eligibility left but is projected as one of the top receivers in the 2018 NFL Draft class. The Mustangs will look for Sutton to go out with a bang if this is indeed the finale of what’s been a tremendous collegiate career.

RB Boston Scott (Louisiana Tech) – QB J’Mar Smith has been inconsistent all year, showing flashes at times while struggling mightily in other stretches. He completed just 7-of-21 passes for 101 yards and an INT in the bowl clinching win over UTSA to finish the season, forcing La. Tech to rely on the ground game. Scott, a 5-6 205 lb bruiser, stepped up and rushed for 130+ yards for the second straight game. The Bulldogs will need his production to continue at that level.

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