2019 Boca Raton Bowl: SMU vs. Florida Atlantic

Two elite offenses will square off in what could be a shootout

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SMU (10-2) vs. Florida Atlantic (10-3)

SMU -3.5, O/U 70, Saturday 12/21, 3:30pm EST

Boca Raton Bowl VIEW GAME PAGE

  • The SMU Mustangs (10-2) will take on the Florida Atlantic Owls (10-3) in what will be a home game for FAU in the Boca Raton Bowl on 12/21/19.

  • Nonetheless, SMU is listed at the slight favorite against FAU, who will be playing this game without head coach Lane Kiffin, who recently moved on to Ole Miss.

  • The point total has hovered right around 70 points in what’s projected to be a high-scoring affair.

  • Check out our preview and prediction below.

SMU

After starting the year 8-0, SMU has gone 2-2 in their last four contests and both of their losses came by single-digits on the road (54-48 to Memphis on 11/2, 35-28 to Navy on 11/23). As a whole, the Mustangs have gone 7-4-1 ATS and the over has gone 9-2-1 in their games. SMU ranks 6th in the FBS in scoring (43.0 points per game), amassed 309.3 passing yards per game (12th) and managed 185.9 rushing yards per contest (41st) in what was an overall dynamic offense that ranked 9th in the nation (495.3 total yards per game). Junior quarterback Shane Buechele (3,626 passing yards, 33 TD, 9 INT), senior running back Xavier Jones (5.4 YPC, 1,249 rushing yards, 21 TD) and senior wideout James Proche (102 receptions, 1,139 yards, 14 TD) will likely be targeted by NFL scouts in the stands and all had phenomenal individual seasons. 

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Florida Atlantic

Unlike SMU, FAU got off to a slow start and then rebounded. After getting off to a 0-2 start following losses to Ohio State and UCF, they won 10 of their last 11 contests and just beat down UAB by the score of 49-6 in the Conference USA championship game. Like SMU, Florida Atlantic showed the ability to put up points in bunches at times this season, scoring over 30 points ten times and over 40 points six times in their last 11 contests. As a whole, FAU ranks 16th in the FBS in scoring (35.2 points per game), amassed 278.7 passing yards per game (30th) and accumulated 164.3 rushing yards per contest (63rd) in an above-average offense that ranked 33rd with 443.0 total yards per game. Sophomore quarterback Chris Robison (3,396 passing yards, 26 TD, 6 INT) freshman running back Malcolm Davidson (7.0 YPC, 711 rushing yards, 9 TD) and senior tight end Harrison Bryant (65 receptions, 1,004 yards, 7 TD) will be leaned on by the Owls. 

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Prediction

As seen in our SMU/Florida Atlantic Boca Raton Bowl preview, it’s tough to identify a clear advantage for either team. Will SMU lean on their dynamic playmakers to impose their will? Will either defense be able to get stops? How will Kiffin’s departure affect FAU?

Find out the best bets for this matchup and for every other bowl game!