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Houston at Southern Methodist
When: 12:00 PM ET, Friday, November 28, 2014
Where: Gerald J. Ford Stadium, Dallas, Texas

A pair of rivals from the now-defunct Southwest Conference square off Friday when Houston pays a visit to winless SMU. The programs are heading in opposite directions, with the Cougars becoming bowl-eligible for a second straight season following last week's 38-28 win over Tulsa while the Mustangs have dropped 12 in a row - a skid that began with a 34-0 drubbing versus Houston last season. The Cougars have won four of five since converted wideout Greg Ward Jr. became the starting quarterback.

SMU showed it could play with Houston two years ago, scoring four defensive touchdowns in a 72-42 victory - a startling result given that the team has scored only 97 points in 10 games this season. That win came despite 560 total yards from the Cougars, who have won 10 of the past 12 meetings against their in-state rival. “For whatever reason since I’ve been here, they’ve given us problems," Mustangs interim coach Tom Mason told reporters. "They have great speed. They have great athletes. Their kids play hard. They drive me nuts. I would love to beat Houston."

TV: Noon ET, CBS Sports Network. LINE: Houston -22

ABOUT HOUSTON (6-4, 4-2 American Athletic): If not for a pair of of head-scratching losses to a pair of 3-8 teams in Texas-San Antonio and Tulane, the Cougars could have set themselves up for a major bowl upgrade and been in the mix for the conference title. Ward is completing 71.1 percent of his passes and rebounded from a four-interception performance in the shocker against Tulane with an efficient 16-of-21, 227-yard outing while Kenneth Farrow rushed for a season-high four touchdowns and eclipsed 100 yards for the fourth time. Freshman wideout Steve Dunbar, who had three catches through the first eight games, doubled the total versus Tulane before hauling in seven catches for 150 yards last week.

ABOUT SMU (0-10, 0-6): One week after nearly breaking into the win column in a last-second loss to South Florida, the Mustangs reverted to an all-too-familiar script, falling behind by 27 points in the first quarter of a 53-7 setback at Central Florida - their seventh defeat by at least 37 points. Sophomore Matt Davis, the fourth quarterback to start for SMU this season, had a pair of decent outings in narrow losses to Tulsa and South Florida before throwing for only 44 yards last week and is the team's leading rusher with 352 yards. Wideout Darius Joseph, who had 103 receptions last season, leads the team with 41 and is averaging a paltry six yards per catch.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Houston has forced a turnover in 33 consecutive games, the second-longest streak in the nation behind Ole Miss.

2. Davis set a school record for a QB with 181 rushing yards against Tulsa.

3. The Cougars ranked 13th nationally, allowing an average of 18.7 points.

PREDICTION: Houston 41, SMU 13
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
Houston 6-4 W1 28.6 18.7 4-3 2-1 1-1 4-3 4-2
Southern Methodist 0-10 L10 9.7 44.1 0-5 0-5 0-3 0-0 0-6
Last Meeting
Houston Southern Methodist
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
11/29/13 SMU 0 HOU 34 365 120 245 295 83 212
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Houston J. O'Korn 61.0 245 2 2
Southern Methodist N. Burcham 51.9 212 0 3
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Houston R. Jackson 7 62 8.9 1
Southern Methodist P. Line 17 81 4.8 0
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Houston D. Spencer 7 100 14.3 1
Southern Methodist J. Johnson 8 75 9.4 0
Touchdowns Player TD
Houston K. Brooks 1
Southern Methodist K. Acker 0
Season
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Houston G. Ward Jr. 71.3 1230 7 5
Southern Methodist G. Krstich 54.7 855 2 7
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Houston K. Farrow 127 686 5.4 9
Southern Methodist M. Davis 65 382 5.9 3
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Houston D. Greenberry 54 607 11.2 4
Southern Methodist D. Thompson 29 491 16.9 1
Touchdowns Player TD
Houston K. Farrow 10
Southern Methodist M. Davis 3
Quickchart Matchup
Houston Off vs  Southern Methodist Def
387.1 yards
524.4 yards
4.5 yards/rush
5.1 yards/rush
6.3 yards/attempt
9.2 yards/attempt
Southern Methodist Off vs  Houston Def
258.1 yards
329.2 yards
3 yards/rush
3.6 yards/rush
4.7 yards/attempt
6.1 yards/attempt