BYU vs. SMU: How to watch, listen to or stream the New Mexico Bowl
Cougars and Mustangs meet in a bowl game for the second time, after BYU staged a massive comeback to beat SMU 46-45 in the 1980 Holiday Bowl
17th annual New Mexico Bowl
BYU (7-5) vs. SMU (7-5)
Kickoff: 5:30 p.m. MST
Venue: University Stadium, Albuquerque, N.M. (39,224)
Radio: 1160 AM/102.7 FM
Series: BYU and SMU are meeting for the fourth time overall and the second time in a bowl game. The Cougars stunned the Mustangs 46-45 in the 1980 Holiday Bowl in one of the greatest comebacks in college football history. BYU leads the series, 3-0.
Weather: Mostly sunny skies will greet the Cougars and Mustangs during pregame warmups, but darkness will set in just before kickoff and temperatures are expected to drop from the low 40s to mid-30s and possibly high-20s during the game.
For BYU: The Cougars have won three straight games and are playing some of their best football of the season, having downed Boise State and Stanford in November. BYU is playing in its 40th bowl game overall and sixth under head coach Kalani Sitake. BYU is 3-2 in bowl games coached by Sitake.
For SMU: The Mustangs are bowl eligible for the fourth straight season and are coming off a 34-31 win over Memphis on Nov. 26. They are 7-9-1 in bowl games, and are looking for their first bowl victory since a 43-10 win over Fresno State in the 2012 Hawaii Bowl.
What to watch for
Barring a last-minute miracle, BYU will play without starting quarterback Jaren Hall for the second straight bowl game. Hall has a high ankle sprain and is doubtful for the game. Last year, he missed the 31-28 loss to UAB in the Independence Bowl with a similar injury. Boise State transfer Cade Fennegan is expected to get the start, although he has not taken a snap this season.
Coach Rhett Lashlee is in his first season as SMU’s head coach after serving as the Mustangs’ offensive coordinator in 2018-19 and Miami’s offensive coordinator in 2020 and 2021. The Mustangs have a prolific offense. They finished the regular season in the top 15 in the FBS in passing offense (fifth, 324.9), scoring offense (11th, 38.4) and total offense (12th).
Chris Brooks, RB, BYU: With quarterback Jaren Hall unlikely to play, look for the Cougars to pound the ball on the ground at an SMU defense that has been vulnerable against the run. That means the Cal transfer can expect a lot of carries, after picking up 164 yards in the 35-26 win over Stanford on Nov. 26. Brooks enters the game with 111 carries for 725 yards as BYU’s leading ball-carrier.
“Yeah, the run game is always important and we are playing a team that can score a lot of points, so we need to get first downs and score points. Our offense is meant to be balanced. We run the football and we throw the ball down the field mostly off our run game. So we need to be able to do both.” — BYU offensive coordinator Aaron Roderick.
“There are a lot of similarities (to their seasons). It happened a little bit different, but what you got is two good football teams that played really tough schedules. You look at everybody BYU played, they played some really good teams. They had that four-game stretch in the middle of the year, where they lost to Notre Dame, Arkansas and Liberty and East Carolina. Other than that, they are 7-1, with that one loss being Oregon. They have played good people, they have beaten good people like Baylor in Week 2, and others.” — SMU coach Rhett Lashlee.
BYU officially joins the Big 12 on July 1, 2023, and will play host to Sam Houston on Sept. 2, 2023, in its first game as a Big 12 member.
Sept. 3 — BYU 50, South Florida 21
Sept. 10 — No. 25 BYU 26, No. 9 Baylor 20 (2OT)
Sept. 17 — No. 25 Oregon 41, No. 12 BYU 20
Sept. 24 — No. 19 BYU 38, Wyoming 24
Sept. 29 — No. 19 BYU 38, Utah State 26
Oct. 8 — Notre Dame 28, No. 16 BYU 20
Oct. 15 — Arkansas 52, BYU 35
Oct. 22 — Liberty 41, BYU 14
Oct. 28 — East Carolina 27, BYU 24
Nov. 5 — BYU 31, Boise State 28
Nov. 12 — Open date
Nov. 19 — BYU 52, Utah Tech 26
Nov. 26 — BYU 35, Stanford 26