Skip to main content

New Mexico Bowl: College Football News, Player Opt-Out Tracker & Game Preview (SMU vs. BYU)

by Thor Nystrom | Featured Writer
Dec 15, 2022
New Mexico Bowl: College Football News, Player Opt-Out Tracker & Game Preview (SMU vs. BYU)

Thor Nystrom tracks players opting out of upcoming bowl games as well as the coaching changes around the college football landscape. Thor will update the article through the remainder of the season to keep you updated on bowl games, college prospects, and the 2023 NFL Draft.

And below we’ll take a closer look at the upcoming bowl game: New Mexico Bowl.

Check out Thor’s projections for all college football bowl games >>

New Mexico Bowl: College Football News, Player Opt-Out Tracker & Game Preview (SMU vs. BYU)

New Mexico Bowl | Albuquerque, NM

  • Saturday, December 17 | 1:15 PM
  • SMU (-5.5) vs. Brigham Young | Total: 64.5
  • ATL: SMU -8.5 | ATT: 63


  • RB TJ McDaniel (Transfer portal)
  • WR Rashee Rice (Injury)

WR Rice will sit with a toe injury. One of the nation’s most dangerous receivers, Rice dropped a 96-1355-10 receiving line during the regular season. RB McDaniel was a rotational back that SMU has the depth to cover for without issue.


  • QB Jacob Conover (Transfer portal)
  • QB Jaren Hall (Injury)
  • WR Keanu Hill (Injury)
  • OL Campbell Barrington (Transfer portal)
  • LB Keenan Pili (Transfer portal)
  • LB Payton Wilgar (Injury)
  • LB Max Tooley (Injury)

QB Hall suffered a right ankle injury in the finale against Stanford. X-rays were negative. But while Hall said after the game that he was okay and would “100%” play in the bowl game, BYU HC Kalani Sitake has been noncommittal about Hall’s status. I heard early Monday morning that Hall was likely going to be out. My co-host for the live Saturday handicapping shows, Mike Farrell, heard from his own sources that Hall was out barring a “miracle.” Between Sunday night and Monday morning, this line jumped from SMU -1.5 to -3.5, and it has now crossed over the key -4 and -4.5 thresholds – clearly multiple heavy hitters in the market heard what we heard.

Officially, Hall is considered questionable. This is what BYU OC Aaron Roderick said on Tuesday: “Yesterday, I thought he had a great chance to play. Today, I would say his chances are not quite as good as I had hoped. But there’s still a chance.” Hall was not made available to the media after practice that day. If Hall indeed can’t go, BYU is in a precarious position. QB2 Jacob Conover entered the transfer portal and is out of the picture.

Sitake said last week that backup QBs Cade Fennegan, Nick Billoups, and Sol-Jay Maiava-Peters would be competing in practice to determine who will take Conover’s old spot on the two-deep. Whoever that is would start assuming Hall can’t. QB Fennegan, a Boise State transfer, is the current leader in the clubhouse according to BYU’s most-recent depth chart.

WR Hill had 36 catches this fall. LB Pili was No. 2 on the defense in snaps taken, while injured LBs Wilgar and Tooley were Nos. 3 and 4 among the linebacking corps in snaps taken. The Cougars’ bad defense has had its linebacking corps decimated in advance of this game.

Coaching News

BYU’s staff got a serious shake-up after the regular season. BYU associate HC Ed Lamb, who also coached special teams, took the HC job at FCS Northern Colorado. Lamb is bringing the following coaches with him: BYU DE/S coach Preston Hadley, analysts Blair Peterson and Justin Walterscheid, and defensive graduate assistant DJ Williams. This comes after BYU pushed out longtime DC Ilaisa Tuiaki immediately after the season. Tuiaki returned 10 starters on defense but his unit sagged to No. 93 in yards allowed. In addition, strength and conditioning coach Nu’u Tafisi quietly left the program without an announcement from the university in early-December.

Whether you’re new to fantasy football or a seasoned pro, our Fantasy Football 101: Strategy Tips & Advice page is for you. You can start with our Beginner’s Guide to Daily Fantasy Football or head to a more advanced strategy — like A Guide to Orchestrating Early Season Trades — to learn more.

Get BettingPros premium to view top prop bets based on Cover Probability, Expected Value & Star Rating >>

BettingPros Free Upgrade Offer

SubscribeApple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | SoundCloud | iHeartRadio

Devy, Dynasty, NFL, NFL Draft