BYU and SMU battle on Saturday in an interesting matchup between two programs looking to go out on a high note heading into the offseason. The Cougars are coming off of a 35-26 win at Stanford to close out the regular season on a three-game winning streak. The Mustangs won four of their last five games, including a 34-31 win over Memphis to close out the season.

BYU's offense has been lights out this year thanks to the play of junior quarterback Jaren Hall. It averaged 440.7 yards per game, 6.81 yards per play and 31.9 points per game in the regular season, and will have a chance to build on that against a Mustangs defense that has given up 446.0 yards per game.

The Mustangs -- led by veteran quarterback Tanner Mordecai -- lead the AAC in passing at 324.9 yards per game and passing plays of 20 or more yards (66).

What should you expect Saturday night? Let's break down the game and make a pick.

How to watch New Mexico Bowl live

Date: Saturday, Dec. 17 | Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: University Stadium -- Albuquerque, New Mexico
TV: ABC | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)

BYU vs. SMU: Need to know

Mordecai's swan song: The star quarterback for the Mustangs is set to turn pro after the season, but decided to stick around for the bowl game in the hopes of making one final statement before potentially playing on Sundays. Mordecai finished the season as the second-most prolific passer in the AAC with 300.5 yards per game, which is the second consecuitve season he has averaged more than 300 yards per contest. If he shows out, he'll have to do it without receiver Rashee Rice, who has an injured foot and will prepare for the NFL Draft. 

Third down will be key: BYU's defense has struggled mightily on third downs this year. It's ranked No. 119 in the nation after opponents moved the chains on 44.82% of their attempts. SMU, on the other hand, has been wildly successful offensively when it counts most. The Mustangs have moved the chains on 47.03% of its attempts -- the 15th-best mark in the country.

Will Hall play: The star quarterback for the Cougars suffered an ankle injury during the final game of the regular season, and his status for the bowl game has been up in the air since. The Desert News reported this week that it is unlikely that Hall will play, which will put a ton of pressure on backup Cade Fennegan to take the snaps in what could be a shootout.

New Mexico Bowl prediction, picks

Stats don't lie, and SMU's third-down success combined with BYU's defensive struggles in the same situations will be the reason that the Mustangs leave with the win. If Hall can't go, this one could get sideways. Take SMU and lay the points because it'll win by double digits. Prediction: SMU -3.5

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Dennis Dodd
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Tom Fornelli
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Chip Patterson
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Barrett Sallee
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Shehan Jeyarajah
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David Cobb
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Jerry Palm

Which college football picks can you make with confidence during bowl season, and which underdogs will win outright? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread -- all from a proven computer model that has returned almost $2,500 in profit over the past six-plus seasons -- and find out.