Football Schedule Breakdown Part One

First in a series of statistical breakdowns of Baylor's 2012 football opponents, starting with SMU.

In the first part of what will be a full week-by-week statistical breakdown of the Baylor Football schedule for 2012, I'll be taking a look at Southern Methodist University.


Quick Facts:

Conference: C-USA (will be joining the Big East in 2013)

Head Coach: June Jones (24-28 with SMU)

Defensive Coordinator: Tom Mason (5th year at SMU)

2011 Record: 8-5, defeated Pittsburgh in the BBVA Compass Bowl

All-time Matchup Record: 35-36-7 (in favor of SMU)
  • Baylor has won the last 8 matchups dating back to 1989.


Slightly More Advanced Facts:

Record against ranked teams*(last 5 years): 1-6
  • The Mustangs' only win was an overtime thriller against TCU in 2011.

Record against BCS conference opponents (last 5 years): 2-5
  • Wins against Washington State in 2010 and Pittsburgh in 2011, does not include TCU, who were in the Mountain West at the time.
  • SMU is 0-4 against the Big 12 with three losses to Texas Tech, and a loss to Texas A&M in 2011.

Returning starters from 2011 season: 10 (3 O, 6 D, 1 ST)
  • Southern Methodist returns a pair of receivers in Senior Darius Johnson (1,188 yards, 8 TD) and Sophomore Der'rikk Thompson (411 yards, 3 TD), as well as Senior RB Zach Line (2011 first team All C-USA, missed final 3 games with injury).
  • Key defensive returnees include 3 Senior Linebackers (Davis, Reed, Rogers), CB Kenneth Acker, and SS Ryan Smith.
  • SMU also returns their placekicker, Chase Hover (8/10 FGM/FGA, 0/1 40+ Yards).

2011 Offensive Averages:
  • SMU ranked 58th (FBS) in total offense, averaging 388.62 ypg. Despite having 1,124 yards rushing from Line, SMU ranked 101st in rushing offense with 113.77 ypg on the ground (Line averaged 112.4 ypg in the 10 games he played). In the air, SMU ranked much higher, averaging 274.85 ypg, good for 24th nationally. In terms of scoring, SMU came away with 25.85 ppg, which ranked 69th nationally.

2011 Defensive Averages:
  • Defensively, SMU ranked 26th in total defense, giving up 340 ypg. SMU held opponents to 118.31 ypg on the ground (slightly more than they averaged on offense), good for 23rd among FBS teams. The Mustangs fared a bit worse against the pass, averaging 221.69 ypg, 55th nationally. SMU gave up 23.1 points per game, placing them 40th.

*in ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll week of game played

Analysis:

Prediction and game analysis have never been my strong suit, but looking from a statistical approach, SMU will be relying on a new QB (former Texas starter Garrett Gilbert), and a largely one-man running game, who is coming off season-ending injuries. If Line can stay healthy, and Gilbert can perform to his talent level, SMU should be an effective offensive team. Replacing five starters on OL is never an easy task, and SMU will likely need time to adjust.
On the defensive side, SMU returns starters everywhere except up front. SMU will likely see an increase on the 118 ypg allowed in 2011, while improving on their mediocre pass defense. SMU had a fairly impressive defense in 2011, however, it is dampened somewhat by their 68th ranked Strength of Schedule (Rogers Poll).

Key Matchup: Gilbert and the SMU OL vs. the Baylor pass rush. If the Baylor defense is able to create pressure and get to Gilbert, it will be a long day offensively for the Mustangs. Baylor's front 7 will need to take advantage of the inexperienced OL and cause Gilbert to have flashbacks of the 2010 Texas season.
Honorable Mention: Nick Florence vs. SMU secondary.

Likely Useless Facts:

Record in away game season openers since 2002: 0-5
  • Texas A&M in 2011, Texas Tech in 2010, 2006, and 2003, and Rice in 2009

SMU has ended only 4 of the last 10 seasons with a win. They are 0-3 in season openers with a winning streak, and ended 2011 on a 2-game streak.

The last time SMU visited Floyd Casey Stadium (way back in 2003), Baylor won 10-7. The head coach for SMU? Current Baylor Defensive Coordinator Phil Bennett, then in his second season at SMU.

Discuss this article and the Baylor/SMU matchup in the Bears Den Forum.

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