The Baylor Bears and SMU Mustangs kick off the 2015 season Friday evening at 6:00 p.m. in Dallas, TX. Baylor, coming off of an 11-2 season that saw them win their 2nd consecutive Big 12 championship, is the heavy favorite over SMU. The Mustangs were just 1-11, and fired coach June Jones midway through the year. New head coach Chad Morris, formerly the offensive coordinator for Clemson, takes over the program. Morris brings a high uptempo spread offense to the Mustangs, and one that will focus on the ground attack, led by quarterback Matt Davis.
|Date||Friday, Sept. 4 | 6 p.m. CT|
|Location||Dallas, Texas | Ford Stadium (32,000)|
|TV Talent||Dave Flemming (pxp), Mack Brown (analyst), Allison Williams (sideline)|
|Radio||ESPN Central Texas | SiriusXM 84|
|Online Audio||Listen Online|
|Ticket Information||Purchase Tickets|
|Game Notes||Baylor Notes|
Baylor opens season on road against SMU
Ahhh, football. Welcome back. It is game week for the Baylor Bears, as they look to start the 2015 season on the road against former conference rival SMU. The Bears travel to Dallas on Friday, September 4th to start one of the most anticipated seasons in Baylor history. Coming off of back-to-back Big 12 Championships, and consecutive 11-win seasons, the Bears return a talented and experienced roster, looking to take the next step towards the College Football Playoffs. After finishing 1-spot out of the playoffs in 2014, Baylor currently occupies the 4th spot in the rankings in the AP and Coaches Poll.
SMU is looking to bounce back after a disastorous 2014 season that saw them fall to just 1-11 on the season, causing the firing of Head Coach June Jones. Through his 7-year tenure, Jones turned SMU into a solid program, winning at least 7 games four season in a row and advancing to 4 consecutive bowl games, before sliding to 5-7 in 2013. The Mustangs looked lost from the start of the 2014 season, a 45-0 loss to the Baylor Bears in the inagurual game of McLane Stadium. It did not get much better after that, with SMU scoring just 12 points total in their first four games of the season. They lost the first 11 games of the season before a 27-20 win in the final game of the year on the road at Connectiut.
From The Other Side: SMU ($)
1. How has Coach Morris begun to change the culture of the program and how are players and fans reacting to that change?
Energy and tempo. That’s how it’s been done. It truly has been a shot in the arm to the program to see someone operate with such intensity and drive everyday and that’s something the team is picking up on. Morris has brought accountability to the team and made the players take ownership of the team. Players and fans alike have been loving every second of it so far. He’s engaging, genuine and like I said, energetic. That’s something SMU fans needed the most was someone who brought energy and he’s certainly done that.
Baylor vs. SMU Game Predictions ($)
BearsIllustrated Co-Owner and Recruiting Coordinator
This is a statement year for the Baylor Bears. The Bears return almost everyone on offene and defense, but do have to plug in at one key position, the QB position. This isn’t as much of a concern as it might have been 3 or 4 years ago, but it does cause some to pause for a second. Seth Russell takes the helm in place of record setting QB Bryce Petty, who is now battling for position in the QB rotation of the NY Jets. With a defense that seems poised to be dominate and one of the tops in the Country, look for Russell to come out and gain confidence early against SMU. The Ponies will be working in a completely new system under new Head Coach Chad Morris, so this will be a prime opportunity for the Bears to make a nice opening statement to begin the year. The Bears run away with this one.