SMU Mustangs Outlook

It's the Mustangs Vs. The Broncos!

 

 

     The number 15 had a different type of significance in Dallas last Saturday night.  While the Broncos were trying to extend the nation's longest winning streak to 15, SMU was trying to end the nation's 2nd longest losing streak (Army, 18) at the same number.  Following their 36-13 victory over San Jose State – the program's first win since an 11/23/02 win versus Tulsa – SMU coach Phil Bennett indicated he was "relieved" to vanquish the "500 pound gorilla".  In contrast, you'd have to go back to 10/3/98 to amass 15 TOTAL Boise State losses. 

 

     Mustang fans may find optimism from the fact that 3 of the last four times that SMU won, they won two in a row.  "This is where the season starts," said Bennett following last week's victory, and indeed SMU finds itself in a 4-way tie at 1-0 in the WAC standings.  Saturday night (BSU Homecoming, 6:05 p.m., Bronco Stadium) is SMU's first and potentially only trip to the "House of Blue", as they depart for Conference USA after this season.  In the only prior meeting, BSU won 45-3 in Dallas (10/18/03). 

 

     SMU (1-3, 1-0) runs the ball (155-541, 3.5 average, 3 TD) more than they throw it (65-123-650, 3 TD, 5 INT).  Apparently, times have changed since the days of the "Pony Express" with Eric Dickerson and Craig James.  Overall, this is a young team, with 69 freshmen and sophomores to only 32 Junior and seniors. 

 

SMU Players of Note:

 

Passing – Junior JC transfer Tony Eckert made his first start at quarterback for SMU last week, and led the Mustangs by their reins to touchdowns on their first two drives.  He finished 8-15 for 91 yards and a touchdown.  Junior Jerad Romo also quarterbacked on Saturday night, going 4-7 for 52 yards with 1 TD through the air, carrying 11 times for 69 yards, and catching a 22-yard TD pass off a reverse.  No word on who we should expect to see on the Blue this week, but apparently we should be ready for just about anything.

 

Rushing - Senior Foy Munlin is SMU's primary ball carrier, breaking the century mark against SJSU (16-114, 1 TD).  Freshman Cedrick Dorsey is the next most productive back for SMU this year (18-79, 1 TD)

 

Receiving - Chris Foster was the primary receiver against SJSU (7-93, 2 TD), but the Mustangs seem to spread the ball around.  On the season, 7 guys have 6 or more catches, but none have more than 9.  Other notables include Sophomores Ryan Kennedy (9-98, 0 TD on the season) and Jay'Mond Cleveland (8-85, 0 TD).

 

Returns – Sophomore WR Blake Warren returned most of the kicks for SMU last week, including a 26-yard punt return and a 24-yard kickoff return.

Kicking – Junior Chris McMurtray handles the kicking duties, where he is 6/6 in PAT and 2/2 FG with a long of 35.  We all know what happened to the last kicker who came into Bronco Stadium perfect on the season!

 

Keys to the game:

 

Get off to a quick start – While the Broncos routinely scored on first possessions the last couple years, they've yet to do so this year.  Meanwhile, SMU scored on their first two drives last week.  BSU needs to get out to an early lead in this horse rodeo, scoring like Chicago voters (early and often).

 

Stop the big play – SMU doesn't appear to have anyone the caliber of Hass (OSU) or Watkins (BYU).  There's no reason to let anyone get behind us.  It's time to prove we can stop someone again after 3 weeks of subpart defensive play.

 

Take care of assignments – SMU scored on a trick play reverse throwback to the quarterback last week.  Everyone needs to know their responsibility and execute it flawlessly.

 

Take care of the ball – While SMU has shown a propensity to turn the ball over (11 giveaways, 0 takeaways), BSU needs to minimally maintain the zero in the category.  Maybe its time for the defense to score this week as well.

 


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