CoogFans' SMU update

SMU is well on their way to reaching another bowl game after starting off the season 4-2 and losing a tough one at Navy this week.

SMU Mustangs
Conference USA

  2010 Record: (4-3, 3-0)
2009 Record: (8-5, 6-2)
2009 Bowl: Hawaii Bowl vs Nevada (W 45-10)
Coach: June Jones (13-19 at SMU, 88-60 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: June Jones
Defensive Coordinator: Tom Mason

  Current Leaders
Rushing: Zach Line, RB, 635 yards
Passing: Kyle Padron, QB, 1,818 yards
Receiving: Aldrick Robinson, WR, 580 yards
Tackles: Taylor Reed, LB, 73
Sacks: Ja'Gared Davis, LB, 7.0
Interceptions: Sterling Moore, CB, 2; Ryan Smith, S, 2

  Other Key Players: S Chris Banjo, OT Kelvin Beachum, WR Cole Beasley, OT J.T. Brooks, LB Pete Fleps, DE Margus Hunt, WR Darius Johnson, G Bryce Tennison, DE Taylor Thompson, LB Youri Yenga

  SMU is well on their way to reaching another bowl game after starting off the season 4-2 and losing a tough one at Navy this week. SMU has had a habit of losing to Navy lately, but that has wrapped up the non-conference schedule and now the Mustangs can concentrate on winning the C-USA West and the big test will come this week against Houston.

  Strengths:
SMU has won games in a variety of ways this season, but it is still the offense that garners all of the attention. Quarterback Kyle Padron has built off of his successful freshman campaign and through seven games is completing nearly 60 percent of his passes. More importantly, Padron has thrown 19 touchdowns and just six interceptions. All of the receivers that were expected to be major contributors have not disappointed. Aldrick Robinson is the leader of the group and is the big playmaker. Robinson has only caught 31 passes, but he averages an impressive 18.7 yards per catch and has reached the end zone seven times. Cole Beasley has continued to be a steady target and sophomore Darius Johnson has really made a name for himself and actually leads the team in receptions with 45. It is not surprising at all that the passing offense is currently ranked 28th in the nation, but it is surprising that the Mustangs have found a nice ground game led by Zach Line. The 6-1 sophomore is not much of a breakaway threat, but he is a bruiser who can move the chains. How important that is was clearly shown at the end of the Tulsa game when SMU was able to run out nearly seven minutes of clock to clinch victory. That is something this team could not have done a year ago.

  Weaknesses:
The defense has improved a little bit since last year, but they struggle to make the big play and create turnovers. This is a unit that through seven games has only forced seven turnovers. Meanwhile the offense commits more turnovers than that and that puts this defense in tough situations. SMU as a team is getting more used to the 3-4 scheme and linebackers like sophomore Ja'Gared Davis are having huge years, but he is the only player forcing much discontent in the backfield. Fellow linebackers Taylor Reed and Pete Fleps are fine tacklers, but Davis needs help from the ends to get more pressure on the opposing quarterback. Taylor Thompson is an experienced player, but only has tallied 2.5 sacks on the year. Fellow end Margus Hunt has 2.0 sacks and nobody else on the team has more than one. In the C-USA numbers like that will give the opposition way too much time to throw and throw they will. The secondary deserves credit for doing a solid job, but players like Ryan Smith and Sterling Moore would have a much easier time of it with a little more pressure from the front seven. If that happens, the secondary will capitalize on their opportunities to create turnovers.

  The Bottom Line:
SMU is the team to beat in the West after Houston faltered against Rice. However, the showdown with the Cougars will determine who is in the driver's seat to make the championship game. The Mustangs still have trips to UTEP and East Carolina which could very easily blemish their conference record, but Houston is usually the big game and will be again. The Mustangs have lost four in a row to the Cougars, but this is the year they think that little streak can end.

  2010 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 145.14 (70th in nation, 7th in conference)
Passing Offense: 263.86 (28, 4)
Total Offense: 409.00 (47, 6)
Scoring Offense: 28.29 (60, 7)
Rushing Defense: 134.86 (43, 4)
Pass Defense: 224.29 (76, 6)
Total Defense: 359.14 (57, 3)
Scoring Defense: 25.86 (69, 4)
Turnover Margin: -.86 (106, 11) Sacks: 2.14 (55, 6)
Sacks Allowed: 2.14 (70, 9)

  2010 Results:
September 5th at Texas Tech: 27-35
September 11th vs. UAB: 28-7
September 18th vs. Washington State: 35-21
September 24th vs. TCU: 24-41
October 2nd at Rice: 42-31
October 9th vs. Tulsa: 21-18
October 16th at Navy: 21-28

 


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