Insiders Look: SMU Offense

Panthers know SMU can pass based on the run and shoot system. There is some concern over the Mustangs' running game as well. Some defensive players have said this week the run game can sneak up on you if you're paying too much attention to SMU's passing attack.

Quarterback – J.J. McDermott
J.J. McDermott became SMU's starting quarterback in the middle of the first quarter of the Mustangs' first game of the season against Texas A&M after former starter Kyle Padron threw back-to-back interceptions. McDermott assumed quarterback duties and went 5-0 thereafter, beating teams like TCU and UCF in his first year. But in the latter part of the season, he hit a rough patch and SMU lost four of its last six games. In that stretch, McDermott threw six touchdowns to 11 interceptions. He ended up finishing the regular season with equal touchdowns to interceptions (16).Running backs – Rishaad Wimbley, Jared Williams
After SMU rushing record-breaking running back Zach Line had season-ending surgery on his foot after the Navy game, true freshmen Rishaad Wimbley and Jared Williams had to step up and fill the void. Both had sub-par outings against Houston, combining for just 30 yards on 39 carries. But Wimbley, a nose-tackle-turned-running back, had a breakout game the next week in the regular season finale against Rice, rushing for 115-yards and two touchdowns. He's finding his groove.

Wide receivers – Cole Beasley, Darius Johnson, Terrance Wilkerson, Der'rikk Thompson, Jeremy Johnson
Obviously in the Run and Shoot, the receiving corps is the main attraction. Cole Beasley and Darius Johnson are McDermott's two main targets. They've combined for 151 catches for 1,952 yards and nine touchdowns this season, and rank third and fourth, respectively, in Conference USA in yards per game.

Offensive Line – Kelvin Beachum, Josh LeRibeus, Bryce Tennison, Kelly Turner, Ben Gottschalk
The offensive line is the most experienced unit on the field, but they have not played like it this year. The line has given up 26 sacks, which is the eighth-worst total in C-USA. McDermott threw 16 interceptions on the season, and not all of that was his fault, as the o-line didn't give him enough protection. They also had way too many penalties.

Panther More Top Stories