Q&A with SMU D.C. Tom Mason

It's not something you often hear from a coach with as many years in the business as SMU defensive coordinator Tom Mason, but Mason told PonyStampede.com that Tulsa runs a formation he has never seen before.

You've said they run a formation or two that you have never seen in all of your years coaching, just talk about that when you saw it?

"Thirty three years in coaching and I have never seen this formation. They come up with stuff that is really just causes you problems. They overload you, put three guys to one side with the quarterback in the pistol, it's just stuff I have never seen before."

Does it make you scratch your head on what to do or do you have an idea of how to defend it?

"You can't worry about it. Your kids have to adjust. Our system accounts for a lot of stuff; it's how we built it. You just have to line up where they line up. It's just the way it is. It's more smoke and mirrors, they get you to start thinking."

Are teams going to stop throwing to Sterling's side one of these days?

"(Laughter) I don't know. He's pretty good. Who knows? In this conference, they throw to both sides. I would like to say he's a lockdown and they won't throw it anymore, but I think they will. I wouldn't."

Quarterback G.J. Kinne really struggled against you guys last year, before leaving the game with a concussion. How did you guys slow him down?

"We got a couple hits on him and got him out of a rhythm. That's what we have to do this week. We have to get after him."

Everyone talks about their passing game, but what about the running game. What do you see on film there?

"They are going to do a lot of motion to get your eyes moving. It's multiple formations. It's only about six base runs plays out of it. You have to be sound football. Every play has a quarterback run element with it or an option run element with it. You have to be ready for all of them."

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