1. Starting center, senior Blake McJunkin, did not participate in practice Tuesday or Wednesday, as he was walking around in a protective boot due to a high ankle sprain he sustained Sunday against Texas A&M. Backup Bryce Tennison came in for McJunkin and may get the start this weekend against UTEP if McJunkin isn't feeling better by Friday.
If McJunkin doesn't improve and Tennison gets hurt, SMU is in trouble, as its depth on the offensive line is thin and inexperienced. Offensive line coach Adrian Klemm might have to resort to true freshman Taylor Lasecki.
2. Zach Line rushed for 128 yards against A&M, 108 of which came in the first half.
UTEP gave up over 200 yards rushing and over 400 yards of total offense to FCS school Stony Brook this past weekend. So Line and the SMU offense as a whole should be able to exploit the Miners defense pretty well.
"[UTEP] isn't going to bring as much pressure as A&M did," Line said. "A&M brought a lot of pressure. They forced us to go back on one-on-ones. We probably won't see more than 10 blitzes [from UTEP] the whole game and that'll be a big change from what A&M did.
"But it will also be a little harder because you're not looking for it every play, so it can sneak up on you. We gotta stay alert all game."
3. Coach June Jones named J.J. McDermott the starting quarterback for UTEP on Tuesday instead of Kyle Padron. Line said that it doesn't matter to him, or the offense as a whole, which guy starts because they both know the system well.
"All of us have played with both [quarterbacks]," Line said. "They've both been taking first-team snaps all summer, they both manage the huddle well, they're both calm in their demeanor and they both do their jobs as quick as they need to while keeping the offense calm."
Jones said this week that though McDermott will start, both will play. Asked if the offense will get confused when the quarterbacks sub in for each other, Line said no.
"I don't think the change will do anything. If J.J. starts and Kyle comes in, you won't feel a difference because they're both really good quarterbacks," Line said. "I wouldn't even notice if they switched. Except, maybe, J.J. is a little bit taller, that's about it."
4. Neither McDermott nor Padron were available to talk after Wednesday's practice. Both said they had to get to class. Hopefully they'll be free on Thursday…
5. Last week we found out that true freshman defensive tackle Rashad Wimbley was converting to running back. Wednesday he got a bunch of reps and although he's still about 280 lbs., he sure can run down the field.
Wimbley said last week that he needs to get down to about 260 lbs. before coaches think about playing him.