If anyone can turn a season around, it's June Jones.
Heck, he's turned an entire football program around, a whole athletic department around, how hard is it to flip a switch for four more games?
SMU (5-3, 3-2 C-USA) only needs one more win to become bowl eligible, and that should be attainable as the Mustangs face Tulane, Navy, Houston and Rice the last part of the season. Realistically, SMU should win at least three of those next four games (No. 13 Houston will be tough).
What has happened to this high-tempo offense that's been averaging 430 yards per game? This past weekend, Tulsa held SMU to 265 yards of total offense, their lowest of the season. Quarterback J.J. McDermott, who's thrown for three 300-yard games in his first year as a starter, has gone 33 of 69 for 353 yards and six interceptions and no touchdowns in the last two games combined.
His best game of the year was just three weeks ago against UCF, where he went 20 of 31 for 358 yards and two touchdowns. How is it possible to have a performance like that and turn around and have the worst of your career in back-to-back games? It's mystifying.
The two-game conference road trip had been circled on everyone's calendar for awhile as the toughest part of the season. SMU came away majorly defeated. Now comes another test. The Mustangs get to play at home over the next two weeks against weaker opponents. Then they head on the road to play Houston, where Case Keenum is lighting up every team he plays.
But SMU has to stay focused and get convincing wins over Tulane and Navy before that. If not, the season will be over. If not literally, definitely mentally.
"As I told the team, our spirits are hurt. We're physically hurt. And Tulane's not going to care about that next week," Jones said after the beat down at Tulsa.
The last time SMU lost back-to-back C-USA games was in 2008, Jones' first year on the Hilltop. The team went 1-11 that year.
He needs to use whatever magic tricks or whatever pump up speeches and get inside his players heads like he did in 2009 and '10 or this season, that started with so much potential, could get out of hand.
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