SMU exploring the art of trick plays

June Jones has integrated some form of trickery into his last two games. There are times when it's been successful and times when it has not been, but the point is, SMU is adding trick plays to its scheme. Anything to help them win.

Despite SMU's offensive struggles, there's some light to be shed in terms of trickery.

June Jones is not one for change, but in the past two games against Navy and Houston, the Mustangs have integrated a few trick plays into their scheme.

Cole Beasley lined up in the wildcat in the fourth quarter against the Midshipmen and ran in a touchdown to make the score 24-17, Navy. That hint of the unexpected gave SMU a chance to come back and win (even though they did not).

Beasley ran the wildcat twice against the Cougars this past weekend in the third quarter. On second-and-3 from the UH 36, J.J. McDermott hit Beasley for his longest pass of the day, a 27-yarder, to bring the Mustangs inside the five.

Beasley lined up in the wildcat on first and second down, but handed it off to running back Jared Williams, who was dropped for a loss of one yard on the first play and a loss of two on the second. McDermott came in on third down and his pass en route to Beasley was intercepted in the end zone by Phillip Steward.

SMU ran a few trick plays on special teams as well that were more successful.

Punter Matt Stone ran for a first down at the start of the second quarter with his team down just 6-0. SMU hadn't been able to convert a third-and-3 at the Houston 39. Stone bobbled the snap, but settled down and sprinted to the first-down mark. Backup kicker Mike Loftus ultimately went wide ride on e 35-yard field goal attempt.

Down a catchable 16-0 in the third quarter, J.R. Richardson ran 8 yards, then made a lateral pass to Bryce Lunday, who returned a kickoff 38 yards to the SMU 46. Set up in good field position, McDermott fumbled two plays later on a 9-yard rush. Case Keenum led Houston on a 13-play touchdown drive on the ensuing possession.

"We've been working on those plays," Jones said. "We had some trick plays on offense, but we didn't try them because we couldn't control the front."

It's good to see SMU try out something new. There's work to be done as far as execution, but the point is, they're exploring options.


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