What to do

Billy takes a look at how SMU can get better with the two weeks it has to prepare for Texas A&M.

Quarterbacks

Weakness: A lack of any vertical threat and running game have really hurt the SMU quarterbacks. The run game against North Texas was completely abandoned early. Against Baylor, much of the negative yardage was through sacks, but still there wasn't any sort of ground game to supports the QBs so far this year. Protection got better against North Texas, but the quarterbacks still had trouble finding open receivers.

What to do: Establish a running game and get the quarterbacks outside of the pocket. If SMU can get the ball in space even quicker to some of its receivers, that will take a lot of pressure off. A running game would be a plus at this point. It also wouldn't hurt to pick a quarterback and stay with him.

Running Backs

Weakness:Lack of touches has hurt the backs and with the rotating nature at the position, has not allowed anyone to get into a rhythm. The quarterbacks are putting the offense in tough positions by taking sacks, but the running backs aren't a threat as of right now because of their lack of touches.

What to do: Commit to running the ball early. Make it known that SMU wants that to be a part of their gameplan. Don't just put Prescott Line in there to block or Pope to get occasional handoffs, utilize them.

Wide Receivers

Weakness:Drops have hurt the receivers a little bit as well as poor timing and play calling. SMU's attempt at a more vertical offense has been replaced by digs and hitch routes as well as the bubble screen.

What to do: It would help the team's morale to start taking a lot more chances. It will get the receivers energized and make them want to work harder. Utilize Jeremiah Gaines in different ways as well. Sticking him at outside receiver has not worked.

Offensive Line

Weakness: Chemistry and technique. Wes Suan's group has been blown off the ball for the most part and that's on technique more than anything. In pass protection, linemen are standing straight up and getting caught flat-footed. There's no hope for the quarterbacks or running backs with that protection.

What to do:Get back to the basics and focus on developing a group that can grow together instead of being rotated in and out.

Defensive Line

Weakness: Both Baylor and North Texas' quarterback got to sit back for the most part and pick apart SMU's defense without a major push from just the front three. SMU has one sack on the year and it comes from Zelt Minor, who's hurt now. The rush defense has been gashed all year, ranking 118th.

What to do: The run defense should focus on playing with good gap discipline and that could help limit the large rushing days SMU has seen from its opponents so far.

Linebackers

Weakness: Getting caught by linemen. The SMU linebackers have helped get at least a pass rush going, but against the run, missed tackles at the second level and at the line of scrimmage have made for big running days by opponents.

What to do: Move your feet and play with your head on a swivel. SMU has gotten caught and beaten for big gains because its linebackers haven't filled gaps as well they did last year.

Secondary

Weakness: Injuries. SMU's pass defense has performed much better than last year, ranking 50th in the country. SMU is giving up just over 210 yards through the air per game. Most of SMU's corners though are nicked up at the moment and that does hurt the Mustangs in pass defense.

What to do: The bye week comes at a great time to the likes of Horace Richardson and J.R. Richardson to get their nagging injuries all healed up and be ready for the rest of the season.


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