PonyStampede.com 2008 SMU offensive preview

Air sirens are going off in the Highland Park area. No there hasn't been a tornado spotted in the area, it's just game time on the Hilltop at SMU. Footballs will definitely being flying throughout the air at Gerald Ford Stadium this fall. Go inside PonyStampede.com Offensive Preview of June Jones new offense for 2008

When you say the name June Jones one instantly thinks of high scoring offense.

Jones was hired at Southern Methodist University back in January to revive a program that hasn't been to a bowl game since 1984.

Now it's his job not to only revitalize the football program, but to bring back excitement to the Hilltop.

There has perhaps never been this much excitement and buzz surrounding SMU, not for at least the last 20 years. We at PonyStampede.com are proud to present our pre-season offensive preview.

Call air traffic control at DFW

The airways surrounding the DFW area will be very busy with Jones in town. Look for the Mustangs to throw the football 80 to 85 percent of the time.

While SMU has pre-season All-conference punter Thomas Morstead, don't expect the Mustangs to punt if they get past their 50 yard line. Jones is known for going for it on fourth down and even has admitted not to be surprised if he lines up on 4th and 1 and goes for it, not on the ground but through the air.

Quarterbacks-There were five, now there are two

One of the biggest surprises of fall camp came a week ago when Jones announced that he had decided to go with two true freshmen to lead his high powered offensive attack.

While it's definitely not the first time a D1 program has decided to take a fresher approach to things, the jury is still out how two 18 years old will fare in game type conditions.

Bo Levi Mitchell is a proven winner. That along with several other reasons may have contributed to Jones selecting the former Katy High School star. Mitchell is 29-1 overall as a starter in high school, leading his team to an undefeated 16-0 season his senior year. Jones hopes that Mitchell will continue to show the leadership and confidence that led to his success just last fall.

Braden Smith may be the biggest surprise of fall camp. While he impressed with his solid play, no one expected Jones to name him the No. 2 man heading into this week's match up against Rice.

Smith, the son of successful high school coach Scott Smith, shows everyday he has grown up around football. His decision making abilities on the football field and a strong and solid arm with good accuracy has parlayed the true freshman into the top two performers at his position.

While naming two freshmen as the top two quarterbacks coming out of camp, the biggest surprise might be who didn't make the cut.

Two year starter and record setting signal caller Justin Willis had trouble making the transition to the new offensive system.

Missing spring practices due to academic reasons, Willis never recovered, despite his hard work ethic during the summer and fall camp.

Red-shirt freshman Logan Turner was the only quarterback to go through Jones' spring camp, while many expected his knowledge of the offense to put him ahead of the competition, he wasn't able to overcome the two strong armed freshmen.

Perhaps the best physical specimen at quarterback in pure size a lone may be local walk-on Winston Gamso. Playing his high school ball down the street at Highland Park, Gamso has good size, at 6-5, 215-pounds and a great touch on the ball. Jones has already said he plans to red shirt the talented signal caller.

Can't be a good quarterback without good receivers

At no time will you see the Mustangs without four wide outs on the field offensively, well maybe during a water break and then you will see seven or eight.

It's no secret that Jones is going to throw the ball. No one could be happier than junior wide out and returning starter Emmanuel Sanders.

Sanders caught nearly a thousand yards last season and is expected to be a big part of Jones' plan this fall. The talented pass catcher can do amazing things with the football once it hits his hands. Good hands, speed and consistency should see Sanders put up huge numbers for the Mustangs this season.

Another experienced wide receiver is Aldrick Robinson. The speedy athlete from Waxahachie Texas will add a lot excitement to Jones offense.

The other two positions appear to still be up for grabs. The battle appears to be between two veteran and steady performers against two very talented but young athletes.

Junior Zach Zimmerman from Flower Mound brings starting experience to the table. A very steady athlete, with great hands, Zimmerman brings consistency to the position.

Battling him for a starting role is former quarterback Terrance Wilkerson, a red shirt freshman. Wilkerson has made a smooth transition and has been praised by Jones on several occasions during fall camp.

The other wide receiver position up for grabs is the one that sophomore Josh Bryant is penciled in at as the starter on the Mustangs two deep roster. Bryant, a speedy 5-foot-6 pass catcher hopes his speed, experience and consistency will secure him in the starting lineup.

Challenging him is newcomer and true freshman Cole Beasley. Beasley , a former high school quarterback at Little Elm High School, is trying to his raw athletic abilities to make some special happen on the football field. With good speed, Beasley has a habit of making tough catches look easy. If he doesn't start, expect him to contribute this fall.

Jones has said that he will travel eight wide receivers. Expect true freshmen Cole Loftin, B.J. Lee to round out the eight.

How much run will occur in Run and Shoot?

Jones' offense is called the Run and Shoot. The real question will be how much running will it involve. Expect three running backs to see action this fall, senior DeMyron Martin, senior Andrew McKinney and sophomore Chris Butler will all see playing time.

Martin and McKinney are both big backs, something that Jones has liked to use over the past years in his career.

Difference Makers?

The one position that may control the Mustang's destiny this fall is that of the offensive line.

Former NFL great Dennis McKnight is the Mustangs new line coach, he has brought a new excitement and toughness to the position. If the line can perform well and give the true freshmen quarterbacks protect, the sky could be the limit for this new offensive system on the Hilltop.

Anchoring the offensive line will be returning starter and pre-season Rimington Watch list candidate Mitch Enright at the center position. The former standout from Southlake Carroll has been a consistent and intelligent performer for the Mustangs.

A battle appears to be brewing at left tackle between red shirt freshman Kelvin Beachum Jr. and senior Tommy Poynter. Both bring a lot of athletic talent to the table, it will be interesting to see who plays the most at the position.

The left guard is in good hands with senior Sean Lobo. The athletically talented lineman has become a leader of the unit along with Enright. Backing up Lobo will be Josh LeRibeus.

Two newcomers will be battling for the right guard position. Red shirt freshmen Bryce Tennison from Austin Texas and true freshman Zach Boyd from Highland Park. Both have been pleasant surprises during fall camp. Expect both to see action.

The right tackle position appears to be in the good hands of Vincent Chase. A former highly recruited tight end has bulked up over the off season and is expected to give the Mustangs a very gifted athlete at the position. True freshman Jimmy Chase will be Chase's backup.


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