Preview: Tech vs. SMU

Time to preview the Red Raiders and Mustangs season opener on Friday in Dallas.

There is probably a calendar with a bunch of dates with red x's on them and one with a circle around it in Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury's office.

 

The one date with the circle around it is August 30, 2013 – the first game of the season for the Red Raiders of the 2013 season, Kingsbury's first season, and the day has finally arrived.

 

"It's exciting," Kingsbury said. "That's why we came here was to play the games.  I think the players are ready.  It's going to be a great atmosphere.  We know it's a great opponent.  The five years I've been coaching, we've played SMU, and I know the type of talent they have and the coaching they receive, so we know the challenge we're up against."

 

Tech (0-0) heads into Dallas to take on June Jones and the rejuvenated SMU Mustangs with kickoff set for 7 p.m. at a sold out Ford Stadium.

 

On Thursday night it was announced that all tickets had been sold for the Friday night college football game.

 

The Mustangs (0-0) are coming off a 7-6 season that ended with a huge 43-10 victory against Fresno State in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl, providing momentum coming into the 2013 season.

 

SMU will rely heavily on fifth-year senior quarterback Garrett Gilbert, the former Texas Longhorn, to find success this season.

 

Gilbert is coming off a season where he went 268-for-506 for 2,932 yards and 15 touchdowns for the Mustangs.

 

Going into his final season, Kingsbury said he expects him to have a good season and is interested to see how he plays in the season opener.

 

"Yeah, really, being a quarterback, proud of his progress, actually," Kingsbury said. "I thought the situation down there in Austin was tough on him.  Obviously, for him to bounce back and do what he's doing now at SMU, you've got to tip your hat to the kid.  I expect him to have a great senior year.  You saw how he played the last two games last year, he was really hot.  With Coach Mumme coming in, I expect him to have a great senior year."

 

That is one of the additions to the coaching staff at SMU is Hal Mumme, who serves as an assistant coach and passing game coordinator.

 

Mumme comes to SMU after being the head coach at McMurry for the past four seasons and now will try and air it out for the Mustangs.

 

 "Yeah, offensively it's going to be interesting to see how Coach Mumme plays into it, obviously, those two great offensive minds coming together," Kingsbury said. "So we'll have to see.  If it's a blend of both or more Coach Mumme or more Coach Jones.  So there is some unknown in that."

 

For the Red Raiders it will be walk-on freshman Baker Mayfield getting the start on Friday according to ESPNDallas.com.

 

According to the article, Mayfield beat out Davis Webb for the starting job last week and has been taking the majority of the snaps since then.

 

Earlier in the week, Kingsbury was still keeping the identity of the starter a secret.

 

What's not a secret is the new head coach of the Red Raiders knows SMU pretty well, considering whichever team he has coached for the last five years has faced the Mustangs in each of them.

 

Most recently in Kingsbury's stop at Texas A&M the Aggies blew out the Mustangs 48-3 in 2012, but even with facing SMU each of the last five years that doesn't matter this season.

 

"I don't know if it helps," Kingsbury said. "I do know the respect level is way up after going against them for those five years.  Coach Jones has done an incredible job there from where it was at and the level he's taken it.  They have really good players and great schemes.  So it will be a great game to watch."

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