Still, the massive investment the university laid out to lure head coach June Jones away from Hawaii could be starting to pay dividends. The Mustangs are beginning to flash some of the offensive potency his system is known for. If the defense can find a way to plug a few holes, the ‘Stangs could even start thinking about the possibility of their first bowl game in 25 years.
| Cougars (0-2) vs Mustangs (2-0)|
AT A GLANCE
2 pm Pacific Time
Players to Know
Bo Levi Mitchell, QB: The sophomore is still on the small side for a quarterback but is starting to play big time in his second season in Jones' system. He threw for 353 yards and 3 touchdowns in the win over UAB.
Emmanuel Sanders, WR: Is in second place in the school record books with 204 career catches, adding nine last week for 148 yards.
Another week, another June Jones designed run-and-shoot offense. The Cougars had plenty of practice against the carbon copy version he left at Hawaii, now they get to try their hand against the architect himself. The good news is SMU has less talent than what Hawaii brought to the table. Combined with a true home field advantage, there is some reason for optimism.
Learn to play defense.
THE MUSTANGS ON DEFENSE
Players to Know
Rock Dennis, S: One of only three seniors on SMU's defensive roster. He was defensive player of the week after the first game and had an interception, pass deflection, and six tackles in week 2. He and fellow safety Chris Banjo are the primary ball hawks WSU needs to account for.
SMU's 3-4 sacrifices size for speed and aggressively tries to force turnovers. So far they have been successful, forcing 6 fumbles and intercepting 9 passes in the first two games. But they are far from impenetrable. Through the first two games opponents are averaging 454 yards per game and 6 yards per play against the Mustangs.
Hang on to the bloody football.
THE MUSTANGS ON SPECIAL TEAMS
SMU appears sound in most special teams categories. Bryan McCann is a dangerous kick returner.
If the Cougs aren't in full panic mode this week I am not sure what it takes. If WSU doesn't get a win this week, an O-fer season appears likely. SMU has a new confidence under June Jones but this same team went 2-22 coming into this season. Their confidence is high, but could be fragile. Hawaii had much more reason to expect success, as many on their roster still remember the Sugar Bowl season of 2007. SMU won't have that kind of swagger until the scoreboard backs them up.