Monday, August 16, 2010
Conference USA 2010-SMU Mustangs
2009 Record: 8-5 (6-2)
Head Coach: June Jones (3rd season, 9-16...85-57 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Jones and Dan Morrison (3rd season)
Defensive Coordinator: Tom Mason (3rd season)
2009 Bowl Game: Hawaii Bowl, defeated Nevada 45-10
Offense: The Mustangs rode their passing game to a bowl for the first time since before the death penalty. But two of the main weapons in the arsenal from last season are gone in WR Emmanuel Sanders and RB Shawnbrey McNeal. However, June Jones has two solid QBs in Kyle Padron and New Mexico State transfer JJ McDermott. Zach Line is the new RB, but he is very limited in experience. Aldrick Robinson and Terrence Wilkerson return at WR to give the QB two star potential targets. LT Kevin Beachum is the leader on the line, which returns 3 starters.
Defense: The defense held Case Keenum to a mortal 233 yards and limited Nevada, the national leader in team rushing, to 137 yards in individual games last season. Taylor Thompson and Marquis Frzier return at the ends, but the NT job is wide open going into the fall. Pete Fleps, Youri Yenga, and Ja'Gared Davis all return at LB, with Taylor Reed coming in as a new starter in the 4th LB spot. The secondary is under construction as FS Chris Banjo is the lone returning starter.
Special Teams: Matt Szymanski returns to handle both kicking jobs in 2010, and he excels at both, so there will be no issues here.
Wins: 9/11 UAB, 9/18 Washington State, 10/2 @ Rice, 10/30 @ Tulane, 11/27 @ East Carolina
Toss Up Games: 10/9 Tulsa, 11/6 @ UTEP, 11/20 Marshall
Losses: 9/5 @ Texas Tech, 9/24 TCU, 10/16 @ Navy, 10/23 Houston
The schedule gets very difficult from the end of September through October, but SMU can pull a few tricks if they are careful. The only problem is that when you come out of nowhere, everyone then puts a target on you. SMU may suffer from that issue this season.
Outlook: This could be another solid season for the Mustangs. June Jones has done an incredible job at showing people that SMU football could be relevant again. Look for another bowl bid this season, and look for possible conference championship contention next season.