Sunday, April 3, 2011

SMU Mustangs 2010 Review

2010 Record: 7-7 (6-2), Tied 1st, CUSA West
2010 Bowl Game: Armed Forces Bowl, Lost to Army 16-14
2010 Schedule/Results: @ Texas Tech, L 35-27, UAB, W 28-7, Washington State, W 35-21, TCU, L 41-24, @ Rice, W 42-31, Tulsa, W 21-18, @ Navy, L 28-21, Houston, L 45-20, @ Tulane, W 31-17, @ UTEP, L 28-14, Marshall, W 31-17, @ East Carolina, W 45-38, @ UCF, L 17-7, Army, L 16-14


     2010 was not the raving success that 2009 was for the Mustangs, but they still managed to back their way into the CUSA title game, a game that they eventually lost to UCF. The one key to making it to the title game for the league was a key win over Tulsa, which was a game that if played 9 other times, the Golden Hurriacanes probably win them all. Consider it as just one of those days, one that SMU worked for and benfited from in the end.
     Kyle Padron did live up to his billing and more, as the sophomore passed for 3828 yards and 31 TDs in 2010, against just 12 picks. Expect some serious development from him coming into the fall, as any remnants of the leash that a coach puts on a young QB should be gone. Padron could challenge Hawaii's Bryant Moniz as the NCAA passing leader this season if June Jones allows him to just let it rip.
     Zach Line is a power back by definition, and he certainly powered his way to a huge 2010 season when he rushed for 1494 yards and 10 TDs. Line was incredibly as he averaged 106 yards per game for 14 games, something that is very difficult to pull off in todays game by any one player. There is virtually no depth behind Line, as the second leading rusher was Padron with 244 yards and 4 scores. It all falls on Line, who will also be a junior in 2010.
     There was some serious damage being done by the receiving corps. Two players busted the 1000 yard mark, and one came reasonably close by the end of the season.Aldrick Robinson was the leader with a massive line of 65-1301-14. Thos are going to be hefty numbers to replace, as Robinson is moving on to likely play on Sundays, when the NFL returns. Cole Beasley moves into the top receiver slot, as he amassed a total line of 87-1060-6 on the season. Darius Johnson, who probably could have started at most other CUSA schools, posted a line of 78-845-6, and should slide into the second receiver role, with Bradley Haynes (35-326-3) slipping into the slot, or third receiver role. No other receiver, other than Line out of the backfield (17-163-0), picked up 10 receptions last season.
     SMU was not exactly awesome defensively for the most part, but that's not their skill set. The Mustangs gave up 362.4 yards per game, 221.8 of which were through the air. Five Mustang defenders collected more than 80 tackles in 2010, led by sophomore LB Taylor Reed, who rolled up 145 tackles, 101 of which were solo. Pete Fleps, a senior LB, was all over the place as well with 124 tackles. DB Chris Banjo, a returnee in 2011, was third on the team, and first in the secondary, with 92 tackles. Sophomore Ja'Gared Davis (89) and Youri Yenga (81) a senior, were next on the chart. With Fleps and Yenga moving on, that's two LB slots that will open up, but LB has usually been a position of relative strength for the Mustangs. Davis was a terror on opposing backfields, as he led the team by far with 15 TFLs on the season, with no other Mustnag reaching near double figures. Davis also led the team with 8 sacks on the year. SMU collected 29 sacks in 14 games, but gave up 34.
     Richard Crawford was very good in coverage for SMU, as he defended 8 passes to lead the team. Sterling Moore, who was a senior, followed right behind with 7. SMU defended 45 passes in 2010, but the opposition outdid them again, with 53. Crawford also led the secondary with 4 picks, double what any other single player managed.
     Matt Szymanski was passable at best at PK in 2010 as a senior. He only managed to hit 7 of his 12 FGs, so his loss should not be a big deal for 2011. He did, however, hit all of his PATs. Szymanski was much better as a punter, as he averaged 41.33 yards per punt on 52 punts.


The reality is that SMU beneifted from an extremely weak CUSA West in 2010. Out of 6 teams in the division, only Tulsa finished the season with a winning record, with SMU landing at .500 after playing in a bowl. Jones is going to try to get the focus back, and has stellar stars in offense in Padron and Line, but the defense is going to have to shore up and make some bigger plays. Tulsa is not likely to give the Mustangs another gift in 2011 when the teams meet in Oklahoma, and Houston will be improved as well with the return of Case Keenum, so SMU may be playing against a stacked deck next fall.

No comments:

Post a Comment