The 2018 spring college football rankings, taking the first look at the SMU Mustangs.
No. 81: SMU Mustangs
Spring Practice Starts: March 21
Spring Game: April 14
SMU Mustangs Spring Status
If you like the SMU passing game rocking and rolling before, now you get the Sonny Dykes era about to kick in – get ready for the air show to go into hyperdrive. At least that’s if everything goes according to plan.
The passing game that averaged almost 300 yards per game get back QB Ben Hicks, but it loses star receivers Courtland Sutton and Trey Quinn. With four starters back up front, and some nice running backs, the O will be just fine.
The defensive front has to replace DE Justin Lawler and a few other key parts, but there’s enough experience returning to hold serve.
After going 7-6 last season with a bowl appearance, the parts are there to do more. And have a whole lot of fun doing it.
SMU Biggest Depth Chart Battle
Wide receiver. The Mustangs have targets – starting with James Proche and with a few other promising options – but Quinn caught 114 passes with 13 scores, and Sutton came up with 68 grabs and 12 touchdowns. Just about everyone else who caught a pass is back, but 26 of the 35 touchdown catches last season have to be replaced.
SMU Biggest Issue
The pass defense has to be a whole lot better. Yeah, SMU had one of the nation’s best passing attacks, but the defense gave up the big yards just as quickly, allowing close to 3,500 yards with 26 scores. How bad are this numbers, really? That includes a loss to Navy when it didn’t complete a pass. There were three 400-yard games and three other 300 yarders.
SMU Biggest Positive
The O line should be strong. Center Evan Brown is done, but the other four starters are back after going through a few growing pains. The Mustangs were good in pass protection and the rushing attack wasn’t bad – this group will keep Ben Hicks in one piece
Really, Why Are The SMU Mustangs Ranked Here?
Expect a whole lot more of the same. The Dykes offensive system will make stars out of the receivers, and the triggerman is there in Hicks to make it all go. The defense will still be just okay, but the passing attack will do all of the heavy lifting for a team good enough to go bowling again.