College Football News Preview 2020: Keys To The Season
Biggest Key To The SMU Mustangs Offense
Don’t forget about the running game. It’s always been a bit of misbelief that Sonny Dykes offenses were pass, pass and more pass. There’s lots of passing, of course, but the ground attack cranks out yards in chunks, too.
The problem is that the running game doesn’t necessarily settle anything down. It’s not exactly along for the ride, but when the games start to get wild-and-crazy, the passing side takes over.
The Mustangs ran for 120 yards or fewer four times. The first time was in the win over TCU, and the other three were in the three losses. The three games with the fewest rushing attempts all season were in those three defeats.
Biggest Key To The SMU Mustangs Defense
The secondary has to stop giving up so many first downs. The Mustang run defense had problems getting cranked on late in the year – Navy, Tulane, and Florida Atlantic kept moving the chains with their respective ground games without an issue – but throughout the season it was the secondary that couldn’t come up with stops.
Third downs weren’t the problem. The pass rush was usually able to do its part on the money downs. But the offenses kept on throwing and throwing some more, with SMU allowing six 300+-yard days and giving up 13 or more first downs through the air in five of their last six games.
Key SMU Mustangs Player To A Successful Season
DT Terrance Newman, Jr.
With so many big losses and so many producers gone on the defensive front seven, SMU has to get a big year out of its big bowling ball on the inside. The 5-11, 315-pound Newman should get some help from Stanford transfer Michael Williams, but it’s his line to potentially anchor after getting his feet wet with five tackles and a sack.
Key Game To The SMU Mustangs Season
Memphis, Oct. 1
It was one of the wildest games of the year. SMU vs. Memphis got the fill primetime Saturday night treatment, and the game lived up to it in a wild 54-48 Tiger win. That turned out to be the AAC West title game.
This year, it’s the conference opener for the Mustangs. With no UCF to face, beat Memphis, take care of home in showdowns against Navy and Houston, and it’s their spot in the conference championship for the taking.
– SMU Mustangs Schedule Breakdown & Analysis
2019 SMU Mustangs Fun Stats
– 1st Quarter Scoring: SMU 128 – Opponents 55
– Sacks: SMU 51 for 320 yards – Opponents 17 for 108 yards
– 4th Down Conversions: SMU 22-of-30 (73%) – Opponents 15-of-32 (47%)