2013 SMU Spring Football Analysis
SMU Mustangs 2013 ...
Head Coach: June Jones
Why To Get Excited … the Mustangs are taking a stiff tailwind into their maiden season in the Big East. SMU won its final two games of 2012, including a Hawaii Bowl rout of Fresno State, 43-10, on Christmas Eve. The program expects to reap the benefits of participating in a more recognized league, leveraging larger TV audiences and better postseason opportunities into greater success on the recruiting trail.
8/30 Texas Tech
9/7 Montana State
9/14 OPEN DATE
9/21 at Texas A&M
9/28 at TCU
10/12 OPEN DATE
10/19 at Memphis
11/2 OPEN DATE
11/9 at Cincinnati
11/23 at USF
11/29 at Houston
Why To Be Grouchy … SMU will be facing a new slate of competitors with a lot of new starters on both sides of the ball. The Mustangs got whacked via graduation a year ago, and now must replace three starting offensive linemen and some of 2012’s premier players. Of the seven players named First or Second Team All-Conference USA, including standouts Zach Line, Margus Hunt and Ja’Gared Davis, just one, CB Kenneth Acker, remains on the Hilltop.
The Number One Thing To Work On Is … the secondary. Acker is a fine place to start, but he won’t survive on an island in 2013 without more help from the safeties and his fellow cornerbacks. While the Mustangs picked off 21 passes, 13 came in blowouts of Stephen F. Austin and Houston. And the DBs too often allowed opposing receivers to get behind them. Worse yet, Hunt, Davis and LB Taylor Reed are no longer around to apply pressure, and take some heat off the overmatched pass defenders.
Team Concerns For 2013: The Mustangs have some huge replacements to be made on both sides of the ball, especially on the defensive line that loses all three starters including huge pass rusher Margus Hunt. Three starters are gone on an offensive line that was awful in pass protection, but the biggest problem is with an inefficient passing game that was never consistent. The secondary that gets back all four starters has to be far tighter after giving up 278 yards per game.
Non-Conference Games: Texas Tech, Montana State, at Texas A&M, TCU
Realistic Best Case Record: 8-4
Worst Case Record: 3-9
Likely Finish: 4-8
Pre-Preseason Projected Wins: Montana State, at Memphis, Temple, UCF
Pre-Preseason Projected Losses: Texas Tech, at Texas A&M, at TCU, Rutgers, at Cincinnati, Connecticut, at USF
Schedule Analysis: The Mustangs have a nice team returning, but life outside of Conference USA is going to be far tougher with few true layups. Going against Montana State will help, but the easier games against former league foes Memphis and Houston are on the road. Getting Temple at home won’t be a breeze, and good luck dealing with Cincinnati on the road or Rutgers at home. There’s no Louisville to deal with, but going on the road to Texas A&M and TCU after kicking off the year against Texas Tech won’t be fun, and then comes Rutgers. The Mustangs only have to leave Texas once until November and three times all year, but it’s still going to be a rough run.
The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ... Defensive backs. This is a huge class with a little something for everywhere, but June Jones has signed on a ton of safeties to play around with. They're almost all big, and with a little time in the weight room, some of them like Myles Crosby could become smallish linebackers. J'Marcus Rhodes should be the best of the lot, but linebacker Roderick Moore could be the team's best defensive pickup.
The star of the class is running back Traylon Shead, who'll almost certainly come in and be a part of the starting equation right away. Tight end Jeremiah Gaines and offensive tackle Travis Fister will be good Big East players.
2012 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 60. That Class Was Heavy On ... The defensive line. June Jones went hard after the offense the last few years to get the players he needs to run his attack, and now it’s time to fortify the front wall that’s going to need prospects to develop for 2014. The offense won’t be ignored, but the key players are going to be for the line instead of among the skill players.
2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking:
51. That Class Was Heavy On ... Outside linebacker. The June Jones offense needs receivers, and after loading up last year, the offense got yet another influx of talent with Arrius Holleman and Ronnell Sims two dangerous targets. The defensive line loaded up with several strong hybrid prospects, while the linebacking corps got several safety-sized, speedy players with Devon Moreland a terrific get and Jonathan Yenga and Cameron Smith two promising recruits.
2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 73. That Class Was
Heavy On ... Receivers. After
putting the building blocks in place with a big
recruiting class of offensive linemen last year,
June Jones is getting the receivers to make his
style of offense fly. With Shawnbrey McNeal leaving
early for the NFL, there was a hole to fill at
running back and freshman Darryl Fields might fill
it, but the bulk of the class is at receiver with
eight prospects coming in led by Kyle Guinyard, a
potential No. 1 target who had offers from several
Big 12 schools.
2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 65. That Class Was
Heavy On ... offensive linemen. What good is the run-and-shoot if the quarterback is always running for his life? In fine shape at the skill positions for the next few years, June Jones loaded up on linemen, many of whom will need to spend their first year adding girth and weight. In Ben Hughes and Joey Fontana, the Mustangs signed two of the nation’s top 10 centers, so replacing Mitch Enright in 2010 shouldn’t be a major headache.