High hopes on Hilltop; Mustangs stampede into new conference

Last year I thought the SMU Mustangs would rise to the top of their previous conference and walk away a champion before joining what was planned to be the Big East conference this season. I also thought Texas transfer Garret Gilbert would step up and prove to be a good quarterback under June Jones system. While he did show improvement as the season progressed, he still showed everyone why he got benched at Texas. Going into his second season under June Jones to be better from the start than last year, but I don’t see him improving to the hype he had coming out of high school.

I would expect to see June Jones user some of Gilbert’s mobility in his game plans to try and help him be more successful. Plus the addition of Hal Mumme as the passing game coordinator, these two things add up to some positive things for Gilbert and the Mustangs. But one thing that could prove to hurt the Mustangs is the fact that they lost SMU’s number two all time leading rusher Zach Line, and he leaves some big shoes to fill. But that won’t mean there isn’t a Line on the roster. Zach’s younger brother Prescott is on the roster and looks to get some playing time at running back this year. But overall the running backs are inexperienced and it will put more pressure on the passing game this season.

Last year was the first time since 2007 the Mustangs didn’t have a 1,000 yard receiver. The unit is actually more experienced this year and looks to be able to help make up for a huge loss in the running game. Look for at least one receiver to crest the 1,000 yard mark this year. One of the other big questions going into this season will be the offensive line, last year they were a little green and this year they will have more experience but is it enough? Will there be enough cohesion and experience to allow for Gilbert to be able to make plays from the pocket, or will he be running for his life every snap. If he is able to sit there and read the defense, then the Mustangs will have a shot at winning a few games they probably should lose. But offense is only half the story, what will the defense look like this season?

There will be some big shoes to fill on the defensive line because the Mustangs are losing Margus Hunt. Other than a couple players, this unit will be very inexperienced and will have a lot of questions this season. Don’t expect to see a lot of great play from the d-line, but as with any season you could have some surprises. The defensive prowess in 2013 will ultimately be left up to more experienced units. The linebackers return five of their top eight this season, but you will also see for running back Rashad Wembly getting reps in at linebacker this season. Don’t expect this unit to be as good as last year, but they may be able to be a quality unit and keep the defensive line from looking like Swiss cheese.

The secondary is probably going to be the most experienced unit on the field, but they will not be getting much help from the d-line and may have to be relied on heavily to make those crucial stops. In a nut shell, it looks like the 2013 SMU Mustangs will have to outscore opponents more so, than rely on a stingy defense. I could be wrong about this, but I think if the Mustangs can score easily, then they will be in more games than they were last season. Looking at their schedule breakdown, I am figuring the Mustangs will be looking at a possible 8-4 record in 2013.

With an 8-4 record the Mustangs will wind up with another bowl birth, which will be a 5th straight bowl birth. And knowing June Jones affinity with Hawaii, they will probably be playing in the Hawaii bowl again, unless they don’t get offered an invite to that bowl. If the Mustangs can finish with this record, then they will have improved their record and will be on the right track moving forward. The season is right around the corner, and I think there is a lot to be excited about on the Hilltop.

SMU Mustangs 2013 Schedule
8/30-Texas Tech – L
9/7- Montana St. – W
9/21- @Texas A&M – L
9/28 – @TCU – L
10/5 – Rutgers – W
10/19 – @Memphis – W
10/26 – Temple – W
11/9 – @Cincinnati – L
11/16 – Uconn – W
11/23 – USF – W
11/29 – @Houston – W
12/7 – UCF – W
2013 Record: 8-4

4 thoughts on “High hopes on Hilltop; Mustangs stampede into new conference

  1. Nice informative article Kody. Hope they can play up to the standards Coach Jones wants. We’ll see. Good article.

  2. Pingback: High hopes on Hilltop; Mustangs stampede into new conference | Sports Blog Movement

  3. Pingback: High hopes on Hilltop; Mustangs stampede into new conference - BallHyped Blog Network, NCAA Football | BallHyped Sports Blogs

  4. Pingback: SMU is ready for 2013 with Hal Mumme on the Hill - dfwfootball

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