SMU Found their man

The SMU Mustangs named their next head football coach this week, they signed Clemson Offensive coordinator Chad Morris their next head coach. While there will always be excitement about a new coach coming into town and overturn the staff, there is reason for excitement at SMU with this hire. Morris is known around the state of Texas and has a history with high school coaches from his time as the head coach at Lake Travis.

Fans shouldn’t expect Morris to come in and win immediately, but it is safe to say he will start building this program with local talent and should be able to have SMU back to their levels under June Jones. One knock on Jones was his reluctance to really heavily recruit the local kids, which probably helped his downfall. It is going to be a new start for the Mustangs, and while things won’t be great on day one, Morris can build this program in his vision and turn it into a competitive program.

The only real question is going to be how long will Morris be here? If he starts winning, he could draw the attention of some bigger programs. If that day does happen to come, he will probably leave the program in better shape than he found it. Things are looking up for SMU with this hire.

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SMU Coaching Candidates

SMU Tom Mason

Interim Head Coach Tom Mason

In the weeks after June Jones surprisingly resigned, there has been a lot of speculation over who could wind up being the next Head Coach on the hilltop. Right now, the Mustangs are in a deep mess and need to look at serious candidates who can bring in some the superb local talent and fire up a fan base which has been very slow to return. While it was a surprise to most within the program to see Jones leave, the coaching staff is working hard to turn this season around and make sure they can end on a high note. Interim Head Coach Tom Mason may be coaching for a full-time head coaching job, but there will be plenty of rumors about possible names to fill the spot vacated by June Jones. Continue reading

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June Jones Resigns; Who should be next?

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In a surprising move today from Head Coach June Jones announced he was stepping down due to personal reasons from the SMU coaching job. While there has been some speculation he would probably not make it past the season, most everyone figured he would at least finish out the season before stepping down.

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June Jones extended through 2017 at SMU

Six years ago when June Jones landed on the Hilltop, nobody knew if he would be able to turn around a program which had not seen any sustained success since before the death penalty. He quickly answered that question with having the Mustangs on the brink of a Conference championship in consecutive years. While SMU has not blown the doors off, they have consistently been a team on the brink of breaking through, but just can’t seem to catch that one break a team needs to go from good, too great. Continue reading

SMU survives Temple

It was homecoming Saturday in Dallas and the Mustangs had hopes of an easy victory over the visiting Owls, but the visitors had another idea in mind. The Mustangs would come out on their first drive and showed a troubling trend of a turnover, but the defense would hold and SMU would get the ball back to score and take a touchdown lead. But Temple, behind Quarterback P.J. Walker would have another idea and end up tying the game at seven on their next drive. This is point where the SMU offense would start having issues. Walker would lead the Owls to 28 unanswered points and look to have the game in Owl control.

SMU would get a defensive stop with 3:07 left in the half and the crowd could sense a score here would help change the momentum of this game going into the half. Garret Gilbert would organize a drive down the field to lead the mustangs into the end zone and put SMU on the board for the first time since the first quarter. There was a decided momentum shift at that time as the crowd had something to cheer about before halftime. Temple would choose to run out the half and take the opening kickoff to start the second half.

Coach June Jones said in his post game press conference “If we go out and stop them, we will win the game”, Maybe June has a magic ball and we are just not privy to it yet. As the Mustangs started the second half, they got a much needed defensive stop and had a chance to pull within a touchdown of Temple early in the second half. Enter Gilbert again who seems to have a knack of doing good things when it is not expected of him, he once again led the Mustangs down the field and got a much needed touchdown to make it a 28-21 deficit. But Temple wasn’t going to lie down and let SMU stampede over them, as Walker moved his offense down the field and put temple back up by 14. This seemed to damper the crowd just a bit,

Gilbert and the Mustangs would come back and score 14 unanswered points to tie the game up, which would leave only one quarter for either team to decide who wanted it more. By this point the crowd at Ford Stadium got loud and started to let their Mustangs know they were behind them 100 percent. There was a sense of something special is happening on the Hilltop because Gilbert had 422 passing yards and 92 rushing yards going into the third quarter. Gilbert would lead the Mustangs through four drives in the fourth quarter and score 17 unanswered points to pretty much wrap up the game, but Temple and Walker had another idea. Walker would lead Temple into the end zone, but a missed onside kick would be the final nail in the coffin for the Owls. SMU would walk away a winner and survive a very strong punch thrown by their American Athletic Conference foe.

Garret Gilbert would throw for a career high and SMU record 538 yards. SMU would also set a school record with 728 yards of total offense, and a record of 34 first downs. This would also be the first time SMU has not allowed a sack since 2012 against Southern Mississippi. All in all it was a very good day on the Hilltop as SMU won the game and improved their record to 3-4(2-1). SMU will take on Cincinnati on November 9th and return home on November 16th.