SMU FOOTBALL SEASON PREVIEW:
Southern Methodist University (SMU) is one of the most storied programs in college football history. After middling years throughout much of the '80s, '90s and early 2000s, the hiring of head coach June Jones has changed the team's fortunes and allowed them to seemingly improve each year. The team is fresh off a 2011 campaign that saw the Mustangs finish third in their division in Conference USA with a 8-5 record, as well as a surprise win over Texas Christian University, which was ranked #20 at the time. Heading into the 2012 season, Jones likely knows he has a young team but one that is finally ready to take the next step toward Conference USA dominance.
The Mustangs have high hopes for quarterback Conner Preston, who is expected to dual with Stephen Kaiser for the starting job. In the backfield, SMU will enjoy the steady play of Zach Line, who gained more than 1,200 yards during 2011. At the receiver position, the Mustangs hope to have another 1,000-yard season from Darius Johnson as well as improved production from their underclassmen. Fortunately for the team, four of five starters will return to the offensive line, which should help build chemistry for the overall offense.
The team's defensive line is anchored by senior defensive end Margus Hunt, who rounds out a group of defensive linemen that will likely cover up some of the deficiencies in the Mustang secondary. The Mustangs' 3-4 scheme is led by Ja'Gared Davis and Cameron Rodgers, who are the primary run-stoppers in the middle. SMU coaches expect a lot out of these two units, as the Mustang secondary is one of the most inexperienced aspects of the team. Coaches are also putting a lot of faith in Kenneth Acker and Keith Robinson, both of whom are expected to be the starters at cornerback.
Heading into the 2012 season, Southern Methodist University is looking to have one of its biggest seasons in recent memory. The squad will join the Big East conference in 2013, so this is their last year to unseat the University of Houston and the University of Southern Mississippi, which has dominated the conference over the past several years. With dynamic matchups against the likes of Baylor, Texas A&M and TCU, SMU has plenty of opportunities to make real noise in the national rankings and win their first Conference USA title in the school's history.
SOUTHERN METHODIST UNIVERSITY MUSTANGS INFORMATION:
Location: University Park, Texas
Stadium: Gerald J. Ford Stadium
Conference: Conference USA
Rivals: Texas Christian University (TCU) Horned Frogs (Battle for the Iron Skillet)
National Championships: 1
Heisman Trophies: Doak Walker
Notable Alumni: Raymond Berry, Eric Dickerson, Forrest Gregg, Doak Walker
Notable Bowl Games:
The SMU Mustangs began playing football in 1915 under coach Ray Morrison, who is widely considered the father of the forward pass. Morrison used the pass not just as a last resort, but also as a 1st and 2nd down tool. SMU's football history includes an incredible 8 Southwest Conference titles and three national championships. SMU is perhaps best known for the “Pony Express” of 1980 and 1981, referring to the running combination of Eric Dickerson and Craig James. Other Mustang greats who went on to success in the NFL include Don Meredith, Doak Walker, and Jerry Ball
The SMU Mustangs play at Gerald J. Ford Stadium in Dallas, Texas. Attend an SMU home game and you'll find it difficult to miss the outstanding football tradition evident at SMU. A walk across Doak Walker Plaza is an experience any football fan can appreciate. Buy SMU Mustangs tickets today and watch this storied program fight its way back to prominence!
SMU Mustangs Tickets - Basketball
SMU Mustangs Bowl Game tickets
SMU Mustangs Football Season Preview History