College Football Preview: The 2015 SMU Mustangs
SMU Mustangs Preview
2014 Record: 1-11 (11th in the AAC)
Odds to Win National Championship: +990000 See the Latest Odds
Overview: The SMU Mustangs have nowhere to go but up after finishing last season with a 1-11 record and missing a bowl appearance for the 10th time in 14 seasons. SMU has brought in former Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris and hopes it can start to turn the corner since it’s won only six games in the last two years. Here goes..
Offense: SMU will be led by Matt Davis who completed 54.3 percent of his passes for 855 yards, three touchdowns and five interceptions. Davis also led the Mustangs with 613 rushing yards and brings that playmaking ability Morris likes in his offense. Darius Joseph has caught more than 150 passes the last two seasons and brings stability at wide receiver, while Nate Halverson showed bright spots in his first season on the field. SMU is likely going to be a running back by committee with Prescott Line, K.C. Nlemchi and Daniel Gresham in the mix. While there aren’t any household names yet, Morris is an offensive genius and should be able to work with this group and help SMU finally put some points on the board.
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Defense: SMU has a new defensive coordinator in former Oklahoma State coach Van Malone, and he’s going to want to put more speed on the field to improve a dreadful defense that was last season. Still, there are guys to work with on this roster such as Zach Wood who led the Mustangs with four sacks. Jonathan Yenga is a playmaking linebacker and Shakiel Randolph continues to shine at cornerback with 11 pass deflections the last two seasons. Darrion Richardson was third on the team in tackles and Mason Gentry flashed loads of potential as a freshman. Malone has his work cut out for him, but I highly doubt this unit will rank 122nd in the country like it did last season.
Special Teams: Josh Williams, who has an extremely strong leg, is likely going to replace Cody Rademacher at kicker this season. Jackson Koonce returns at punter after averaging 40.7 yards per attempt on 74 kicks.
Overall: I think SMU fans have learned to keep their expectations low, especially with a new coaching staff taking over yet again. I have confidence in this staff and think they have some decent pieces to work with. The problem is that the odds are stacked against them in year 1 with a lot of improving programs in the AAC. Still, three or four wins should keep Mustangs’ fans happy after the season they just had.