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Quick Look: SMU Mustangs

The Ponies took it on the chin in week one.

DXL Frisco Bowl - Louisiana Tech v SMU Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

SMU is in a bad way. They’ve reached that point that a G5 program can sometimes get to, where there’s enough potential in the program to attract up-and-coming coaches, but they typically don’t stay around for very long.

At the end of 2017, SMU saw Chad Morris leave after just three seasons at the helm and head to Arkansas. So SMU once again was forced to hire another head coach. They took an interesting route this time around, and hired TCU offensive analyst Sonny Dykes, who has previously been a head coach at Cal and Louisiana Tech.

It’s still too early to know if that hire will work out for the Mustangs, but early returns have the team trending down. SMU was absolutely obliterated by Louisiana Tech in the Miami Beach bowl, 51-10, in Dykes’ first game as coach, and this year hasn’t started much better.

This Season

SMU is 0-1 after suffering a 46-23 thumping at the hands of North Texas in week one. Mean Green quarterback Mason Fine completed 40 of 50 pass attempts for 444 yards and three touchdowns, as UNT ran out to a 36-0 lead before SMU knew what was going on.

SMU scored all 23 of their points in the fourth quarter, once the game was well out of hand, but QB Ben Hicks only completed 50% of his passes on the day, and SMU’s offense managed only 256 total yards.

The Offense

Ben Hicks is back again, for what seems like the 10th year at the helm of SMU’s offense, but if one game is any indicator, his accuracy hasn’t improved much since last season. SMU’s offensive line allowed four sacks on the day as well, but beyond these things there’s really not much more we can take away from their game against UNT.

They looked out of sorts for most of the game, unable to get into a rhythm.

The fourth quarter saw the Mustangs finally hit a stride, with two long passing touchdowns getting SMU on the board. The big play ability is clearly still there, and TCU showed Saturday that they’re still susceptible to the occasional explosive play. This will be something to keep an eye on Friday night.

The Defense

I mean, what can you say about a defense that allowed an 80% completion percentage to an opposing quarterback, and 529 yards of total offense? Yes, North Texas’ offense is much improved over recent years, as Seth Littrell has the Mean Green trending up, but this was a very poor performance from SMU.

TCU’s offense has a few things to work out after their win against Southern, and anything can happen in a rivalry game, but it would be pretty surprising to see the Frogs’ O stifled by this defense.

The Prediction

The Sonny Dykes era at SMU is off to a rough start, and I think that continues on Friday night. The Frogs should move to 2-0, and head into week three against Ohio State having worked out some of the issues from week one.