Could this be the year where the Mustangs finally earn a postseason appearance in over 20 years? The Mustangs were competitive in a handful of their losses last season. Four of their losses were by a touchdown or less. With one year under coach June Jones’s command, the Mustangs enter 2009 with hopes of a major improvement from last year’s 1-11 campaign.
Last year was the first year under the new offense, so expect some better production in their second season in the system. Bo Levi Mitchell returns at quarterback where he threw for 2,865 yards as a true freshman. As to be expected when starting a true freshman Mitchell struggled at time, but also showed promise. He will need to improve his consistency, and cut down on interceptions. Good news for Mitchell is the return of Aldrick Robinson and Emmanuel Sanders at receiver. Both players are extremely talented and can make big plays. Robinson led the team with 1,047 receiving yards and added 59 catches.
The running game was pretty much non-existent last year. The Mustangs finished last in the country with 41.42 yards per game. This needs to change in order to take pressure away from the young Mitchell. This offense will be based around Mitchell and the passing game, but when they do run look for Chris Butler and Bryce Lunday to get the calls.
SMU gave up 479 yards per game last season on total defense which placed them at the basement of CUSA. Youri Yenga will be moving from defensive end back to linebacker in order to utilize his speed. This will improve the pass rush and give the Mustangs a better chance of getting in the backfield and at the quarterback. Last year at end he had 6.5 sacks and 73 tackles.
Darius Bell and Rock Dennis return in the secondary with another year of experience under their belts, they will hope to improve upon a unit that gave up over 250 yards per game through the air in 2008. Don’t expect the Mustangs to make the postseason this year, but they are on their way to building a successful program.