Schedule and Odds
SMU is going to look different this season, there’s no doubt about that with new coach Chad Morris, who comes over from Clemson. While Morris believes they can reach a bowl Game, making the jump from last year’s one win to a bowl will be tough. For starters, their over/under is only at 2.5 wins (at 5 Dimes Sportsbook).
Morris brings in an up-tempo spread offense, but it will be led by Matt Davis who had just three touchdowns and five interceptions last year while completing 54.3% of his passes. Of course, Davis also led the team in rushing with 613 yards and Four TDs. To help, leading RB Prescott Line (256 yards) and WR Darius Joseph (54 receptions) return, as well. This is a team that scored 11.1 points per Game last year, so no one on this offense had outstanding numbers. The offensive line gave up the most sacks in the nation, but at least they return Four starters so they should hopefully be better in 2015.
The defense was just as bad last year, allowing 41.3 points per Game and they couldn’t really stop anyone, outside of their season-ending 27-20 win over UConn. A problem with the high-tempo offense could be shown on the defensive side. If the offense doesn’t move the ball at all, that will in turn put the defense on the field a ton, which is something the Mustangs don’t want.
They return five starters to the defensive side with three of those coming in the secondary. The front seven is led by tackle Zach Wood and linebacker Jonathan Yenga, who are both returning seniors. This is the same group that gave up 38 points to Tulsa and 53 to UCF last year, so expectations should be tempered.
SMU made a bowl Game in 2012, so it’s not like a big turnaround is impossible. Not to mention, the weak AAC allows teams to have turnaround seasons quite easily. Chad Morris is confident, but finding six wins in the Schedule may be difficult and might still not be enough for a bowl Game.
For starters, the Mustangs get Baylor and TCU in non-Conference play again. On the other end of that, they also host North Texas and James Madison, which could be two wins right there. Then again, they lost 43-6 to North Texas last year (but they were favored in July by -4.5). SMU’s AAC Schedule sets up nicely for a few wins as well with home Games against ECU, Tulsa, Temple and Tulane. All Four of those are winnable Games, but finding a win on the road may be tough. At USF and Navy are probably the best options, but unlikely ones.
If the Mustangs can get those two early-season wins, that over 2.5 wins seems like an easy hit. This team can’t get worse than a year ago and Chad Morris has instilled a new look in them that could go a long way to some more wins.
2015 SMU Football Schedule
Sept. 4 Baylor
Sept. 12 vs. North Texas
Sept. 19 at TCU
Sept. 26 vs. James Madison
Oct. 3 vs. East Carolina
Oct. 8 at Houston
Oct. 24 at South Florida
Oct. 31 vs. Tulsa
Nov. 6 vs. Temple
Nov. 14 at Navy
Nov. 21 vs. Tulane
Nov. 28 at Memphis