Can SMU upset TCU?

The SMU defense looks to do a better job corraling TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin on Saturday Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The SMU defense looks to do a better job corralling TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin on Saturday Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Yeah, if they pray…

Or multiple players, including TCU star quarterback Trevon Boykin, get sick from the pre-game meal and have to miss the game *wink*

 

All jokes aside, SMU upsetting the No. 3 ranked TCU Horned Frogs is a daunting task and no one outside of the SMU faithful — and I’m pretty sure some of their fans aren’t too hopeful either — are giving the Mustangs a shot in hell to pull off the upset of the year. But that doesn’t mean it’s out of the realm of possibility.

These three things must happen if SMU intends on taking that short drive down to Fort Worth,TX and shock the world.

The offense must play flawless

Going against most top teams there is little room for error, even if you are an average program, so for a SMU program that is trying to rebound from a very disappointing 2014 season, the Mustang offense can’t afford to have any mistakes against the tough Gary Patterson TCU defense.

That means no turnovers, very few penalties and the offense must capitalize on every opportunity it has for big plays/scoring opportunities. In the first two games of the season SMU left points on the field because it couldn’t score in goal-line situations, because quarterback Matt Davis overthrew an open receiver or one of the freshmen running backs missed an open hole.

Against a TCU defense that has allowed opponents to convert only 6-of-30 third-down attempts in its first two games, SMU will have to stay in manageable distances on that down — five yards or less — to ensure that quarterback Matt Davis has access to the entire Mustang playbook.

The defense must limit the big plays

Chunk play – any offensive play 15 yards or longer

In the season opener against Baylor, SMU allowed 12 chunk plays that either resulted in or set up touchdowns for the Bears. But against North Texas the defense improved significantly and only allowed three chunk plays. In the post game interview after the UNT game, both Coach Morris and senior defensive end Andrew McCleneghen spoke about the improvement in that aspect from the first game to the second game, and if they want to beat TCU the defense has to take it to another level.

Unlike the two previous quarterbacks, Boykin presents a run option that makes him lethal and harder to game plan for. Fortunately for SMU it has a mobile quarterback of its own in Davis that has challenged defenses with his arm and his feet so they should have an idea of what they are against.

Coach Morris must be willing to go Y.O.L.O. on the play-calling

For those not up on the rapper Drake and his slang, YOLO stands for “you only live once” and in being a 37 point underdog to one of the best teams in the nation, is the perfect opportunity to operate in that mindset.

If it means going for it on a close 4th down — multiple times –or maybe even dialing up a fake punt/field goal, Coach Morris must be willing to try it.

Also we have yet to see any reverses as well… it wouldn’t surprise me to see one, or two, called on Saturday to disrupt the flow of the attacking Horned Frog defense. While the offense has greatly improved compared to dumpster fire that was the Mustang offense most of last season, that side of the ball still lacks the playmakers, outside of Davis and receiver Cortland Sutton, to be able to match the firepower that TCU possesses.

 

In the end I think that SMU will have too much to overcome and even if the players give it their all it probably still won’t be enough as TCU is a team on a mission. I will say this, it wont be close to the 56-0 shutout that took place at Gerald J Ford stadium in 2014 and Coach Morris will be able to pull things from this game that will prepare them to be competitive once conference play starts on October 3rd against ECU.

TCU 51 SMU 28

 

 

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