In the last 816 days, SMU has won three football games.
Not the most reassuring of sentences for the SMU faithful, but somehow, Chad Morris has brought – at the very least – a heartbeat into the lifeblood of SMU football.
In his second year, he has brought in his second consecutive recruiting class filled exclusively with players from the state of Texas as he tries to build the foundation, and rebuild this once prominent program.
Tuesday, SMU released their 2016 football schedule, and those recruits will get the chance to prove their worth very quickly as three of the Mustangs’ first four games are against opposing Texas schools.
Here’s a look at what’s in store for #StangGang16:
Week 1: SMU at North Texas – September 3
Last meeting: SMU 31, North Texas 13 (9/12/15)
After a strong showing in Chad Morris’ head coaching debut vs. Baylor last season, most thought their Week 2 victory over North Texas was a big sign of things to come. The matchup against the Mean Green was probably SMU’s most dominant and complete performance of 2015.
Week 2: SMU at Baylor – September 10
Last meeting: No. 4 Baylor 56, SMU 21 (9/4/15)
SMU scored on their first offensive play of 2015, and excitement around the Mustangs soared. The game may not have ended in SMU’s favor, but for at least one half, they ran with one of the best team’s in the nation. As they do every year, Baylor has a lot of talent to replace. We’ll see how they stack up in September.
Week 3: Liberty vs. SMU – September 17
Last meeting: N/A – first ever matchup
The Liberty Flames (FCS) haven’t played a game in the state of Texas since 1993. They went 6-5 last season, and last made the playoffs in 2014. But if history tells us anything, SMU should have no problem not overlooking another FCS opponent after 2015’s James Madison fiasco.
Week 4: TCU vs. SMU – September 23
Last meeting: No. 3 TCU 56, SMU 37 (9/19/15)
The other gargantuan David-Goliath matchup for the Mustangs in the early part of last season, and the Mustangs once again held their own…for a while. TCU also has a lot to replace, including Heisman Trophy candidate quarterback Trevone Boykin, and this game has been known to see an upset or two in the past.
Week 5: SMU at Temple – October 1
Last meeting: No. 22 Temple 60, SMU 40 (11/6/15)
What do you know? Another ranked team SMU had to play last year…
Don’t let the final score fool you, SMU had the ball with under three minutes to go only trailing the Owls by five points in this game last season. And in 2013, SMU overcame a 21-point first half deficit to defeat Temple, 59-49. This is sure to be another exciting matchup.
Week 6: SMU at Tulsa – October 7
Last meeting: Tulsa 40, SMU 31 (10/31/15)
SMU hopped out to a 14-3 first quarter lead in this matchup last year, but suffered the all too common fate of not being able to play a complete four quarters.
Week 7: Bye week
Week 8: Houston vs. SMU – October 22
Last meeting: Houston 49, SMU 28 (10/8/15)
The Coogs are quickly becoming one of the most dangerous teams in Texas. Under the radar because of the likes of Horned Frogs, Bears, Longhorns, and Aggies – Houston actually beat Florida State (the team that won the national championship two years ago) in the Peach Bowl, 38-24. With Greg Ward Jr. returning at quarterback. Watch out for the Cougars.
Week 9: SMU at Tulane – October 29
Last meeting: SMU 49, Tulane 21 (11/21/15)
The other member of the Mustangs’ tag team of victories last year. One of the few silver linings of another long season, SMU sent its veterans out right with a win on Senior Night.
Week 10: Memphis vs. SMU – November 5
Last meeting: Memphis 63, SMU 0 (11/28/15)
In the first half, Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch threw seven touchdown passes on nine completions, and that’s all we need to say to relive that game.
Week 11: SMU at East Carolina – November 12
Last meeting: East Carolina 49, SMU 23 (10/3/15)
One of the most absolutely confusing games of the past season – SMU jumps out to a 23-7 lead early in the 2nd quarter…only to have the wheels fall off and give up 42 straight points. FORTY-TWO! Hopefully, we’ll be able to expect better in November.
Week 12: South Florida vs. SMU – November 19
Last meeting: South Florida 38, SMU 14 (10/24/15)
Personally, this was one of the most frustrating losses to watch last year. It was another classic case of SMU’s biggest kryptonite – a mobile quarterback thrashing our defense. It affected me so much I don’t even have a Top 5 Takeaways to link you guys back to because I didn’t write one.
Week 13: Navy vs. SMU – November 26
Last meeting: No. 20 Navy 55, SMU 14 (11/14/15)
Last year, the most prolific touchdown scorer in the history of college football touchdown scorers, Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds, accounted for five of those said touchdowns against the Mustangs in the November blowout. But good news, everyone! He graduated. Now about that triple-option…
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