The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

My quest to learn the musical instrument struck a chord much greater than the beautiful sound of a perfect stroke.
I decided to learn the guitar, but I walked away learning more about life
Bella Edmondson, Staff Editor • June 19, 2024

Scarlet Knights look to rain on SMU’s parade

Family Weekend for SMU is jam-packed of activities for families, students, faculty and staff, but SMU football has the spotlight as the team opens American Athletic Conference play against Rutgers.

The 11 a.m. kickoff will feature two teams trending in two opposite directions this season ,with Rutgers at 3-1 and SMU at 1-3 following its blowout loss to TCU last weekend.

SMU will have to convert in the redzone this week, something the team has struggled with throughout the season.

That falls on the shoulders of quarterback Garrett Gilbert, who leads the 11th ranked passing attack in the country, but has thrown for just four touchdowns on the season.

The Rutgers defense will give SMU everything they can handle and if the offensive line struggles, it will be a long day.

“They give you a ton of different looks. Just not making mental errors in the pass protection, you know,” SMU Head Coach June Jones said. “Everybody is going to get beat physically, but not making mental errors because they do a lot of different looks.”

Rutgers had an extra week to prepare for SMU and figure out how to replace running back Paul James, one of the leading rushers in the NCAA, who was lost to injury against Arkansas.

Savon Huggins, a former five-star recruit is expected to take the carries after rushing for 21 yards on nine carries against Arkansas after James went down.

More responsibility will be put on Rutgers quarterback Gary Nova, who led Rutgers back against Arkansas after being down by 17 points at one point.

One way Rutgers will try and beat the pressure is in the quick passing game and with screens, something SMU struggled with against TCU and Jones believes SMU will have to fix those miscues to be successful.

“I think the misses were more in space on those screens and stuff. Just keep working hard and keep practicing so hopefully the guys come to balance and play better,” Jones said. “When you get out there in space and you’re the only guy, you have to make the tackle.”

The SMU secondary, which has struggled this season, will have to deal with Rutgers’ big receivers, who are well-rounded in all aspects of the game.

“They are strong and they block well in the run game. They can run a little bit,” Jones said. “They force you to play a little bit differently because of the size you’re going to get a feel early in the game whether you can bump and run them or not if you’re a corner.”

SMU has the opportunity to right the course of its season with a win and if not, the team could continue its downward spiral and quickly be out of the conference championship picture.

Prediction: Rutgers wins, 24-17.

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