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

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Must win in south Florida

Jeremy Johnson (15) had 12 catches for 71 yards and two touchdowns against UConn on Saturday. (Courtesy of AP)
Jeremy Johnson (15) had 12 catches for 71 yards and two touchdowns against UConn on Saturday. (Courtesy of AP)
Johnson.jpg
Jeremy Johnson (15) had 12 catches for 71 yards and two touchdowns against UConn on Saturday. (Courtesy of AP)


SMU has to win two out of its last three games to get to bowl eligibility for the fifth straight season and can take a step in the right direction against the struggling University of South Florida Bulls Saturday at 6 p.m Central time.

The Mustangs have to head on the road to face the 2-7 Bulls, but SMU is on a roll, winning three out of its last four games thanks in large part to quarterback Garrett Gilbert’s play.

Gilbert has thrown for over 300 yards and completed over 62 percent of his passes in five straight games, but Gilbert was hurt in last week’s win over the University of Connecticut and has been limited in practice all week to watch over his shoulder.

It will be on the SMU offensive line to help Gilbert out by giving him plenty of time to throw, but it could be a tough task.

USF features two defensive ends in Ryne Giddins and Aaron Lynch, who were both highly recruited and are solid athletes.

The running game for SMU has been a complete afterthought so Gilbert will need to win this one with his arm most likely, but with the receivers stepping up nicely the last couple of weeks, expect Gilbert to have a big day.

For USF, the tale has been very different; the Bulls are starting their fourth quarterback of the season with first-year Mike White at the helm, but have found the most success offensively with White.

White threw for over 300 yards in his first game, a loss to University of Houston, but then followed that up with a four-interception performance against University of Memphis.

SMU’s pass defense ranks 119th in the country though, even worse than Houston’s, so SMU must get pressure on the young signal caller to make a difference and stop him from crushing SMU’s hopes of a bowl.

The SMU secondary will have to stop junior receiver Andre Davis, who at 6-1, 200 pounds is nicknamed “Freak Show,” for his ability to go up and win jump balls. Davis has had two straight games of 100 yards or more after not having one in the games before the last two.

This is a must-win game for SMU because the next two opponents, USF and University of Central Florida, will make it extremely difficult to return to a bowl game as their combined records are 15-4.

The Mustangs cannot be looking ahead to their game against rival Houston and can’t allow a loss like the team did to Tulane University last season that made SMU’s road to a bowl even tougher.

The game will be televised on ESPN 3 Saturday night.

Prediction: SMU wins, 42-10.

 

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