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


Mustangs host UCF in regular season finale

SMU finishes up its regular season with its game at home against American Athletic Conference leader University of Central Florida after losing to University of Houston 34-0 last week, June Jones’ first time being shutout in his career.

The Mustangs are in a must win situation, sitting at 5-6 on the year, and if they want to be bowl eligible for a fifth straight year, the team must win, but may have to do so without starting quarterback Garrett Gilbert.

Gilbert, a senior, injured his knee in the SMU win over the University of South Florida Bulls and missed the Houston game. He has been on and off crutches, wearing a knee brace and limped around practice most of the week.

Coach Jones gave Gilbert a 40 percent chance of starting as of Thursday and said, “if it was the NFL, he’d be starting, but it’s not.”

UCF on the other hand, does not have any issues with their starter, Blake Bortles, who has been one of the best players in the American Athletic Conference and one of the big reasons why UCF has a chance to clinch the AAC title Saturday against SMU.

Bortles has completed 68 percent of his passes for over 3,000 yards and 22 touchdowns and that efficiency is what makes him one of the best, but the Golden Knights have a solid runner as well.

Miami transfer Storm Johnson has rushed for 978 yards and 11 touchdowns, while averaging over five yards per carry, but the 6-0, 215 pound back is versatile as well, having over 200 yards receiving on the year and three touchdowns.

Even with UCF (10-1), coming into Ford Stadium as heavy favorites, SMU is 17-2 in league games in Ford Stadium since the start of the 2009 season.

UCF will be looking to avenge a 2011 38-17 defeat that SMU handed them when the teams were in Conference USA.

SMU will honor 18 seniors for the ESPN televised 11 a.m. game. The group of seniors includes starters Kenneth Acker, Randall Joyner, Jeremy Johnson, Keenan Holman, Ben Gottschalk, Kevin Pope and
Chris Parks.

The group leaves SMU as one of the most decorated classes ever to come through the Hilltop and most were major contributors to the three bowl wins in the past four years.

SMU will look to play spoiler against UCF, since the Golden Knights are likely headed for a BCS Bowl if they win, much like the SMU win last year against the University Tulsa which gave SMU bowl eligibility.

The key for SMU will be to control the line of scrimmages since the weather will definitely be a factor, but playing at full-speed, without fear of making mistakes will also be important. SMU knows how to win important games to get to a bowl game, but it will be one of its toughest tasks of the year.

Prediction: SMU loses, 24-21.

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