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

Home sweet home

Mustangs return to Ford Stadium in hopes of knocking off 3-2 ECU

The Mustangs will look to snap a two-game losing streak after last week’s 39-14 loss to No. 10 TCU. Since the team’s first loss to Washington State University in the third week, SMU started the season at 2-0 for the first time since 1996, but now stands at 2-2 overall and 1-0 in Conference USA.

Heading into a two-game home stand after a 28-day absence from Ford Stadium, the Mustangs will face East Carolina University (3-2, 2-0) on Saturday in hopes of regaining their reign in the West division of C-USA standings.

While sophomore quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell has 12 interceptions, he nearly doubles ECU senior quarterback Patrick Pinkney in yards averaged per game with 304.8. With a 58 percent completion and eight touchdowns, Mitchell has helped establish the Mustangs at the No. 33 passing team in the country, even after a sub par performance against TCU last Saturday.

Led by Pinkney, the Pirates have a 55 percent completion rating paired with 184 passing yards per game. Pinkney, with five interceptions on the season, has thrown for an average of 177.4 yards per game and four touchdowns.

ECU, a run-first offense, averages 114.2 rushing yards per game, led by the Pirates’ senior running back, Dominique Lindsay, with 69.7 yards per game and 5.1 yards per carry. As the Pirates rely more on their running game with eight rushing touchdowns this season, the Mustang defense will rely on junior outside linebacker Youri Yenga and senior middle linebacker Chase Kennemer to stuff Lindsay and the Pirates.

SMU’s run-and-shoot offense last week struggled in the rain against No. 10 TCU’s defense, and looks to recover from a 240 yard passing performance. Mitchell continues to rely on his top receivers: Emmanuel Sanders, Terrance Wilkerson, Aldrick Robinson and Cole Beasley.

Wilkerson and Robinson have been averaging over 10 yards per catch, with Wilkerson adding two touchdowns and Robinson one. Beasley, in his second season, has contributed one touchdown.

Sanders, with two games over 100 yards this season, continues to average 116.5 yards per game and 10.8 yards per catch, and has added two receiving touchdowns this season. Now with 29 career touchdowns, Sanders has 2,918 career receiving yards and 230 receptions, putting him in fifth place in C-USA history.

ECU struggles in stopping their opponent’s running game, allowing 134.8 yards per game, which could allow SMU junior running back, Shawnbrey McNeal to have a big game on the ground.

The ECU passing defense is much more stringent, giving up only 231.2 yards per game and picking off eight passes, tying them for seventh in the nation with most interceptions.

Mitchell continues to struggle in his throwing accuracy, giving up 10 interceptions this season, bringing his career total to 33. With ECU’s defense a top team in picking off passes, Mitchell will have to be on top of his game to ensure a win for the Mustangs.

Should rain fall over Ford Stadium, the Pirates will turn to their running game even more so than they have been.

For SMU to win, the defense will have to be at their best to shut down the Pirates’ running game. The Mustang defense has forced multiple turnovers in all of their games this season for the first time since 2001, after forcing three turnovers against TCU. The Mustangs continue to lead the nation with 12 interception on the season.

Saturday’s game will be televised by Metro Sports and broadcast over the radio on 1310 the Ticket.

Key Matchup

SMU LB Chase Kennemer vs. ECU Running attack

Mustang senior LB Chase Kennemer and the rest of the linebacking core will be the key to stopping the Pirates’ run first offense.Kennemer leads the team in tackles with 41, and also has a sack, an interception and a fumble recovery.The Pirates average 114.2 yards per game and if the weather continues to rain, the run game will become more prevalent.

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