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

SMU professor Susanne Scholz in the West Bank in 2018.
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Sara Hummadi, Video Editor • May 18, 2024
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No ‘offense,’ Mustangs look like all offense

 No offense, Mustangs look like all offense
No ‘offense,’ Mustangs look like all offense

No ‘offense,’ Mustangs look like all offense

Opinions are like pony ears. Everybody can make them, but not a lot of people hold them up. Until Thursday evening, I watched SMU practices with the most objective eye. I forgot about who Richard Bartel, Keylon Kincade and Jonas Rutledge were. As far as I was concerned, for the sake of news, Matt Rushbrook had always played wide receiver and Don Iremia-Stansbury was recruited as a defensive end.

I watched two practices and got reports from others, and now I have an opinion, thus the mugshot you see here.

I’m making the prediction that, for the first time in any undergraduate student’s tenure here, the offense will be better than the defense. For fear of stoning, here’s the proof.

Defenses can never replace players like Vic Viloria at linebacker and Kevin Garrett at cornerback. You hope that someone comes along and can make their own identity as opposed to trying to fill the ones that the graduates vacated.

Their replacements are good ballplayers. Sophomore Rolando Humphrey is a good cover man who only needs some real-game seasoning to join Garrett as one of the Hilltop greats.

The linebacker corp had a taste of life without Viloria at the end of last season and really performed well. The defense is fine, and my opinion is not an insult, just a testimonial to the offensive progress that has taken place.

Kincade is still running and should he need a breather, which last season proved to be a rare occasion, he has a good group behind him. Should ShanDerrick Charles recover, it would be a great group behind him.

I watched the offense shred the defense for several big plays near the end of spring practices. Maybe they wore the defense down. Maybe the defense got bored. Maybe SMU fans can actually look forward to having points put on the board by our offense.

Not since Ramon Flanigan torched my beloved Razorbacks did SMU have the opportunity to score as many points as they seem to have this year.

If there was a spot for the offense to worry about, it seems to have been the wide receivers. On paper, the receivers are an undersized group that opposing defensive backs might love to line up against.

Rushbrook, a former defensive back himself, has provided a deceptive twin for breakout performer Trey Griffin. The two look almost identical on the field at 5-feet-10-inches and turn into blurs when the ball is snapped. Add to that mix a recovering Chris Cunningham, Cedric Vinson and Jay Taylor.

Personally, I’ve always challenged Taylor to add 15 pounds. He hasn’t added the weight, but he has definitely bulked up his focus. Fiesty and fast Daniel Francis will still perplex defenses and is sure to run down a few fastballs this fall.

The offensive line still struggles at picking up the blitz at times, but should be a solid bunch.

Since I came in as a bright-eyed, shy little first-year, we’ve had good defenses that always had to find a way to make up for the offensive mistakes. Even if we had the talent on offense, we had Mike Cavan at the controls, which turned out to be the equivalent of asking a one-armed man to drive a five speed.

Now, for the first time in at least four seasons, there is hope that SMU gaining possession will no longer be a moment for fans to hold their breath and wait for a mistake.

We have an offense, and I predict that it might actually be a good one – capable of scoring 21 points per contest and giving away even fewer. Call the alumni and tell them to buy tickets; buy season tickets, tailgate only in anticipation of the game and tell your parents that it’s finally okay to watch – because we have an offense.

My prediction may be way off. Sometime next season, you may see me hiding in the cheap seats with a bag on my head, but I’m bold. And I think our offense might just be productive. Now, the defense has to catch up.

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