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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SMU Football looks to keep the momentum going against Memphis

The SMU play Houston Oct. 18 in Gerald J. Ford Stadium. The Mustang won 72-42.
Jeffrey Mark Reese/The Daily Campus
The SMU play Houston Oct. 18 in Gerald J. Ford Stadium. The Mustang won 72-42.

The SMU play Houston Oct. 18 in Gerald J. Ford Stadium. The Mustang won 72-42. (Jeffrey Mark Reese/The Daily Campus)

SMU is coming off its best victory of the season against Houston by beating the Cougars 72-48. The team set a school record for points and for forcing a whopping nine turnovers.

For SMU to keep the momentum going, the team cannot be caught overlooking the Memphis Tigers in their Homecoming matchup.

Memphis comes to town as a 1-6 team that has struggled in almost every aspect of the game and SMU must win this game to stay in the Conference-USA (C-USA) championship race this season. Head Coach June Jones said Memphis is not a team to overlook.

“They have some players. They’re the No. 1 defense in our conference. They play their schemes very well, both offensively and defensively,” Jones said.

First-year Memphis coach Jason Fuente’s team has had its fair share of troubles this season with their lone win coming against Rice, another C-USA bottom feeder.

The Tigers rank 114th in the country in scoring at just 18.1 points per game, and the Mustangs’ defense has done a great job turning the ball over.

Memphis is in a rebuilding stage, but SMU must be ready to play against this team because it has a few offensive playmakers that have a chance to make some plays.

“I think coach Fuente has done a great job in giving their team a great base. They do what they do and that’s how they’re going to get better and better,” Jones said.

Quarterback Jacob Karam is a dual threat, but he has also completed over 60 percent of his passes this year with only six touchdowns to show for it.

The Mustangs had trouble containing Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, but Karam does not possess the same talent as Manziel.

At receiver, Memphis has two playmakers in Marcus Rucker and Keiwone Malone who average over 10 yards a catch each.

Rucker is a bigger target at 6-foot-4 while Malone is a speedster weighing 155 pounds.

With SMU’s struggles and injuries in the secondary, the pass rush will have to come up big to put pressure on Karam and make his team become one-dimensional.

That game plan starts by coming to Ford Stadium on Saturday at 2 p.m. ready to play.

“When you’re in our situation you have to come to every game ready to play. It doesn’t matter if it’s Memphis or UTEP, we have to play well to win. We can’t just show up,” Jones said.

SMU quarterback Garrett Gilbert had arguably his best game as a Mustang as he passed for four touchdowns – including two to senior receiver Darius Johnson against Houston.

Senior running back Zach Line also had a big day with two touchdowns and over 100 yards.

For SMU to continue that offensive output, the defense must come up with key stops and force turnovers like the team has been doing.

The coaches stress that every day in practice, which has led to SMU being much better than last season at turning the ball over.

The Mustangs have an opportunity to get back to .500 and pick up another big conference victory this weekend and stay in the hunt for a C-USA championship game berth. 

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