The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

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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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Mustangs, 1-3, head to El Paso

Quarterback Garrett Gilbert carries the ball against A&M in 48-3 loss Sept. 15. The Aggies limited Gilbert to 203 yards passing on 49 attempts.
Sidney Hollingsworth/The Daily Campus
Quarterback Garrett Gilbert carries the ball against A&M in 48-3 loss Sept. 15. The Aggies limited Gilbert to 203 yards passing on 49 attempts.

Quarterback Garrett Gilbert carries the ball against A&M in 48-3 loss Sept. 15. The Aggies limited Gilbert to 203 yards passing on 49 attempts. (Sidney Hollingsworth/The Daily Campus)

After a rough 1-3 start to the 2012 season against non-conference opponents and rival TCU, the SMU Mustangs head to El Paso to take on the University of Texas at El Paso Miners.

“They’re just the next opponent,” head coach June Jones said. “We got to win one conference game this week and get another one next week, both of them are on the road.”

Last season, SMU was able to contain the Miners, winning 28-17 at home, but this season the scene shifts to El Paso, where the Mustangs have lost six of its last seven in the Sun Bowl.

“It’s always a tough place to play and win. The elevation is high. They got good fans. We’re going to have to bring our A-game to beat them,” senior defensive lineman Aaron Davis said.

Both teams have struggled as UTEP is 1-4 on the year, but UTEP has played tough against its competition this year and had some people thinking UTEP could be a dark horse in the Conference-USA title game.

UTEP dropped its opening C-USA game to East Carolina this past weekend and looked pretty unimpressive offensively aside from running back Nathan Jeffery, who rushed for over 100 yards and is averaging close to six yards a carry this season.

Jeffery was listed as questionable earlier this week and may still be hampered by an injury sustained earlier this season.
UTEP quarterback Nick Lamaison completed only 33 percent of his passes last weekend and also threw three interceptions, but before that game had played well early this season. Lamaison’s top target is senior receiver Michael Edwards with 455 yards receiving and three touchdowns this year.

 SMU’s defense really stepped up against TCU by only allowing 156 yards of total offense for the Horned Frogs despite turning the ball over six times. The defense will have another tough test this weekend with some talented playmakers on the UTEP side of the ball and an even tougher task of trying to win in El Paso.

“We have to play our best ball for four quarters to beat this team,” Davis said. “They are a lot better than [a 1-4 team]. They played some big-time teams real tough and they’re going to be tough at home.”

SMU quarterback Garrett Gilbert continued to struggle against TCU last Saturday by throwing five interceptions, but did show more promise than he had in other games. Jones attributed two of the interceptions to receivers not wanting the ball as badly as the TCU player.

Gilbert threw a 29-yard touchdown pass last week to sophomore receiver Der’rikk Thompson and that was a big confidence booster for both Gilbert and Thompson.

Running back Zach Line only managed 44 yards against TCU and SMU’s No. 118 rushing attack is horrendous considering Line’s talent.

 If SMU is going to get on the right track and open conference play with a win, Line will have to be a big reason why and will need to control the clock in a tough road environment. The SMU defense got it together last week and this week it is finally the SMU offense that will play a mistake-free game and break the losing trend in El Paso for the Mustangs.

Prediction: SMU, 24-14

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