SMU is getting oh so close to a breakthrough, but as we told you way back in July, SMU couldn't conceivably be much better on the field, but due to its schedule, might not break through with wins. Such has been the case. SMU is also pretty banged up, Matt Davis is out, Ben Hicks is in and the bye week couldn't come at a better time.
Let's take a look a the 'Stangs Statistical footprint.
|SMU Offense||Value||Nat'l Rank||SMU Defense||Value||Nat'l Rank|
|3rd Down Conversion||34.09%||98||Opp 3rd Down Conversion||37.65%||51|
|4th Down Conversion||50.00%||57||Opp 4th Down Conversion||66.67%||92|
|Red Zone Scoring||75.00%||105||Opp Red Zone Scoring||86.36%||68|
|Rush Yds/Game||153.4||79||Opp Rush Yds/Game||210.8||96|
|Completion %||49.50%||119||Opp Completion %||58.94%||60|
|Pass Yards/Game||246||53||Opp Pass Yards/Game||279||101|
|Int Thrown %||3.96%||102||Opp Int Thrown %||4.35%||21|
|QB Sacked %||5.16%||42||Sack %||5.91%||68|
Lot's of red and yellow, very little green, but SMU is clearly on the cusp of being decent to even good in a few areas.
Good news first? Good news first.
While you can't predict or expect turnovers and the turnover is a fickle lover, SMU has been elite at picking off the opposing quarterback. Top 25 in the FBS. The Mustang secondary is also pretty good at limiting the big play, allowing 6.7 yards a catch, good enough for 44th in the FBS. SMU's defense has been improved in sack % as well. In the last three games, their sack % is 6.4. That line is trending up.
Now what about the bad stuff. There's a lot of it. SMU is trending down in rush defense. The Mustangs are allowing 4.8 yards a carry, 5.4 yards in the last three games. The Mustangs are teetering on a triple digit ranking in rush yards per game allowed. If you can't stop the run, you'd better be elite offensively, because you're gonna need to score. SMU isn't elite offensively.
For the season the Mustangs are completing 49.5% of passes. Good enough, or rather bad enough for 119th in the FBS. For a team that attempts the 19th most passes in the FBS that's a real bad look. Combine that with the fact that SMU is 102 in terms of interception percentage, bad things are happening when SMU throws the ball.
So it's a bye week for the 2-4 SMU Mustangs. The Mustangs come back October 22nd with a rather large matchup with Houston.