Sonny Dykes decided during halftime of his team’s loss at Michigan. He benched two-year starter Ben Hicks for true freshman William Brown. It was a gutsy move and may signal a seed change for the Mustangs in 2018.
We charted Brown’s attempts vs. Michigan and have a few observations.
Let’s start with Brown’s stats.
Brown is a 6-4, 220 pounder from Lamar Consolidated in southwest Houston. Here’s his passing chart against the Wolverines.
A few quick thoughts:
SMU’s strategy was to focus on short, quick throws to prevent Michigan’s rush from disrupting the passing game.
Neither quarterback threw downfield frequently. Brown made one throw early in the third down the sideline that was an overthrow, but Michigan’s defensive back committed an interference infraction.
On that note, Michigan played physical against SMU’s receivers. We counted three PI calls in the second half alone and a couple of others that were borderline.
James Proche is the best player on SMU’s team. He’s fearless and coming into his own. Brown trusts him, targeting him on nine of this seventeen throws, completing two-thirds of those throws.
Michigan gave Brown lots of different looks, but they zeroed out, rushing seven on three of the six plays where Don Brown brought pressure.
William Brown is a fluid athlete; he gives SMU’s offense a dimension that doesn’t exist otherwise.
Brown has a whip for an arm. He literally slings the ball. It gets out quick, and because of his motion, he can generate velocity with very little build up.
He’s also very accurate. We counted one “miss,” a throw to Proche into triple coverage. Here’s a throw that illustrates that point:
That’s a great throw, on the money where only his guy can make the catch, and Proche almost makes it. Again, Brown didn’t miss much.
We’ll see if Dykes sticks with Brown this week against Navy or if he goes back to Ben Hicks.