SMU FOOTBALL: Mustangs come to Houston hoping for better results
The SMU Mustangs are looking to bounce back from an overtime loss to Navy this week with a win against’ former Southwest Conference rival UH.
After Saturday’s 38-35 loss to the Midshipmen ‘- their second overtime defeat of the season ‘- the Mustangs fell to 3-3 on the year. SMU head coach June Jones knows his team is just a few plays away from being 5-1.
‘It’s frustrating, you know, and you feel bad for the kids, but the kids are fine,’ Jones said in a teleconference Monday. ‘They’ve done a lot of things we’ve been talking about for a year-and-a-half now, and we’re still getting better.’
SMU led Navy 21-7 at halftime before Navy stormed back to force overtime and eventually win the game. Now, SMU moves on to play a Cougars team that did the same thing to them last year, when UH overcame a 12-point deficit by scoring 21 points in the fourth quarter to win.
Jones doesn’t think last year’s close loss can be used to show a disparity between the teams.
‘I don’t think there’s too much to that,’ Jones said. ‘I think Houston came in last year thinking that they were a whole lot better than us, and they were, but that’s why we play the game.’
Jones knows this is a different UH team and doesn’t expect the Cougars to show up flat this year.
‘They’re playing with a lot of confidence right now,’ Jones said. ‘They’re a different team than they were last year, and I don’t anticipate that they’ll have any let up come Saturday night. They’re going to be on top of their game.’
SMU has a tough task at hand with the Cougars. The Mustangs lost by 25 earlier this season to Texas Christian, the only other ranked team on their schedule. SMU’s defense, however, which ranks fourth in the Football Bowl Subdivision in total turnovers forced, gives them an opportunity to slow Houston’s No. 1-ranked passing attack.
The Mustangs’ offense, on the other hand, has struggled to execute the Run-and-Shoot that Jones had so much success with at Hawaii. Quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell has thrown 10 interceptions this year, though he has not thrown any in the last two games. SMU will need a good game from him if it hopes to escape Robertson Stadium with a win.
The Mustangs aim to play in a bowl game this year, and they know they need to win at least one more game on the road to do so. They hope to get that out of the way this weekend.
‘We have three road games left this year, and we have to win one,’ Jones said. ‘It’s hard to win, period. Our goal is to get to the bowl game and win a minimum of six games. Hopefully we can win more.’