|SMU (0-0, 0-0 American) vs. [10/10] Baylor (0-0, 0-0 Big 12)|
|Date & Kick Time||Sunday, Aug. 31 at 6:30 p.m. CT|
|Live Stats||SMU Gametracker|
|Location||McLane Stadium (45,140) – Waco, Texas|
|TV||FS1 | Channel Finder|
|Radio||KTCK 1310 AM/96.7 FM|
|Game Info||SMU Game Notes (.pdf) | Baylor Game Notes (.pdf)|
|/SMUMustangs | /SMUFootball|
|@SMUMustangs | @SMU_Football | @CoachJuneJones|
Mustangs Drop Season Opener At Baylor
Zach Line rushed for 135 yards on 25 carries as the SMU football team dropped its season opener, 59-24, Sunday night at Baylor.
SETTING THE SCENE
• SMU looks to open the season with a win on the road for the first time since 1986, as the Mustangs travel to Waco to face former Southwest Conference rival Baylor. The Bears will be playing their first game in the new McLane Stadium.
• SMU has made four bowl game appearances in the last five seasons, winning the 2009 and 2012 Sheraton Hawaii Bowls as well as the 2012 BBVA Compass Bowl (after the 2011 season). SMU has also won 35 games over the last five seasons, marking the second-most victories in a five-year span under a single head coach in program history. SMU also won two Conference USA Western Division co-championships (2009 and 2010) and reached the C-USA Championship game in 2010.
• SMU wide receiver Darius Joseph caught the second-most passes in SMU history last season, recording 103 receptions (second on the team, 10th in the NCAA). Among returning players, Joseph ranks fourth in the NCAA in catches in 2013. Joseph was named to the Biletnikoff Award Watch List on July 15 and the Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award Watch List on Aug. 21.
• Starting at quarterback for the Mustangs is third-year sophomore Neal Burcham, who appeared in four games and started two last season. Burcham completed 58.7 percent of his passes for 556 yards and two touchdowns in 2013. Prior to his senior prep season, Burcham shared MVP honors at the ESPN Elite 11 Showcase with current Florida State sophomore and reigning Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston.
• Junior center Taylor Lasecki will open the season a starter for the third straight season. Lasecki has started every game as an active player on the Hilltop, totaling 25 starts on the offensive line. The Frisco native made the Conference USA All-Freshman team in 2012 and has been named to the preseason Rimington Trophy Watch List for the second straight season.
• Senior linebacker Stephon Sanders was named to the Butkus Award Watch List (nation’s top linebacker) on July 14. Sanders started all 12 games for SMU last season and led the team with 13.5 tackles for loss. Sanders also picked up 86 total tackles and 3.5 sacks.
• As of the beginning of NFL training camp, SMU had 20 players in the league. Kenneth Acker (6th round, San Francisco), Garrett Gilbert (6th round, St. Louis), Ben Gottschalk (free agent, Kansas City) and Jeremy Johnson (free agent, Cincinnati Bengals) joined NFL teams for this season.
• SMU Head Coach June Jones has never had consecutive losing seasons in his coaching career. SMU went 5-7 in 2013.
ABOUT THE BEARS
• Baylor won the Big 12 championship last season, landing the Bears a spot in the Fiesta Bowl, where they fell to American Athletic Conference champion UCF, 52-42. Baylor ended the season with an 11-2 (8-1 Big 12) record, good for a 13th-place ranking in both the AP and Coaches polls. Bryce Petty returns at the quarterback spot after winning Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year honors and placing seventh in the Heisman Trophy voting.
• Sunday’s game marks the 80th meeting between the two programs, with the series tied 36-36-7 overall and 18-18-3 in Waco. The Mustangs have dropped 10 straight contests to the Bears, with their last win coming back in 1986, 27-21, on the road. The two teams were Southwest Conference rivals and faced each other in 69 consecutive seasons from 1916-1986.
• June Jones is in his seventh season at the SMU helm. His overall SMU record is 36-41, including a 35-30 mark since 2009, and his career mark is now 112-82. Jones led SMU to back-to-back Conference USA Western Division Co-Championships in 2009 and 2010, and led the Mustangs to four straight bowl berths from 2009-12. Jones went 76-41 in nine seasons at Hawaii, leading the Warriors to the Allstate Sugar Bowl following the 2007 season. Prior to heading to Hawaii, Jones had a 12-year coaching career in the NFL, including head coaching stops at Atlanta and San Diego.
• Art Briles is in his 12th season as a head coach, and his seventh leading the Bears. The Big 12 Coach of the Year has compiled a 44-32 record during his tenure at Baylor and a 78-60 mark overall. Briles was the head coach at Houston from 2003-07, going to four bowl games in the five-year stretch.
• Bears defensive coordinator Phil Bennett was the head coach at SMU from 2002-07.