SMU Hosts No. 3 Montana State On Saturday
Sep 4, 2013
SMU Mustangs (0-1, 0-0 AAC)
vs. No. 3 (FCS) Montana State Bobcats (1-0, 0-0 Big Sky)
Saturday, September 7, 2013
7 p.m. CT
Gerald J. Ford Stadium (32,000)
ESPN 3/SMU Radio Network
Setting The Scene
SMU plays its last home game for close to a month on Saturday, as the Mustangs host perennial FCS power Montana State at Ford Stadium.
SMU is in its first season as a member of a BCS-AQ conference, as the Mustangs joined the American Athletic Conference in July. The Mustangs tackle a tough slate in 2013 as 11 of their 12 opponents are now from BCS-AQ conferences. Its lone non-AQ opponent is ranked No. 3 in the FCS polls.
The Mustangs are 10-4 at home since the start of the 2011 season. In all, SMU has won 30 games in the last four years after winning a combined two games in the two seasons prior to the current stretch.
SMU has just 17 seniors on its roster, tied for the 26th fewest among FBS teams.
SMU scored 11 TDs on defense and special teams last year, the most of any team in college football.
Over the past 29 games, SMU is 15-0 when scoring first but 0-14 when the opponent scores first.
Through week one, SMU ranks 11th nationally in passing, seventh in rushing defense, 10th in sacks and fifth in tackles for-loss.
SMU is in the midst of its Centennial Celebration, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the University's founding and opening. January 1, 2011, was designated as the start of the celebration period, running through 2015. SMU was founded in 1911 and opened in 1915.
About The Bobcats
The No. 3-ranked Montana State Bobcats ran wild on Monmouth in the first half and cruised to a 42-24 win in their season opener last week. MSU scored three touchdowns in the first quarter to go up 22-0, the last a 90-yard run by Shawn Johnson. The Bobcats rolled up 388 total yards, including 205 rushing by halftime, and finished with 561 total yards. Brad Daly led the defensive charge for the Bobcats. The end had four quarterback hurries, four tackles for loss, a sack and a forced fumble in the first half alone. He set up a touchdown for tackle Craig Ashworth by harassing Monmouth's QB into a bad throw. He then blocked the quarterback and raced to the sideline for a second block, allowing Ashworth to score.
This is the first meeting between the two schools.
June Jones is in his sixth season at the SMU helm. His SMU record is 31-35 and his career mark is now 107-76. Jones led SMU to back-to-back Conference USA Western Division Co-Championships in 2009 and 2010, and has led the Mustangs to four straight bowl berths. Jones went 76-41 in nine seasons at Hawaii, leading the Warriors to the All-State 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.
Rob Ash, the Liberty Mutual 2011 FCS National Coach of the Year, is in his seventh year at MSU, where he has led the Bobcats to a share of the last three Big Sky Conference titles and a 51-22 record. With additional stops as HC at Juniata and Drake, Ash holds a career mark of 227-121-5.
Full game notes are available here.