Gilbert Leads The Nation In Completions Per Game
Sept. 20, 2013
SMU Mustangs (1-1, 0-0 AAC)
No. 10/9 Texas A&M Aggies (2-1, 0-1 SEC)
Saturday, September 21, 2013
6 p.m. CT
Kyle Field (83,002)
College Station, Texas
Setting The Scene
SMU returns to the field after its off week to travel to College Station to take on former Southwest Conference foe Texas A&M and 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel.
The Run `n' Raid is off to a great start as SMU QB Garrett Gilbert leads the nation in completions per game (38.0) and ranks third and fourth, respectively, in total offense (393.5) and passing yards per game (352.5). Mustang receivers Darius Joseph and Jeremy Johnson are first and fifth in catches per game at 11.5 and 9.5, respectively.
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 was ranked No. 3 in the FCS polls at game time.
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, and has notched one such TD (JaBryce Taylor PR vs. Montana St.) in 2013.
Over the past 30 games, SMU is 16-0 when scoring first but 0-14 when the opponent scores first.
About The Aggies
Texas A&M suffered its first loss of the season last weekend, as the Aggies fell, 49-42, to top-ranked Alabama. The loss snapped an eight-game winning streak, dating to last season. The Aggies rank third nationally in total offense (609.3 ypg) and are fourth in passing (416.0 ypg) and scoring (53.0 ppg). They are led by QB Johnny Manziel, the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner, who is off to another outstanding start with 984 passing yards and 11 TDs in three games. Wide receiver Mike Evans has a team-high 20 catches for 518 yards and three TDs, ranking second nationally at 172.7 receiving yards per game.
SMU and A&M, former Southwest Conference foes, have met 79 times, with the Aggies holding a 43-29-7 series edge. The two teams have met just three times since the SWC closed up shop in 1995, and SMU has not defeated A&M since 1984 (SMU 28, A&M 20). SMU did manage a 21-21 tie against then-No. 7 A&M in 1994 in the Alamodome in San Antonio.
June Jones is in his sixth season at the SMU helm. His SMU record is 32-35 and his career mark is now 108-76. 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 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.
Kevin Sumlin is in his second season as coach at A&M, where he is 12-3. He came to College Station after four seasons as head coach at Houston, where he led UH to a 35-17 overall record and three bowl games, and is now 47-20 as a head coach.
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