Mustangs Stampede Into American Athletic Conference Play By Hosting Rutgers
Oct. 3, 2013
SMU Mustangs (1-3, 0-0 American) vs. RV/RV Rutgers Scarlet Knights (3-1, 0-0 American)
Saturday, October 5, 2013 - 11 a.m. CT
Gerald J. Ford Stadium (32,000)
ESPNEWS/SMU Radio Network
Setting The Scene
SMU hosts Rutgers on Saturday, Oct. 5, in its inaugural American Athletic Conference game. It also marks SMU's first BCS-AQ conference game.
SMU declared it an `80s Day for its Oct. 5 American Conference debut, with the Mustangs donning blue throwback jerseys reminicent of the Pony Express era. At halftime of the game, SMU will honor its 1983 football squad, a team that was captained by Russell Carter and Lance McIlhenny and went 10-2, advancing to the Sun Bowl.
Fans can even purchase a special $19.83 ticket pack that includes admission to the game as well as a limited edition blue Mustang Mania t-shirt. Supplies are extremely limited, so fans should contact the SMU Ticket Office immediately at 214-SMU-GAME (768-4263) or log on to SMUMustangs.com and use the Promo Code 1983.
Saturday's game marks the first time SMU has hosted a team from the Northeast since defeating UConn, 31-30, in the "Miracle On Mockingbird" on Sept. 16, 1989.
After finishing 2012 with a +9 turnover margin (10th in the nation), SMU has struggled with turnovers in 2013 and is -7 through four games (120th nationally).
The Mustangs are 14-1 in league games played at Ford Stadium since the start of the 2009 season and 11-4 overall in home games since the start of the 2011 season.
Over the past 32 games, SMU is 16-1 when scoring first but 0-15 when the opponent scores first.
The Run `n' Raid is off to a great start as SMU QB Garrett Gilbert ranks second in the nation in completions per game (34.0), ranks eighth in passing yards (322.8 ypg) and ninth total offense (338.8), and Mustang receivers Darius Joseph and Jeremy Johnson are second (9.8) and sixth (8.5), respectively, in catches per game.
Garrett Gilbert started the season completing 35+ passes in each of SMU's first three games, becoming the only FBS player in the BCS era (since 1998) to complete at least 35 passes in each of his team's first three games of a season.
About The Scarlet Knights
Rutgers brings a 3-1 record into Saturday's game following a 28-24 win against Arkansas Sept. 21. The Scarlet Knights have won their last three games after a season-opening overtime loss at Fresno State. In addition to its solid offense and defense, Rutgers has scored three special teams touchdowns this year.
This is the first meeting between the two schools.
June Jones is in his sixth season at the SMU helm. His SMU record is 32-37 and his career mark is now 108-78. 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.
Kyle Flood is in his second season at the helm of the Scarlet Knights and boasts a 12-5 career record.
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