Oct. 23, 2013
SMU Mustangs (2-4, 1-1 American)
vs. Temple Owls (1-6, 0-3 American)
Saturday, October 26, 2013 - 2 p.m. CT
Gerald J. Ford Stadium (32,000)
ESPN3/SMU Radio Network
Setting The Scene
• SMU hosts Temple for Homecoming on Saturday, Oct. 26, in a 2 p.m. game at Ford Stadium. SMU is 41-41-3 all-time in Homecoming games (12-22-2 at Cotton Bowl; 14-13-1 at Ownby Stadium; 7-1- 0 at Texas Stadium; 8-5 at Ford Stadium).
• After finishing 2012 with a +9 turnover margin (10th in the nation), SMU has struggled with turnovers in 2013 and is -7 through six games (116th nationally).
• The Run ‘n’ Raid is off to a great start as SMU QB Garrett Gilbert ranks second in the nation in completions per game (34.7), ranks fourth in passing yards (349.3 ypg) and fourth total offense (370.5), and Mustang receivers Jeremy Johnson and Darius Joseph are second (10.3) and fifth (9.3), respectively, in catches per game nationally.
• SMU has two of the five players on this week’s American Athletic Conference Honor Roll - Gilbert and DE Beau Barnes. Gilbert completed 27 of 43 passes for 321 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 49 yards in the win at Memphis, while Barnes notched a career-high-tying seven tackles, a career-high-tying two sacks and a career-high 3.5 TFLs in the Mustang victory. He locked up the win for SMU with his first career interception late in the 4th quarter.
• 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. Gilbert set school records in attempts, completions, passing yards, total offense and touchdowns responsible for in the Rutgers game, earning American Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week honors for his play.
• The Mustangs are 15-2 in league games played at Ford Stadium since the start of the 2009 season and 11-5 overall in home games since the start of the 2011 season.
• Over the past 34 games, SMU is 17-1 when scoring first but 0-16 when the opponent scores first.
• The Mustangs are tackling a tough slate in 2013 as 11 of their 12 opponents are from BCS-AQ conferences. Its lone non-AQ opponent was ranked No. 3 in the FCS polls at game time.
About The Owls
• After starting out the season 0-6, the Owls picked up their first win of the season last Saturday over Army. The Owls built a 33-0 lead and stymied the nation’s top rushing team. WR Jalen Fitzpatrick had four catches for 128 yards and a touchdown to lead the offense, while LB Tyler Matakevich had 13 tackles, an interception and a fumble recovery to pace the defensive effort.
• Saturday’s game is just the third meeting between the two schools and the first in almost 70 years. SMU and Temple met in 1942 and 1946 and both games ended in ties - 6-6 in 1942 and 7-7 in 1946.
• June Jones is in his sixth season at the SMU helm. His SMU record is 33-38 and his career mark is now 109-79. 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.
• Matt Rhule, a Penn State grad and letterwinner with 15 seasons of coaching experience on the collegiate and professional levels, is in his first season as a head coach and has compiled a 1-6 record.
The SMU-Temple series is marked by scant yards, few points and zero wins. In two games, the teams have combined for 13 points, 14 completions, 172 yards passing and two ties.
In 1942, the expected “aerial attack’’ never got airborne. A steady rain put a damper on passes, laterals and the two PATs as the teams slogged through a muddy 6-6 tie in Dallas.
In 1946, the Mustangs boarded the train to Philadelphia without the two tailbacks expected to fill the void of Doak Walker, who was in the Army. SMU would have won that meeting, but jumped offside Temple’s missed PAT. The mulligan was good for a 7-7 tie.
One important tie between the two schools is head coach Ray Morrison. Morrison was SMU’s first football coach and served two stints on the Hiltop, coaching 1915-16 and 1922-34. After his second stop at SMU, Morrison moved to Temple, where he went 31-38-9 from 1940-1948, even coaching against SMU in that 1946 meeting.
On the morning of Sept. 14, 1915, Morrison held his first practice at SMU, thus marking the birth of the SMU football program. Morrison came to the school in June of 1915 when he became the coach of the University’s football, basketball, baseball and track teams, as well as an instructor of mathematics. A former All-Southern quarterback at Vanderbilt, Morrison immediately installed the passing game at SMU. He was known as the author of the “aerial circus.” His teams broke tradition by using the forward pass on any down and from any field position.
The first SMU team consisted entirely of freshmen. The Mustangs played their first game Oct. 10, 1915, dropping a 43-0 decision to TCU in Fort Worth. SMU bounced back in its next game, its first at home, to defeat Hendrix College, 13-2. Morrison came to be known as “the father of the forward pass” because of his use of the passing game on first and second downs instead of as a last resort. The Mustangs finished that season with a record of 2-5 and scored just three touchdowns while giving up 131 points. SMU did record the first shutout in school history with a 7-0 victory over Dallas University that year.
SMU finished the 1916 season 0-8-2 and suffered its worst loss ever, a 146-3 drubbing by Rice. The Mustangs were outscored, 455-27, by their opponents while managing ties against Austin College (0-0) and Southwestern (9-9). Morrison left SMU following the 1916 season to work with the Army YMCA at Fort Oglethorpe, Ga., as Director of Sports and Recreation.
Morrison returned to SMU in 1920 to organize a Department of Physical Education and took over the football program again in 1922, having much greater success in his second run. Morrison’s coaching star reached its zenith in the mid-1920s at SMU, as his 1923 Mustangs finished 9-0-0 and his 1926 edition finished at 8-0-1. He led SMU to SWC Championships in 1923, 1926 and 1931. He moved on to Vanderbilt (his alma mater) in 1935, but he had helped set the table for SMU’s 1935 National Championship.
His best Temple teams went 7-2 in 1941 and 7-1 in 1945.
He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1954.