SMU Hosts UConn Saturday At 2 p.m.
Nov. 14, 2013
SMU Mustangs (3-5, 2-2 American) vs. UConn Huskies (0-8, 0-4 American)
Saturday, November 16, 2013 - 2 p.m. CT
Gerald J. Ford Stadium (32,000)
ESPN3/SMU Radio Network
Setting The Scene
SMU returns to Ford Stadium to host the UConn Huskies for an American Athletic Conference game at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 16.
SMU is offering a special $15 ticket package for the game that includes a hot dog, drink and admission to the game. The deal can be purchased by calling the SMU Ticket Office at 214-SMU-GAME (768-4263) or logging onto SMUMustangs.com and using the promo code "Family".
SMU QB Garrett Gilbert leads the nation in total offense (409.4 ypg) - a figure better than 60 teams in the FBS. Gilbert ranks second in the nation in completions per game (35.4) and third in passing yards (379.6 ypg). Over his last four games, Gilbert is averaging 480 yards of total offense and 436.5 passing yards, with 13 TDs and only one interception, and has been named American Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week three times. On the year, Gilbert has accounted for 23 of SMU's 30 TDs.
Mustang receivers Darius Joseph and Jeremy Johnson are third and fourth in catches per game nationally at 9.5 and 9.4 grabs per game respectively, and all four starting Mustang receivers have at least one 100-yard game in 2013 . At Cincinnati, three SMU receivers - Joseph, Johnson & Keenan Holman - went over the 100-yard mark, marking the first time that SMU had three 100-yard receivers in one game.
The Mustangs are 16-2 in league games played at Ford Stadium since the start of the 2009 season and 12-5 overall in home games since the start of the 2011 season.
After finishing 2012 with a +9 turnover margin (10th in the nation), SMU has struggled with turnovers in 2013 and is -7 through eight games (112th nationally).
Four Mustangs are on award watch lists - Kenneth Acker (Thorpe), Jeremy Johnson (Biletnikoff & Earl Campbell Tyler Rose), Taylor Lasecki (Rimington) and Mike Loftus (Ray Guy) - and kicker Chase Hover has been named a semifinalist for the Lou Groza Award.
About The Huskies
UConn's losing streak has reached nine games, dating to last season, after last week's setback to Louisville. The Huskies were held to 237 yards of offense and committed five turnovers against the Cardinals. A bright spot for UConn has been the play of linebacker Yawin Smallwood, who ranks second in the American Athletic Conference in tackles (11.1 per game).
Saturday's game will mark just the second meeting between the two schools, but the one meeting holds an important position in SMU football history. SMU topped UConn, 31-30, on Sept. 16, 1989, for its first victory after a two-year hiatus from football. See page SMU's game notes for a recap of that game.
June Jones is in his sixth season at the SMU helm. His SMU record is 34-39 and his career mark is now 110-80. 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.
T.J. Weist is the interim head coach at UConn and is 0-5 since taking over the Husky helm. The 25-year coaching veteran was elevated to that position on Sept. 30, four games into the 2013 season. Weist is in his first season at UConn and continues to serve as offensive coordinator and also has position responsibility with the wide receivers.
ESPN3 will air the game on its digital network with Trey Bender (play by play), Kevin O'Connell (analyst) and Brooke Williamson (sideline reporter) calling the game.
Rich Phillips (PBP), Scott Garner (analyst) and Steve Lansdale (sidelines) will call the action on KTCK 1310 AM/96.7 FM in Dallas beginning at 1:30 p.m. CT.
SMUMustangs.com will stream game stats.
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