Dec. 6, 2011
IRVING, Texas (C-USA/SMU) - Nine Mustangs have been named All-Conference USA, as selected by the league's 12 head football coaches, the conference office announced today. Six Mustangs were tabbed first-team picks, tying Houston for the league lead.
SMU has four first-teamers from its offense and two from its defense. Junior running back Zach Line earned a place after leading the league in rushing for the second straight season (1,224 yards) and scoring a league-best 17 touchdowns in just 10 games before suffering a season-ending injury. Senior lineman Kelvin Beachum, who helped pave the way for Line to gain those yards, was listed along with a pair of wide receivers in senior Cole Beasley (79 catches for 954 yards, a league-high 7.2 receptions per game) and junior Darius Johnson (72 receptions for 998 yards and seven TDs). Defensive end Taylor Thompson (41 stops, 7.5 for loss, six forced fumbles and a team-high seven sacks) and defensive back Richard Crawford (42 tackles, including 2.5 for loss, two interceptions, 10 pass breakups and a forced fumble) were also first-team picks.
Three Mustang defenders, linebackers Ja'Gared Davis and Taylor Reed and lineman Marquis Frazier were named second-teamers, while offensive linemen Bryce Tennison and Kelly Turner, defensive linemen Margus Hunt and Torlan Pittman and defensive back Chris Banjo were named honorable mention.
All 12 schools were represented with at least two overall selections and 10 placed at least one player on first team. To see a full list, click here.
SMU is headed for the BBVA Compass Bowl to face Pitt on Jan. 7. For more info and tickets, visit Bowl Central here.