Sunday, November 27, 2005

Head scratcher

Gee. We all saw that one coming. Surely everybody walked into the stadium expecting UTEP to turn the ball over SEVEN times. I am just dumbfounded.

Once again I suggest to you this may be one of the most underrated defenses in the country. Seriously. This defense is . . . fantastic. Is there a better word? There was a lapse of about a game and a half. Other than that the defense has been exceptional. And the defense played better in week 11 than it did in week 1. Statistically, it is a very average defense, but watch the games. The defense kept SMU in the games; the defense even outright won a couple.

As for the offense, the numbers for the UTEP game are better than I thought they were. The inability to get the ball across the goal line in the first three trips to the red zone is a concern, but if you look at the length of the drives, they are encouraging.

13 plays, 76 yards. (FG)
10 plays, 70 yards. (FG)
4 plays, 8 yards. (FG)
4 plays, 88 yards. (TD)
7 plays, 62 yards. (TD)
3 plays, 8 yards. (TD)
4 plays, -5 yards. (FG)
5 plays, 65 yards. (TD)

Five drives of 60+ yards. The first two drives were solid, sustained, time consuming drives despite the fact that SMU could not get in the end zone.

Turnovers: ZERO.

McMurtray has grown on me. I now acknowledge he will be sorely missed. His one stinker of a game came against TCU and it didn’t cost SMU the game. He’s been downright automatic the last few weeks. Mentzel set the school career record for punting attempts on Saturday; I still consider this a rather dubious distinction.

I am not sure I have anything to quibble over about the coaching. Defensive gameplan was perfect. I can’t even disagree too much with Burns playcalling this week.

There will be time to talk about the season later this week.

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