Hot on the heels of “Wart-Gate” comes the news that Phil Bennett is “concern about the quarterback position” after Saturday's scrimmage.
Justin Willis: 16 of 23; 156 yards; 1 interception; 0 TD’s.
Corey Slater: 8 of 17; 91 yards; 2 interceptions; 1 TD.
Eric Johnson: 4 of 7; 23 yards; 0 interceptions; 0 TD’s.
We should be concerned with the quarterback play because the coach is. None of the other reports are glowing, including one depressed report I received from a former player. Therefore, I am concerned, too.
As I mentioned, I was not in attendance, so all I have to go on is the word of others and statistics. Neither one is perfect, of course. It was an intersquad competition. So, the scrimmage wasn’t meaningful. It was open to the public and yes, some schools did send scouts to the game. So, the offense was very conservative, but so was the defense.
From the former player I spoke with, “… God, I miss Romo already.” To which I responded, “How many times do you think Romo completed sixty percent of his passes?” “I don’t …, four times?” “No. Twice-UAB and ECU (edit: actually, it was Tulsa) were the only times Romo hit 60% of his passes. Romo threw for 300 yards only once. His two best games by far were UAB and UTEP.”
Yes, I would have loved for Willis to charge out there and go 21 of 30 for two TD’s and no interceptions. But I wasn’t expecting that and neither should you. I wish SMU didn’t have to rely on a redshirt freshman but it does. The two guys that should be competing for the SMU QB job this year are playing tight end and for another team in Louisiana. That’s the breaks. I expect Willis to get better day by day. I expect Willis to be better in week two than week one and better in week three than week two. Willis will finish the season a much better quarterback than he starts.
This says a lot more about SMU than it does Willis, but if Willis hits just 60%, forget the almost 70% Willis hit in the scrimmage, of his passes for the year and gets 30 attempts per game on average, he will unquestionably be the best SMU quarterback since Flannigan. And that will be as a freshman.
The SMU quarterback situation hasn’t been solid in a decade. SMU won five games last year on the arm of a junior college transfer that according to some people nobody wanted. I’ll take my chances with Willis in 2006 behind this offensive line in 2006 and these running backs in 2006.
Finally, Mustangmaniacs.com has risen from the ashes in the form of a rivals site. This has been in the works for a long time. I was beginning to wonder if it would actually happen. Nice that SMU finally has a Rivals site; it has needed one for a long time.