Nicholas Armstrong from Underdog Dynsasty was kind enough to answer a few questions for us about SMU Football. You can see our Q&A with them here.
1) Pretty nice start to the season thus far for SMU. What have been the keys to success and what is the most improved part of the team since Chad Morris took over?
It's gotta be the offense. SMU has been mediocre on defense for quite a while. But the offense is really starting to gel under the system Morris runs. With veteran QB Ben Hicks in a familiar system, the offense has really come together. Also having a first round caliber receiver in Cortland Sutton helps.
2) SMU had a lead against No. 20 TCU and played competitively in a pretty impressive outing despite taking the loss. Where are fan expectations at this point in the season?
Fans are expecting to compete in the west division. SMU fans feel like they might be getting overlooked by teams like Houston, Navy, or even Tulsa. Fans expectations are high to say the least. An 8-9 win season is not out of the realm of possibilities.
3) Who do we need to keep an eye on offensively besides Courtland Sutton, and what about defensively?
Well offensively there are plenty of weapons. Morris has a three-headed monster at tailback, with Xavier Jones, Ke'mon Freeman, and Braeden West. All backs are dangerous. On the receiving end, Trey Quinn and James Proche are dangerous with Sutton getting more attention. In fact, those two receivers have more yards this season then him.
Defensively, Jordan Wyatt is a great DB. He is more of the bright spot in a mediocre defense. Watch for him to be a playmaker in some aspect. Whether it be rushing the passer or making a key pass breakup. The kid is solid.
4) What is the 60-second scouting report on starting quarterback Ben Hicks?
Ben Hicks has extremely raw talent. He is a very capable passer, especially in the short range. He likes to take deep shots, even though he has accuracy struggles throwing deep. He isn't a very mobile QB. But is one of the underrated QBs in the AAC.
5) How would you rate the defense as a whole?
As I said before, the defense has always been mediocre. Now, in their defense, they have played some tough offenses. I think the UConn game will be a great test. Until the ECU game, UConn has struggled on offense. This is a chance to get a true gauge of the SMU defense. As of now though, they're mediocre.
6) What are the main areas of weakness on each side of the ball?
Offensively: QB. It's crazy to think after all the positives I said about Hicks, and he is the weakest link? It's true though. I think WR has great depth. If Hicks struggles passing the ball and the completion % dips, he can lean on his great stable of running backs.
Defensively: D-line. They showed some improvement against Arkansas State as far as rushing the QB. But, I'm not fully convinced yet. They'll have to continue to do what they did last Saturday before they can gain any respect.