A few things about the Mustangs:
1. They are coming off a bye week, which gave them an extra 7 days to grouse over a disastrous 28-14 loss at UTEP. You never know for sure, but that appears to be a plus for SMU.
2. They blew a chance to tighten their grip on the West Division, but were handed full control of their destiny when Houston lost to Tulsa. The Golden Hurricane and Mustangs are tied at 5-2, but SMU won 21-18 … took a 21-7 lead in that game, Tulsa scored with 6-plus minutes to get within a field goal and the Mustangs successfully ran out the clock. (Once again, you do that by getting first downs, not running up the middle 3 times.)
3. Shocking development, considering June Jones is the coach: SMU is ranked higher in scoring defense than it is in scoring offense. … though it is 2nd in total offense in C-USA play.
4. They run the ball. Really — Zach Line needs 28 yards to be the first C-USA rusher to 1,000 yards. They are ahead in time of possession, a stat pass-happy offenses really don’t worry about. Something to watch: Line banged up his hip against UTEP, though he has had time to heal.
5. Don’t worry, they can still pass. In league action, Kyle Padron leads the league at 304 yards per game, and Aldrick Robinson leads with 121.8 receiving yards — and 21.5 yards a catch. Cole Beasley is 3rd at 92.7.
6. Gerald J. Ford is one of the very nicest venues in the league. Announced attendance averages 22,000, bumped by an over-capacity 35,000-plus against TCU. We’ll see upper teens announced, perhaps mid-teens on hand.
7. These guys are buried, buried, buried in the Dallas sports scene. It’s the Cowboys, Longhorns, Aggies, Rangers, Cowboys, Mavericks, Cowboys, Stars, Cowboys, high school football, MLS team, Cowboys, rodeo, golf, Cowboys, Cowboys, then SMU. Only Rice is buried as badly in its market. You may find a half-dozen high school playoff games outdrawing MU-SMU. … During the 2006 trip, Flower Mound-Flower Mound Marcus brought 36K to Texas Stadium.
8. Weather forecast: 76 ‘n’ mostly sunny. That reminds me: The 2006 game was on Oct. 13 or thereabouts, under similar conditions. That day, the Miami (Ohio) at Buffalo game was postponed a day because of a foot-plus of lake-effect snow. God bless the MAC.