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Monday, September 10, 2012
First glance: Breaking down SMU

By Sam Khan Jr.

Campus location: Dallas
Nickname: Mustangs
Conference: Conference USA
Record: 1-1
Record vs. Texas A&M: 29-42-7

Last week: The Mustangs shut out FCS opponent Stephen F. Austin, 52-0. Running back Zach Line had 19 carries for 60 yards and two touchdowns and quarterback Garrett Gilbert threw for 205 yards and a touchdown with one interception on 19-of-36 passing.

Last meeting with Texas A&M: The Aggies scored early and often while rolling to a 46-14 home victory over the Mustangs in their season opener Sept. 4, 2011. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill threw for 246 yards and two touchdowns, while Cyrus Gray (132 yards) and Christine Michael (85) combined for 217 rushing yards and four touchdowns.

Key player: Line, a senior, had a good showing against the Aggies last season, compiling 128 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries. Through two games this season, he has 195 rushing yards and two scores.

Why SMU might win: This will be Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel's first road game. While he had a solid performance against Florida, it's worth watching how he fares away from Kyle Field. And after seeing some of the recent upsets in college football, including last week's Louisiana-Monroe win at then-no. 8 Arkansas, anything can happen. SMU might be an underdog, but the Mustangs have enough talent that the Aggies can't expect to just walk over them by showing up.

Why SMU might lose: Gilbert, a transfer from Texas, has yet to show the kind of explosiveness and efficiency that made him a blue-chip recruit out of Austin (Texas) Lake Travis. His completion percentage (55.8 percent) leaves much to be desired and he has thrown three interceptions in the Mustangs' first two games. The team as a whole struggled against Baylor and while the Mustangs have talent, they don't have as much or the depth across the board to match the Aggies.