Season Report Card: Southern Methodist
It’s not because he was bad—actually, it’s quite the opposite. Gilbert performed quite well for most parts of the year, albeit some noticable inconsistencies.
A former five-star prospect and Texas Longhorn, Gilbert never really lived up to his lofty expectations as a top pro-style recruit. The Austin (TX) native threw for 6,707 yards, 37 touchdowns and 24 interceptions in his three years with the Mustangs, posting a 5-7 (4-4 AAC) record in his first—and final—season in the American.
While he didn’t leave the collegiates with an exclamation point, he did leave us with this memorable play (oh how I wish there were more of these):
Here’s SMU’s report card for the 2013 season:
Given the hype of a June Jones offense led by a senior Garrett Gilbert and a plethora of playmakers at skill positions, the SMU offense was incredibly disappointing this season. The running game was basically imaginary and forced Gilbert to throw 50.4 pass attempts in his 10 games, obviously affecting his overall efficiency and the team’s success in the red zone (97th in the nation). The Mustangs put up 26.8 points per game (No. 77 overall), but had a lot of trouble finding the pylon against quality opponents.
It was your typical outing for a June Jones defense. SMU had difficulty getting opposing offenses off the field, finishing with the 94th-ranked passing efficiency defense and 72nd total defense. It allowed 41 points or more in five of its first seven games and at least 28 in nine different performances.
Special Teams: D+
SMU’s special teams were far below average: it was mediocre in the return game and finished dead last in the FBS in terms of net punting. One bright spot was Chase Hover and the kicking unit, as he made 18-of-21 of his field goals attempts.
This was supposed to be Jones’ most explosive offense since his Colt Brennan days at Hawaii, and it turned out to be a huge bust. SMU couldn’t rely on its defense to keep it in games when the offense didn’t show up, which made the Mustangs uncompetitive at times in what was a trying year. Gilbert was never able to reach his once-said potential under Jones’ tutelage.
Jones turned around SMU’s program after being hired in 2007, but failed to reach a bowl after appearing in four straight. The Mustangs fell far short of expectations in a year where they were a dark horse (no pun intended) to compete for the American Athletic Conference. Instead, they won five games—all against teams with three wins or less (not including FCS Montana State, which went 7-5).
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