The Daily Update: Monday, March 21

March 21, 2011 by · Comments Off 

The Daily Update: Monday, March 21 from SMUDailyMustang.com on Vimeo.

The SMU Daily Update is back from the break. Two former Mustangs are hitting the headlines, you may not be proud when you find out why. Conflict in Libya continues to heat up and radiation scares continue to plague Japan.

The Daily Update: Monday, May 3

May 3, 2010 by · Comments Off 

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Two More Mustangs To Sign With NFL Teams

April 25, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Robby Gillespie
rgillespie@smu.edu

After watching their teammate Emmanuel Sanders hear his name called in the third round of the NFL Draft Friday, SMU running back Shawnbrey McNeal and cornerback Bryan McCann got their chance to try out for an NFL team after each reportedly received NFL offers Sunday. Both players went undrafted in the 2010 NFL Draft.

McCann took an offer to play for the Dallas Cowboys after weighing other offers from the Indianapolis Colts and the Houston Texans. McCann also returned kicks for the Mustangs, which would likely be his role with Dallas, who does not have a designated return man. McCann had 34 kick returns for 824 yards in 2009.

He may also get a chance to play corner. He’ll have to beat out the other six cornerbacks they take to training camp.

Recent posts on ponyfans.com indicate that former SMU running back Shawnbrey McNeal has signed with the San Diego Chargers. The Daily Mustang has not confirmed the report. McNeal played one season on the hilltop and became June Jones’ first 1,000 yard rusher in his collegiate coaching career. He ran for 1,188 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Check out Kristin Kimball’s recent blog post on the signings.

Making Waves: 2009 Special Teams Picks

December 24, 2009 by · Comments Off 

First Pick: Margus Hunt
Class/Position: Freshmen Defensive End
Awards: 2009 Defensive C-USA Honorable Mention, Holds SMU record for career blocked kicks
2009 Stats: 7 blocked kicks, 1 fumble recovery, 1.5 sacks
Hunt became a threat on field goals and extra points early in the season, earning a total of 7 blocked kicks, which is second most in the NCAA for one season.

Second Pick: Sterling Moore
Class/Position: Defensive Back
2009 Stats: 1 blocked kick, 28 tackles, 1 sack, 1 fumble recovery

Third Pick: Bryan McCann
Class/Position: Senior Defensive Back
Awards: 2009 Special Teams All-Conference USA Honorable Mention
2009 Stats: 2 blocked kicks returned for touchdowns, 2 forced fumbles, 808 kickoff return yards

Making Waves: 2009 Defensive Picks

December 23, 2009 by · Comments Off 

First Pick: Chase Kennemer
Class/Position: Senior Linebacker
Awards: 2009 First Team All-Conference USA,
2009 Stats: 2 Interceptions, 126 Tackles, 1 sack, 4 fumble recoveries
Kennemer averaged 10.5 tackles/game in 2009 (second best in C-USA, 13th nationally)

Second Pick: Rock Dennis
Class/Position: Senior Strong Safety
Awards: 2009 Defensive Honorable Mention All-Conference USA
2009 Stats: 4 Interceptions (1 for touchdown), 57 Tackles, 1 sack, 7 pass deflections, 1 fumble recovery

Third Pick: Bryan McCann
Class/Position: Senior Corner Back
Awards: 2009 Defensive Honorable Mention All-Conference USA
2009 Stats: 3 Interceptions, 53 tackles, 9 pass deflections, 2 forced fumbles

Mustangs Hope to Solidify Bowl Chances Saturday

November 20, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

By Robby Gillespie
rgillespie@smu.edu

SMU Head Coach June Jones has achieved more than he thought he would in less than two years on the job. He came to SMU to turn around a losing program and has the Mustangs bowl eligible in just his second season.

“We’re ahead of schedule of where we thought we would be,” Jones said. “We thought it would be one more recruiting class, but the kids have bought into everything.”

The Mustangs (6-4, 5-1 C-USA) are bowl eligible for the fifth time since last making a bowl appearance in 1984, when SMU beat Notre Dame in the Aloha Bowl.

“It is a surreal feeling,” said SMU defensive back Bryan McCann. “Everything we’ve been working at over the past four years is finally coming together.”

The Mustangs have set themselves up well to make another Hawaiian bowl appearance, but SMU holds the C-USA West lead and a C-USA championship win would land them in the Liberty Bowl in Memphis. Jones has asked the C-USA president to allow SMU to play in the Aloha Bowl even if they win the conference.

Before they get ahead of themselves, the Mustangs face a conference road test Saturday at Marshall (5-5, 3-3), a team fighting for bowl eligibility.

“We still have got to go out there and prepare for Marshall and play football just like we’ve been doing for the past ten weeks,” McCann said.

The Mustang defense allowed more than 600 yards on 83 plays last week against UTEP, but still managed to pull out the 35-31 win. SMU is tied for eight in the nation with 26 takeaways this year.

“You don’t go out there and count how many reps your taking,” McCann said. “You have to go out there and perform up until the double zeros are across the scoreboard.”

Freshmen quarterback Kyle Padron will start for the Mustangs for the fourth straight week looking to remain perfect as a starter. With three wins under the freshmen’s belt, Jones said Padron would have to lose the starting spot. Padron entered the Houston game after sophomore quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell went down with an injury. Mitchell is no longer injured, but Padron has impressed coach Jones.

SMU returns home to play Tulane next Saturday to finish out the season, hoping to make a bowl game.

“We are 6-4, but we’re not done, we’ve got two games left and we’re on a three game winning streak so we’re going to keep this thing rolling,” said SMU senior linebacker Chase Kennemer. “Marshall is a good team, they have a lot of athletes and a lot of size. It’s going to be a tough game.”

Audio: Bryan McCann Talks About Defense’s Big Plays

November 19, 2009 by · Comments Off 

Mustangs Look To Earn Bowl Eligibility Saturday

November 13, 2009 by · Comments Off 

By Robby Gillespie
rgillespie@smu.edu

The SMU football team has a chance to do something that hasn’t been seen on the hilltop in over a quarter century, make a bowl game and restore success for SMU football.

The Mustangs look to earn bowl eligibility with a win Saturday against in-state rival UTEP at Ford Stadium at 2 p.m.

“They have tremendous athletes,” said SMU wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders. “If we give them any slight advantage, their true athletic ability will take over, so we’ve got to knock them out early.”

True freshman Kyle Padron will be the starter again at quarterback in the place of sophomore Bo Levi Mitchell. Padron threw for 354 yards one touchdown, one interception and lost a fumble last week against Rice.

“We just came out flat. When the game began, I was a little nervous,” Padron said. “The [turnovers] were not a part of the nerves, I just made a mistake in my reads. You can’t make mistakes…Rice took advantage of it and got a couple of scores early.”

The Mustangs were able to pull out a 31-28 victory after trailing to the winless Owls 20-7 late in the first half.

“The defense didn’t come out and play well at all,” said SMU defensive back Sterling Moore, who’s blocked kick in the second quarter was returned for a touchdown. “We had no reason to be down, we weren’t executing.”

SMU gave up 327 total yards to the winless Rice Owls Nov. 7, and 322 the previous week to Tulsa, but forced five turnovers in the two games.

“We came out real flat,” said SMU defensive back Bryan McCann. “We’re just trying to get back to how were used to playing, playing fast and aggressive making plays, forcing turnovers, which we really haven’t done in the past few weeks.”

The Miners (3-6, 2-3 C-USA) enter the game coming off two straight nail biters to Tulane and UAB. UTEP is led by Doak Walker Award semifinalist Donald Buckram, who ran for more than 200 yards last weekend for the second time this season. He ranks fourth in the NCAA with 131 rushing yards per game.

The Mustangs are fifth in the country in interceptions forced, including 13 in their first five games, but it has been the special teams that has begun to make the game changing plays. Against Rice at the end of the first half, Brian McCann returned a blocked kick for a touchdown and Margus Hunt had two blocked kicks and now has six for the season.

“We devote just as much time to special teams as offense and defense,” McCann said. “When their team scores a touchdown and we block the extra point it kind of takes of little bit of momentum away from them.”

“Coach Gansz used to treat it like offense and defense and that’s the way you’ve go to look at it,” said Sanders who handles punt returns. “On special teams we’ve found a way to come through and win the game.”

Junior Shawnbrey McNeal ran for two touchdowns and 88 yards against Rice and has crushed SMU’s 2008 total rushing yards by more than 300 yards.

Having a rushing threat is a new addition to this Mustang team, and it not only allows them to move the ball on the ground, but it also opens up the passing game.

“It kind of helps me out as an inexperienced quarterback,” said Padron. “I don’t really have to worry about a bunch of crazy coverages because they have to worry about the run.”

For now, the Mustangs are just excited to be competing for a bowl game.

“It feels great,” said Sanders. “I hope on Saturday it feels even more great.”

Video: On The Line With Bryan McCann

November 13, 2009 by · Comments Off 

Big Plays Seal Victory For Mustangs Over ECU

October 10, 2009 by · Comments Off 

Robby headshot
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