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SMU was 8-5 in 2011 with a loss in their bowl game. The Mustangs played A&M in the Aggie's 2011 home opener and lost 46-14.
The Mustangs' run and shoot offense averaged 389 yards per game in 2011. Their defense allowed 340 yards per game.
The Mustangs' offense returns eight starters, while the defense returns five. The Aggies return three starters on offense and seven on defense.
Garrett Gilbert is expected to take over at quarterback for SMU.
Gilbert transferred to SMU after falling out of favor in Austin. He will arrive in Dallas in the summer after he graduates from Texas, and should be eligible immediately.
SMU's biggest offensive threat is senior running back Zach Line. At 6'1", 230 pounds he is the most underrated big back in the nation.
Line rushed for 129 yards and a touchdown against A&M in 2011. He should turn in his third straight 1,000 yard season in 2012. He will be running behind an offensive line that returns only one starter.
SMU lost all three starters from their defensive line.
Margus Hunt was a backup in 2011, but has started before. The 6'8", 296-pound freak of nature returns as possibly the best special teams player in the country. He is a threat to block every field goal and extra point.
SMU returns all four starters at linebacker in their 3-4 scheme. Ja"Gared Davis was a First-Team All Conference linebacker in 2011 and returns to lead the unit. He had 90 tackles in 2011, including 16 tackles for loss.
They return one starter from a secondary that allowed 222 yards per game on 64 percent completions.
June Jones has built a solid program in Dallas. SMU should be a bowl team as long as he is the head coach.
It remains to be seen how effective Gilbert will be in Jones' offense. If he can avoid the turnovers that plagued him in Austin, then he should be an improvement at the position for the Mustangs.
This is a trap game for the Aggies after the home game against Florida. There will likely be more A&M fans in the stands in Dallas than SMU, but the Mustangs are no pushovers.
Expected outcome: A&M wins 35-31