September 2, 2007

Can Mustang defense hang with the Air Raid?

Much has been made of the fact that the SMU Mustangs return only one starter on defense. And that one starter, defensive end Cory Muse, is now questionable for the season opener against Texas Tech with a groin injury. If Muse is unable to go, the Ponies will field an entirely new defensive unit against historically one of the most potent offenses in college football.

That can't be good for SMU, can it?

Opinions within the Red Raider football camp are mixed on the matter of the Mustang defense. Tech head coach Mike Leach, more or less, takes the diplomatic approach.

"First of all, I think it [SMU's defense] is a good defense, and the coach takes a lot of pride in, and should."

Sounds like a pretty positive statement about the ultra-green Ponies. There is a significant caveat, however. Hence, Leach is probably referring to SMU head coach Phil Bennett's defense in general over a period of years rather than the 2007 instantiation. Leach may very well think highly of Bennett's schemes and his abilities as a defensive coach without holding the 2007 unit, what little he can know about it anyway, in high regard.

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