RB Keylon Kincaide

2002 Statistics

Coach: Phil Bennett
3-9, 1 year
2002 Record: 3-9
at TCU LOST 6-17
at Oklahoma State LOST 16-52
at Hawaii LOST 10-42
at Fresno State LOST 7-30
at Rice LOST 15-27
at UTEP WON 42-35

2002 Final Rankings
AP-UR, Coaches-UR, BCS-UR

2003 Outlook

Things will be different this season for the Mustangs - at least in the uniform department.

SMU will sport a new look, with a red stripe and a red Mustang logo on new blue helmets (a change from white). Whether the players who will wear the spiffy new threads are any better is the question facing Bennett.

Bartel is the key. The youngster was erratic during practices last fall or he would have gotten more playing time. He had 6 TDs and just 1 pick during spring scrimmages. Or is that just an indictment against the defense?

The schedule isn't any easier, with five bowl teams from a year ago. Baylor and Boise State replace Navy and Hawaii - no pushovers there. The tough conference teams visit Gerald J. Ford Stadium this season - Boise State, Fresno State and TCU. The Mustangs won three of their final five games, either a sign of things to come, or that the competition tailed off.

SMU has just one winning season since its well-publicized death-penalty sentence in 1987. Bennett will be hard-pressed to produce another one this season. The usual 3-4 victory total of recent seasons looks more probable, unless Bartel has a breakout season.

Projected 2003 record: 4-8
QB - 2.5 DL - 3.5
RB - 3.5 LB - 3
WR - 1.5 DB - 3
OL - 3.5 ..

Passing: Richard Bartel, 148-89-8, 1078 yds., 8 TD

Rushing: Keylon Kincade, 327 att., 1279 yds., 7 TD

Receiving: Daniel Francis, 29 rec., 276 yds., 1 TD

Scoring: Keylon Kincade, 7 TD, 42 pts.

Punting: Ryan Mentzel, 70 punts, 38.2 avg.

Kicking: Chris McMurtray, 1-4 FG, 10-11 PAT, 13 pts.

Tackles: Ruben Moodley, 82 tot., 51 solo

Sacks: Don Ieremia-Stansbury, 4 sacks

Interceptions: Rico Harris, 1 for 12 yds.

Kickoff returns: Jonas Rutledge, 38 ret., 23.7 avg.

Punt returns: Jonas Rutledge, 2 ret., 17.0 avg.


OFFENSE: Cody Cardwell-WR, Johnnie Freeman-WR, Judson Davis-OT, Thornton Chandler-OG, John Hampton-TE, Kris Briggs-RB, Trent Stephenson-K
DEFENSE: Khalid Beard-DE, Lute Croy-NG, Eric Peterson-DE, Vic Viloria-MLB, Kevin Garrett-CB

written by Boyce Garrison

A look at SMU's statistics from last season brings to light a very interesting number - the Mustangs had 230 first downs last season. Opponents had 218. And yet SMU scored only 207 points all season, while opponents poured on with 378.

The Mustangs held the ball for more than six minutes a game than their opponents on average. They would march downfield with some success, then when time came for the one play that would mean the difference between a scoring drive and an empty feeling - the play was not made.

SMU was a mediocre 90th overall in total offense, averaging 341.6 yards per game, but a dreadful 113th in scoring offense, putting just 17.3 points per game on the board.

The Ponies turned the ball over 29 times. If it wasn't a turnover, it was an untimely penalty, a sack, some other kind of blown assignment or a missed field goal.

You name it, it happened. Head coach Phil Bennett inherited a veteran team that played like a bunch of rookies.

The one position that did not have much experience was at quarterback. First Tate Wallis, then Richard Bartel had his shot. Bartel, who has a very strong arm, is at SMU on the dime of the Cincinnati Reds, who fully expect him to play for them someday. But for now, it looks like Bennett has a quarterback. Bartel completed 60 percent of his passes with 8 TDs and 8 picks, and appeared much improved during the spring, when he had three big scrimmage outings against the SMU defense.

The team's strength, as it was a year ago, is at the running back position. Keylon Kincade emerged after a spring injury to ShanDerrick Charles and led the team with 1,279 yards. Kincade, who is bigger and stronger than Charles, averaged only 3.9 yards a carry and does not have breakaway speed, which played a role in the pitiful scoring numbers. Charles, only 5-foot-9 with a little bit of wiggle, had a pair of 200-yard games in 2001 but averaged only 3.1 yards on 27 attempts last season as he dealt with the injury. With a healthy Charles, the Mustangs think they can cross the goal line a few more times.

They will, however, have to replace their top two pass catchers in wideout Cody Cardwell (47 catches) and tight end John Hampton (33). Chris Cunningham, the team's leading receiver in 2001, is back after sitting out last season with a broken foot. He and Daniel Francis, who had 29 catches as a true freshman, give Bartel a couple of undersized but quick targets.

The biggest surprise could be Matt Rushbrook, who led the team in receiving in all three spring scrimmages. The converted free safety had 19 catches for 329 yards and 3 touchdowns, two from Bartel.

Seniors Steve Reindl (center) and Sterling Harris (right tackle) anchor an offensive line that allowed only 20 sacks a year ago. Guards Townsend Hargis and Brad Kieschnick are two more decent returning starters and will team with junior left tackle Eric Neal to give Bartel a pretty solid wall of protection that might surprise a few people. Redshirt freshman Ryan Kennedy is the first option at tight end, replacing Hampton and his backup.

All in all, there are several reasons to think the Mustangs might actually celebrate scoring drives this season, instead of lamenting lost chances.


WR Chris Cunningham


Returning Starters in bold
QB Richard Bartel-So Tate Wallis-So
FB Derron Brown-Jr Matt Young-Fr
TB Keylon Kincade-Sr ShanDerrick Charles-Jr
WR Daniel Francis-So Trey Griffin-Jr
WR Chris Cunningham-Sr Matt Rushbrook-Jr
TE Trent Hrncir-Sr Ryan Kennedy-Fr
OT Eric Neal-Jr Martin Guidry-Fr
OG Brad Kieschnick-So Chris Urbanus-Fr
C Steve Reindl-Sr Grant Eidson-So
OG Townsend Hargis-Jr Chad Meacham-Fr
OT Sterling Harris-Sr Matt Muns-Jr
K Chris McMurtray-So ..



written by Boyce Garrison

Bennett was known for defense at Kansas State, where he was the coordinator for three seasons and where the Wildcats were in the top four nationally in total defense all three years. Before that, he was the secondary coach at Oklahoma, where the Sooners ranked sixth nationally in total defense. Before that, Bennett spent a year as TCU's defensive coordinator, and the Horned Frogs improved dramatically in total defense. And before that, he was the DC at Texas A&M, which was in the top 10 in total defense for one of two seasons during his tenure. You get the picture. Now if only Bennett could get the same kind of athlete those schools do.

The Mustangs have a new linebackers coach in Darrell Patterson, who is still TCU's all-time leading tackler. Maybe Patterson can impart some of his intensity to SMU's backers. They'll need it. The unit lost its top tackler, Vic Viloria (89 tackles), as well as D.D. Johnson (50). Strongside backer Brian Bischoff added only 59 tackles, but he did add 11 tackles for loss and 4 sacks. The ineffectiveness in this unit showed up in the stats. Besides Viloria, four others had more tackles than Bischoff, including both safeties, free Ruben Moodley (72) and strong Rico Harris (71). The overall unit's reliability on Moodley and Harris to read and react first to the run paved the way to a dismal 97 national ranking in pass defense.

Top defensive back Kevin Garrett (a fifth-round pick by the St. Louis Rams) and Viloria led the team with 2 picks each. The rest of the defense had just 4. Senior Jonas Rutledge led the secondary with 11 pass breakups and brings some steadiness to the table.

Junior defensive tackle Allan Adami was the Mustangs' second-leading tackler with 77. He also had 3.5 sacks and is the main reason for optimism among this unit. The line will miss noseguard Lute Croy, who contributed 64 tackles, including 10.5 for loss and 3.5 sacks. Don Ieremia-Stansbury moved from linebacker to defensive end during 2002. He can be effective, though he's a bit undersized at 240 pounds.

Overall, there is some talent on this defense. But is it enough to stop some of the very good offenses in the Western Athletic Conference? An answer to that may lie in the offense's ability to put up points this season. The Mustangs averaged a measly 6.4 first-half points last season, leaving the defense a disheartened bunch going into the locker room most of the time. Meanwhile, opponents increased their scoring in every quarter, up to a more than 10.6 during the fourth as the undersized unit wore down.


CB Jonas Rutledge


Returning Starters in bold
DE Melvin Williams-Jr Justin Rogers-Fr
NG Randy Denman-Fr Marcus Walker-So
DT Allan Adami-Jr Darrin Johnson-Fr
DE Don Ieremia-Stansbury-So Clay Glockzin-Jr
SLB Brian Bischoff-Sr Jarrian James-Sr
MLB D.D. Lee-Jr Reggie Carrington-Fr
WLB D.D. Johnson-Sr Cole Horton-Fr
CB Jonas Rutledge-Sr Robert Gilmore-Fr
CB Rolando Humphrey-So Ruben Moodley-Sr
SS Rico Harris-Jr Chris Godfrey-Jr
FS Jamey Harper-So Alvin Nnabuife-So
P Ryan Mentzel-So ..




Cardwell is gone, taking with him his No. 3 national ranking in punt returns (17.3 yards). Cunningham returns to take up some of the slack, possibly also as the kickoff return man, where he excelled in 1999 with a 33.9-yard average.

Sophomore Chris McMurtray hit just 1-of-4 field goals. His struggles led to walk-on Trent Stephenson, who did OK on field goals, but struggled on PATs (9-of-14). He will not return. McMurtray could be feeling the heat in August. If so, he could replaced by true freshman Ryan Wolcott. Punter Ryan Mentzel is solid with a 35.5-yard net.