The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, November 01, 1982, Image 20

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    SMU’s Collins has pride
in ‘Ron Meyer’s players’
IRVING — Some people describe the
SMU Mustangs as ‘Ron Meyer’s team.’
But Bobby Collins doesn’t.
Meyer, who coached the Mustangs for six
years, left his post after the 1981 season to
become head coach of the New England
Patriots. Collins coached at Southern Missis
sippi during the 1975-81 seasons, but then
left the Golden Eagles and assumed Meyer’s
position as the Mustangs’ coach.
And now, just because Meyer’s last SMU
team finished 10-1 and Collins has achieved
an 8-0 record with many of the same play
ers, comments are Hying right and left about
this year’s bunch of ‘Ron Meyer’s players.’
Collins disregards those remarks. In fact,
he fiat ignores them.
“I’m here working to make this the best
situation I can with the players we have,”
Collins said in the Texas Stadium press box
after Saturday’s 47-9 victory over Texas
A&M. “When people say, ‘You won with
Ron Meyer’s players,’ that doesn’t bother
“I knew when I came down here that it
was a good team. I would almost wager that
Jackie Sherrill said he had great players
when he got there and before the start of the
After a few under-the-breath chuckles
from his listeners, Collins concluded his
“I don’t know what (Sherrill) thinks now,
but I’ll just bet he said that. I learned a long
time ago that the years I have better footbal
players are the years I’m a belter coach.”
Collins, during an informal post-game
chat with reporters, looked like a relaxed
and relieved man. With an entire couch to
himself, Collins sat back with legs crossed
and hands clasped behind his head.
If there’s ever been a perfect picture of
calm, cool and collected, Collins illustrated it
as he assessed his team’s performance
against the Aggies and the Mustangs’ other
seven opponents.
“We have to give our players an awful lot
of credit for getting their feet back on the
ground and getting ready to play after beat
ing Texas,” Collins said. “It seems like at
times, we lose something during the course
of a ballgame, but just when that happens ...
they get their feet back on the ground and
put it together.
“As much as we would like to be more
consistent for 60 minutes, they still are able
to come back and win in the end.”
True to the form presented by several
other Southwest Conference teams the
Mustangs have played, Collins said, the
Aggies displayed a slightly different defen
sive scheme. Certainly he realizes that most
teams with any sense are going to make an
all-out effort to counteract his two offensive
bazookas, Eric Dickerson and Craig James.
But Collins still can’t figure it out.
“It’s hard for me to imagine that teams in
our conference come up and change their
defenses completely to face any one team,”
he said. “I’ve never been associated with it,
even as an independent with Southern Mis
“In their alignments up front ... (the
Aggies) were playing a lot of the time with
their strong safety (usually Billy Cannon) up
on the line of scrimmage to give them an
eight-man front. I think it can, at times, stop
the run ... but we have just as good a chance
of getting touchdowns from our passing
game as from our running game. What is
that now, nine touchdowns out of about
No Coach, that’s only nine touchdowns in
38 completions for Mcllhenny.
But the Aggie defense, Coach. What was
so different about the defense Texas A&M
showed you?
“It was a completely different defense
than what we’re used to,” Collins said.
“They work from a basic ‘40’ defense (four
down linemen), but after we’ve seen that
from them on film, they come up here and
we see a split defense.
“And it’s difficult to run against, but it
opens up other situations. Then when they
have to adj ust to that, our option plays ccme
through for us.”
But what about your defense, coach?
Don’t you make weekly adjustments accord
ing to what you expect from your oppo
“We’re going to base from the same de
fensive alignment and the same offense in
nearly every game we play,” Collins said.
“But I think that we get some easy touch
downs out of it when the other teams play an
eight-man front. We have to be satisfied
with what they give us, and I think we defi
nitely are.
“We’ve never felt that we could play very
well in a changing defensive scheme, and we
never have. It’s been our philosophy all
along that if we get in trouble, we’ll go back
to basics.”
Obviously, the Mustangs haven’t gotten
in much trouble this season, since their de
fense has allowed only 268 yards a game. On
top of that, Russell Washington and Co.
have allowed opponents to average just 3.7
yards a play, good for No. 2 in the SWC.
Against the Aggies, SMU allowed an aver
age of 2.5 yards a play.
And look at the Arkansas Razorbacks,
whom Texas A&M must play in about 12
days. After halting the Rice Owls in their
tracks for only 86 yards in Saturday’s 24-6
victory, Arkansas has allowed only three
touchdowns, 35 points, 225 yards a game
and 3.5 yards a play to its seven opponents.
Could be trouble, Jackie.
But enough about the defenses, Coach.
Here’s the question of the day:
You’ve alternated “Dickerjames” all sea
son. Do you plan to abandon that policy?
Collins sat up, uncrossed his legs and
looked down while scratching his head.
“No,” he said. “I think you have to be
realistic about that and look at SMU’s prog
ram, where it’s come from and what it once
was. Basically, it’s gotten here by alternating
those two — and I really feel that’s the way to
go. We’ll continue to alternate them and
keep them fresh, so they can keep making
big plays.”
With all the talk about the pressure he’s
under as a result of inheriting a near-intact
10-1 team, Collins just had to throw in a
punch line to wrap it all up.
“Maybe the pressure is getting to me,” he
said with a smile.
Really now, Coach.
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“Where do you think you’re going?”
Aggie free safety Domingo Bryant asks
as he greets Mustang tailback Craig
James at the goalline during Saturday’s
47-9 SMU victory in Texas Stadium.
staff photo by David Fislw lomy has
On this particular series, the Aggies
kept James and his teammates from
scoring on three straight plays from
the 1-yard line. Bryant, a freshman,
had 11 total tackles during the game.
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