What is Cincinnati’s secret? Inside SMU’s Bearcats Prep Week and What Happened Saturday – The Athletic

DALLAS – It’s 65 degrees sunny outside, a beautiful November day anywhere, but especially here. At 3 p.m. at the bowels of SMU’s Loyd Sports Center, Mustang has the first team meeting of a new game week. More than 80 players and 20 coaches and staff gathered in the seats of the auditorium.

A day after a 55-28 win over UCF to shorten a two-game losing streak, SMU feels pretty good heading into the showdown with Cincinnati. Head coach Sonny Dykes sees Kansas’ overtime win over Texas as an example that anything can happen. But this is an 8-2 SMU team, a confident collective that has won 25 games compared with eight losses in the past three seasons.

Dykes’ opening message is that whoever wants it most wins the game. It’s a cliché, but it’s what he believes happened to UCF.

“If we played like that in Cincinnati,” Dykes told the team, “we would win the game. No one panicked. We keep our heads down, and good things happen. ”

A few minutes later, in a location conference room, an assistant coach said of the Bearcats, “We don’t play the Tampa Bay Bucs. Are they good? Right. But if we do what we have to do, we can win.”

Six days later, SMU fell on the pitch after a 48-14 defeat. At one point in the fourth quarter, Cincinnati was more than 400 yards ahead of the Mustang.

What is up? Athletic spent a week engaging with SMU to see how one team prepared for Cincinnati. The Bearcats are in the top 5 and are close to becoming the first Pot 5 team to reach the College Football Knockout Qualifiers. They are 42-6 for the past four years and have not lost a home game in that period. Dykes later said Cincinnati looked like one of the best teams he had ever faced.

https://theathletic.com/2973883/2021/11/23/whats-cincinnatis-secret-inside-smus-week-of-preparation-for-the-bearcats-and-what-went-wrong-saturday/?source=rss What is Cincinnati’s secret? Inside SMU’s Bearcats Prep Week and What Happened Saturday – The Athletic

Huynh Nguyen

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