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September 15, 2008In his third collegiate game, SMU true freshman quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell threw five interceptions on the way to a 43-7 loss to no.12 Texas Tech. Before all the fingers start getting pointed at the 18-year old out of Katy, head coach June Jones said 'not so fast'.
"He didn't do the things that he needed to do," said Jones. "At the same time, I don't think we gave him a whole lot of help, either. We weren't very good. I thought the offensive line did some good things. But we just didn't do anything offensively that was good enough to win.
"Bo is every young and made a lot of young quarterback mistakes. He'll continue to get better from it. Hopefully everyone will get better. I didn't do a good enough job for him today. The receivers didn't either. I thought that Tech was much more physical than we were."
In the first half, Mitchell brought his team to the 26 and one yard lines, only to have the drives result in an interception. Jones didn't even wait to get on the bus before having a word with his first year signal caller.
"I've talked about this game on the sideline with him already. He just has to play within the scheme of things. He hasn't thrown the ball that much. At his high school, he hasn't been a real passing quarterback. If you scramble around, you have to run the ball and take care of the ball. You can't throw the ball back in the middle of the field.
"That's the stuff that you'll in the NFL. He's an 18-year old kid trying to make something happen and he just has to learn to play within himself."
Still, there were some positive things to pull from the tough game in Lubbock.
"If you would have said to me that we would've played that well defensively against them, I felt that would've been good enough to win the game. We just didn't play our game on offense."
Even though 2008 Biletnikoff winner Michael Crabtree had his best game of the season with eight passes for 164 yards, Jones still felt that the Mustangs contained the special talent well enough to have a better outcome in the game.
"He's a big time player, but like I said, I was proud of our defense. He's going to get that on a lot of people. But we made enough plays on defense. We stopped them and knocked the ball out a few times. We did enough things to where if we would've kept pace on offense then it would've made things interesting at least. When you don't do those things, it makes it pretty hard."
It's all part of a rebuilding process for Jones and his new program. Minutes after the Mustangs dropped to 1-2 on the season, he was already thinking about the following game on the schedule.
"If we play that way next week, it's not going to be good enough to win at home. But it's a home game and everybody will be fired up. TCU is a good football team that's 3-0 and that should be enough to get everyone going towards the next level."