The SMU Mustangs thought they might have caught lightning in a bottle with Garrett Gilbert when the Austin, Texas native transferred from the University of Texas following the 2011 season. However, Gilbert’s first season in Dallas was forgettable at best and it doesn’t look like things will get any easier for the fifth-year senior as SMU will begin Big East play this fall. Gilbert’s ride has been a bumpy one, but he better grab it by the horns (no pun intended) and hold on tight or he’ll just think he’s the forgotten Texas kid now.
Gilbert’s first season as a starter at Texas should have been an incredible encore of his coming out party after such an impressive performance in the 2009 BCS National Championship Game while filling in for an injured Colt McCoy. However, his sophomore season was a far cry from impressive as he threw for just 2,744 yards and 10 touchdowns while tossing 17 interceptions. So it was no surprised that he was benched the following year when a hot young pair of passers took over in Austin, including McCoy’s little brother, Case McCoy.
Now in his second season at SMU, Gilbert gets a chance to improve on a disappointing performance, which is something he hasn’t experienced during his college football career. However, his 2,932 yards and 15 touchdowns will seem like actual accomplishments once he starts facing the defenses of the Big East, which certainly aren’t stifling by any stretch of the imagination, but they’ll definitely be a lot tougher than what Gilbert saw in Conference USA. Of course, he shredded Alabama‘s brick wall of a unit in the title game four years ago, but that was then and he hasn’t done anything notable since. He still gets one more shot to prove he’s a decent signal-caller, though. Let’s just say the 2013 college football season will be more than just an NFL audition for Gilbert.