Mess on Mockingbird

While former Dallas-area quarterbacks are leading ranked teams to record performances, SMU's Justin Willis is suffering through life on the Hilltop. Willis, the former standout at Denton Ryan High School, threw for a paltry 112 yards and was benched during Saturday's abysmal 24-6 loss to North Texas.

Meanwhile, former Southlake Carroll quarterback Chase Daniel has Missouri off to a 2-0 start and former Highland Park stud Matthew Stafford is suddenly the starter for 10th-ranked Georgia. Daniel is fourth in the nation in total offense, while Stafford took over for the injured starter last week and managed to hang on to a victory over South Carolina despite throwing three interceptions. Both are distancing themselves from Willis, who has driven SMU into an early 0-2 ditch.

Says Willis, "I've got to be better. We've got to be better. Plain and simple." The Mustangs headed into the season hoping for their first bowl appearance since the death penalty in 1989. Instead, after gaining only 270 yards and scoring only a late touchdown against paltry UNT, SMU is suddenly worried about the job security of its quarterback, and its coach. --Richie Whitt

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