No. 4 Baylor 56, SMU 21
It’s almost 4 a.m., I sat at a desk all night updating Texas high school football scores and scheduling tweets for the Dallas Morning News’ @SportsDayDFW Twitter account, but all the while keeping an eye on the kickoff of a new era on The Hilltop. Here are my Top 5 Takeaways from SMU’s season opener against Baylor (in no particular order).
1. The debut of #PonyUpTempo
Wow. What an encouraging start for the Chad Morris era of SMU Football.
In six home games last season, the SMU offense mustered three touchdowns…total. The debut of #PonyUpTempo pulled that off in just under the first 21 minutes of the first half.
Matt Davis showed the play-making ability with his legs we all already knew he had, but his connection with Courtland Sutton (3 rec, 82 yds, 2 TDs) is what caught my attention the most.
Last season, there was never a real No. 1 target for any QB to throw to, and there hasn’t really been one since names like Emmanuel Sanders, Aldrick Robinson, and Cole Beasley left campus. I think Sutton will become a bona fide No. 1 option for this offense.
2. SMU’s leading rushers
Last season, Matt Davis (QB) led the team in rushing yards by a wide margin.
2014 Matt Davis: 613 yards
2014 SMU’s Top 3 RBs combined: 510 yards
vs. Baylor, Matt Davis: 115 yards
vs. Baylor, rest of team: 88 yards
Very concerning to have your starting QB continually lead the team in rushing – proven by the injury that caused Davis to miss time in the second half against the Bears.
3. The confused SMU bros
This. How awesome was this? SB Nation even picked it up and ranked all of the confused bros. individually…
Matt Davis taking a sack on third and goal with no timeouts only to watch the clock run out on a very exciting first half was a very disappointing way for the Mustangs to head to the locker room, but it did give us this shining moment of glory.
4. Fans in the stands
It’s a high scoring game here between the SMU Mustangs and Baylor Bears. Baylor’s up 21-14 with 3:46 left in 1st qtr. pic.twitter.com/NSsqqtfBkG
— Matt Thornton (@MattThorntonNFL) September 4, 2015
The capacity of Gerald J. Ford Stadium is 32,000 people.
The reported attendance for this game was 32,047 people.
Based on that picture, not so sure about that number…but it’s still a hell of a lot better than any picture of any crowd from last season (except maybe the A&M game).
Hopefully, enough people were encouraged enough by tonight’s performance that they’ll come out next Saturday for the North Texas game.
5. We can hang in the AAC, we can make a bowl game
Based off this one performance (possibly jumping ahead here), here is a list of teams from our schedule I think we have a real shot at beating.
North Texas, James Madison, East Carolina, @ South Florida, Temple, Tulane, @ Memphis
That’s seven games right there – bowl eligible. And I wouldn’t count SMU out of an upset or two on the rest of their schedule, either.
Like I said, I may be jumping ahead, but if tonight was any indication, Chad Morris could be starting something special on The Hilltop.