Temple 60, SMU 40
Once again SMU came heartbreakingly close to winning. Close enough to get excited, and close enough to make it hurt that much more.
While the Mustangs showed a flash of brilliance and improvement, they continued to make costly and unnecessary mistakes, specifically QB Matt Davis who fumbled deep in Mustang territory, and threw a pick six when the game was on the verge of getting out of control.
1. The Most Points
Morris’s offense showed once again just how dominant they can be. While the Mustangs didn’t appear to control the game, they did put up more points on Temple than any other team all season, including Notre Dame. The most points that anyone scored against Temple’s top notch defense was Cincinnati, who posted 26.
However, the offensive line allowed two sacks, which totals 35 on the year, and both turnovers for the Mustangs were by Matt Davis.
2. Special Teams
At a time when SMU needed a boost the most, they got it from freshman Braeden West who had 180 yards in kickoff returns, including an 80-yard TD, the first of his career.
With 9:17 left in the game, and SMU trailing 45-31, SMU’s special teams was able to down a Josh Williams 49 yard punt at the Temple 1-yard line. On the ensuing possession, SMU’s defense would hold the Owls, force a punt, and be awarded a safety after a holding call in the end-zone during the punt attempt.
It was at this point that Braeden West would dial up an 80-yard return for a touchdown, bringing SMU within reach of Temple at 45-40. The Mustangs finally found a source of points other than the offense.
3. Courtland Sutton for president
Sutton was unable to continue his streak of four straight games with a touchdown, however, he was given an opportunity to show off his QB skills with a 45 yard pass to Braeden West. In a play that called for role’s to be reveresed, Sutton seemed to channel his inner Davis, while West seemed to channel his inner Sutton with a phenomenal grab over an Owl defender.
C. Sutton pass,to B. West for 44 yds for a 1ST down https://t.co/KEVG1550cT
— Jesse Carr (@jessedcarr) November 7, 2015
We were teased a few times seeing Sutton back for kickoff returns, however, he never touched the ball.
Overall, he didn’t have a great night, but he did draw two big pass interference penalties, and added another great highlight to his resume.
4. Zach Wood and Justin Lawler
Wood was credited with 1.5 sacks, while Lawler was credited with half of one. While it was an okay night overall for the defense, they’re lack of depth continued to be a problem. Wood and Lawler both were able to get pressure on P.J. Walker, however because of Temple’s methodical offense and powerful run game, the depleted and exhausted Mustang defense was no match for Temple.
The most consistent piece of SMU’s defense has been the defensive line in Lawler and Wood, hopefully it will stay that way. Lawler is only a sophomore and will be a great defensive leader going into next year, but Wood is in his last year on the Hilltop, and is currently making the most of it despite SMU’s 1-8 record.
5. Don’t Forget the Opponents
At this point in the season things are looking pretty rough for SMU. The worst part about it is that it doesn’t appear like it is about to get any better any time soon. But while it is easy to complain and call out Chad Morris’s program, it is important to remember that SMU’s strength of schedule this year has been absolutely ridiculous. That being said, SMU should have beaten James Madison, USF, and Tulsa, and was given the opportunity to beat TCU and Temple, but couldn’t close it out.