Navy 55, SMU 14
Well…here we are, again. Another Saturday, another loss for the SMU Mustangs, this time to the run heavy, triple option attack of Navy.
Before we get started, brief disclosure: I didn’t actually watch Saturday’s game due to Dallas Morning News related responsibilities, and I’m currently writing this at 1:30 a.m. while watching the replay of SMU Basketball’s season opening win vs. Sam Houston State because I didn’t get to watch that, either…
But that doesn’t mean I don’t have anything to say about Saturday’s “performance” against Navy, so…(in no particular order) here are my Top 5 Takeaways from this week’s game:
1. Crazy eights
TCU, James Madison, East Carolina, Houston, South Florida, Tulsa, Temple, and now Navy – every team that’s beaten SMU since the Mustangs’ 31-13 victory over North Texas (who has had their own debacle of a season) on September 12.
Despite their seemingly fast start against top ranked opponents like Baylor and TCU that prompted many to assume a possible bowl game for the 2015 Mustangs, those expectations have been proven nothing short of unrealistic.
Frustration reigns following SMU’s eighth straight loss…
2. Record breakers
Props to Navy QB Keenan Reynolds, who surpassed former Wisconsin RB Montee Ball’s record for career rushing touchdowns on a 4-yard scramble in the first quarter.
That would be the first of his five total touchdowns against the Mustangs, who proved once again if your team has a quarterback with legs, SMU has a team without a defense.
Reynolds’ final stat line: 2/9, 81 yards, 1 TD — 14 car., 137 yards, 4 TDs
3. The Davis situation
Jesse Carr talked about the need for Matt Davis to step up and solidify his place as the starting quarterback of this team, and that is exactly the opposite of what he did vs. Navy.
The Navy defense locked SMU’s offense down. They contained Davis and only allowed him 30 yards on the ground, and when you force Davis to try and beat you with his just his arm, the Mustangs struggle to move the ball effectively.
Matt Davis’ final stat line: 8/22, 124 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT — 11 car., 30 yards, 1 TD
4. Some things are bigger than football
Matt Davis actually didn’t even start Saturday’s game vs. Navy. That responsibility belonged to former-walk-on-now-on-scholarship senior Garrett Krstich.
Krstich’s father, Jeff, played football at Navy in the 1960s, and he took Garrett to a Midshipment game in 2007. A few weeks later, he died of a heart attack.
Garrett fought through injuries including coming back from a torn labrum last season just to take the field in Annapolis on Saturday.
Head coach Chad Morris obviously was aware of the situation, and allowed Garrett to start the game, and take SMU’s first offensive snap at QB:
The reaction on the sideline:
5. Looking ahead
SMU’s next game comes against Tulane on Saturday, November 21. It will be SMU’s final home game of the year.
Tulane (3-7, 1-5) just snapped a five-game losing streak with a 34-31 win over Army.
But if there were any American Athletic Conference team besides UCF (0-10, 0-6) ((who SMU unfortunately does not play this year)) to get that second win over, this would be the team.
SMU travels to Memphis to take on Paxton Lynch and the Tigers in their regular season finale on November 28.