Week Ten Preview: Temple vs. SMU Mustangs host surprise 7-1 Temple Owls

After a week off I’m back and motivated as ever! But not really, while we were apparently “lost in the Amazon” (according to Joey Hayden), SMU football found what they were missing and lost what they had previously found. I hope you are confused, because I thoroughly am.

No defense – defense

SMU’s defense showed flashes of brilliance against Baylor and TCU. However, against ECU, JMU, Houston, and USF, the defense was unable to contain the quarterbacks and the run game. Eight games into the season and the SMU defense finally looked poised to win a game, but a costly muffed punt by Deion Sanders Jr. and unable to get much help from the offense, the Mustang defense once again found themselves beat down. So why the sudden discovery of defensive skills?

Coach Malone finally found a personnel package that worked and David Johnson, back in the starting line up, was able to be disruptive to Tulsa’s normally dominant passing game. The defensive line has their work cut out for them against a very solid running game.

Temple’s total offense is ranked 112 in FBS schools, while it isn’t very good, they do bring a balanced run/pass attack. RB Jahad Thomas averages 113 YPG for the Owl’s. SMU’s defense struggled with the run against Tulsa, giving up 4 TD’s and 179 yards on the ground.

SMU’s defense is slowly progressing and finding their identity, but it would seem that with every step forward by the defense, the offense or special teams takes a couple steps backwards.

Matt Davis

Prior to the Tulsa game the rumor mill was spinning that Davis’s job might be in question after a subpar performance against USF, some note specifically his lack of production on the ground in recent weeks. Against Tulsa Davis was 19-39 for 236 yards passing with 3 TDs (1 INT) and 9-7 rushing, again, the legs that seemed to freeze opponents defenses at the beginning of the season seem to have gone missing. But for those of you questioning whether Matt Davis should remain as the starter, here are a few reasons why I think he should:

#4 DAVIS,Matt  Comp-Att-Int  Pct  Yards  TD  Long  Sack-Yds  Effic 
TOTALS 137-243-4 56.4 1779  14 63 32-237 133.60

Additionally, SMU’s offensive line has given up 33 sacks for 242 yards.


Morris claims the Mustangs have had the best three weeks of practice that they’ve had all season and it showed against Tulsa. The second half energy that had been missing in previous weeks was finally there, but with it came mental errors, specifically the muffed punt, which I think cost SMU the game against Tulsa.

So far this season’s schedule has been brutal for the Mustangs, after two tough losses, one at USF and the other at home against Tulsa, it will be interesting to see if Morris can generate the same intensity against a 7-1 Temple team that is undefeated in conference play.

According to SMU athletics total attendance against Tulsa was 18,217, however, to the naked eye by the second quarter there appeared to be less than 12,000 in the stadium. Home attendance continues to be a problem for the Mustangs and will continue to hurt their energy and intensity levels.

Courtland Sutton

Yes, he is so awesome that he gets his own point…

Sutton finally jumped, literally, back into the spotlight after three subpar performances. He dominated the Tulsa defense putting up 8 catches for 165 yards receiving with 2 TD. Temple has a very good and much improved defense that flexed its muscles and all but shut down #9 ranked Notre Dome, for SMU to stand even the smallest chance Sutton will have to have another big night.

What2Know Bout Temple

Temple’s defense is good, really good. Offensively the Owl’s have a balanced approach. Junior QB P.J. Walker isn’t phenomenal, however, he is consistent. RB Jahad Thomas has been nothing short of dominant on the ground. While Temple’s offense isn’t fast paced and flashy, it is powerful and methodical. Because Temple’s defense is so good, look for their offense to thrive. SMU’s defense will run out of gas early and be left on the field too much. Look for the Owl’s defense to force a lot of early punts, and for the Owl offense to dominate time of possession.

Injury Report

Linebacker Kyran Mitchell (knee) and cornerback Horace Richardson (shoulder) are out for the season.

Changing Styles

SMU will return their flashy red helmets with a patriotic twist for the  night at Ford Stadium.

Final Score:

Jesse Carr: SMU 17, Temple 35

1 year ago
Written by Jesse Carr
Jesse is journalism major at Southern Methodist University and co-founder of The Stable. A die hard Texan, Jesse loves Lonestar beer, tattoos, God, anything sports related, and contributes coverage of all SMU athletics.