SMU Mustangs at Tulsa Golden Hurricane: The Big Three

The SMU Mustangs came up short against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane. Photo Courtesy: Sandy McAnally
The SMU Mustangs came up short against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane.
Photo Courtesy: Sandy McAnally
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By Zach Walker

I like the style of recapping the game the way that I started last season, so once again, the three most pivotal plays from the SMU Mustangs’ game.

A summary of the Tulsa game
When is a game that goes into overtime not interesting?! Man, what a lung deflator of a loss, but what a game! The Mustangs’ came out hot, scoring on the opening possession of the game, and doing it with balance of run and pass. The Mustangs’ played strong on defense through the first quarter, and the offense played off of that, scoring on a great play call and execution by Ben Hicks to Alex Honey. Through the first half, it was a tight game, but Tulsa’s scoring drive right before the half really was heart breaker. The second half was a great exchange, and obviously went down to the wire. The team found a way to get the game to overtime, and got a field goal in OT, but lost in the end. However, this isn’t having the car towed back to Dallas for a week off, it just didn’t go the ideal way in the end. Hicks looked so good in a game across from a senior quarterback. It looks like it’s starting to come to a boil, and with a week to prepare for the big time Houston Cougars, I can’t wait for the 23rd.

#1: No Down; Ball at the SMU 35 yard line: The Mustangs had a solid drive in the second quarter that came to a slow end, but Josh Williams kicked home a nice forty-four yarder from the right hash to make it a solid touchdown lead. The ensuing kickoff though, was not a good showing. It was solid return allowed to about the Tulsa thirty-eight yard line, but there was some laundry on the field and it wasn’t friendly. During the return, SMU had a member of the coverage team, Christian Burks, attack a blocker low, which I honestly didn’t know was a penalty, though I’d say it was a solid hit to the thighs. Then to cap it off, as the returner stepped out-of-bounds, Josh Williams (The F$%&ing kicker!) extends the forearm into the guy right as he steps out of bounds and draws a roughness penalty. And because one foul happened during play and the other after, both fifteen yard penalties got added to the end of the good return by Tulsa. The ball for Tulsa started at the SMU twenty-seven yard line. The defense didn’t allow a touchdown, but Tulsa started with a free three points, and were held out of the endzone, but a free three obviously isn’t a good thing to just give. It was SMU’s first real series of blunders in the game. I blame Joey Julius for this.

#2: 4th and 12, from the SMU 35 yard line: This drive was set-up by another killer return for Tulsa. Two plays earlier than the highlighted play, Jarvis Pruitt sacked Dane Evans and the ball kind of popped out. After, I swear, the longest ever replay of an apparent non-fumble, Jordan Wyatt jumped the route but couldn’t catch that ball on third down. During the fifty-two yard attempt from Tulsa, Justin Lawler blocked the kick are the Mustangs recovered at the Tulsa thirty-four. After a roughing the quarterback penalty, Hicks found Jeremiah Gaines for a touchdown, and the lead, 27 to 23.

#3: 1st and Goal, from the Tulsa 10 yard line: After picking up a third and three, with a nice clever pass to Braeden West in the flat. The following sequence was not the best, and was the downfall. First down, Hicks burns a down, throwing out of the back of the endzone, no problem with that. Second down, an action heavy fake jet sweep, gut run by Braeden West for five yards. It’s nice it got that much, but if that were a double fake play action with a single route, it could have perhaps worked. Third down, Hicks looked Sutton’s way, and Tulsa’s Jeremy Brady got a hand in there to break up the pass and force the field goal in overtime. Tulsa picked up a first down in three plays, then Dane Evans kept the option and ran fourteen yards for the walk-off win for the Golden Hurricane.