Maybe not since the days of the tail end of the ‘Pony Express’ Era of the mid 80’s and the “Unbelievable” teams led by the animated Jim Wacker, has a more competitive game amongst the Mustangs of Southern Methodist University and the #3 ranked Horned Frogs of Texas Christian University. Well at least one that had a team nationally ranked currently. I’m sure there were plenty of games between the two since the end of the ‘Death Penalty’ for SMU that may have been a closely contested battle, but neither team was probably good enough then to warrant remembering.
Saturday night saw the Frogs come away with the victory, 56-37. It was a typical day for the offense, registering 720 yards against the Ponies defense. What did shock many of the 45,000 plus at Amon Carter Stadium was the ease at which the defense was sliced up by quarterback Matt Davis and the rest of the Mustangs offense to a tune of 508 total yards.
Taking the opening kickoff and marching down the field for a 65-yard drive to jump to a 7-0 lead on a 2-yard touchdown run by Xavier Jones, it was apparent that SMU wasn’t just going to make the same cameo appearance that Stephen F. Austin did last week. They made the 40 mile trip down Interstate 30 to announce to the Frogs that the renewal of an old rivalry is now here.
The hire of Chad Morris looks to be a great one. His concentrated efforts to recruiting urban areas, which previous staffs at The Hilltop didn’t do, will make them good in a very short time. Looks like he will need athletes on the defensive side of the ball because TCU’s quarterback, Trevone Boykin, stayed in the Heisman race with his dissection of the secondary, going 21-30 for 454 yards with five touchdowns. After two subpar games running the ball, the offensive line and running back Aaron Green got their legs under them as they totaled 266 yards, led by Green’s 165 yards.
With 8:20 remaining in the game, SMU cut the lead to five after a 32-yard field goal by Chad Hedlund. The game at that point looked to be one that may threaten all national championship hopes for the Frogs. A Josh Doctson touchdown reception and a follow up short touchdown run by Green sealed the 19 point victory for the HOPEFULLY still #3 ranked Frogs.
THREE GAME TIDBITS
1) SMU junior quarterback Matt Davis looks very comfortable in the Mustangs new “up tempo” offense. Along with the his 330 yards passing, he added 62 more on the ground with two touchdowns. They look to be in good hands moving forward with him under center.
2) The Horned Frogs defense will have to get much better if they are to seriously contend for a national championship. Giving up over 500 yards of offense to SMU is unacceptable. The issues at linebacker reared its head on Saturday night. The injuries and leave of absence has greatly affected the unit. They were able to register three sacks of Davis, but two came with him making an attempt to run the ball.
3) SMU will have a major upset at some point this season. They are headed down the right path with the hire of Morris. His subsequent hiring of talented assistants has paid dividends already this season. Look for a continued infusion of talent to filtrate the campus for years to come. In due time, this game will be played with both teams ranked in the Top 25.