By Zach Walker
This being a new season, with a new coach, and an exciting new feel surrounding the SMU football team, I’m going to highlight the biggest, most pivotal moments from every game this season.
First, a blurb about the game itself: As the first game of the Chad Morris era, you would have a hard time convincing SMU fans from last season that the team from Friday was mostly the same team from 2014. In the first half they looked smart, sharp, and genuinely had better leadership. Matt Davis clearly grew well under the offseason teachings of Chad Morris. The defense needs to adjust to hitting other people to the ground, but all in all, the game might have ended a blow-out but the strides were taking the right direction to be competitive this season.
The Big Three
#1: Third and Goal from the Baylor 3 yard line with 15 Seconds left in the first half: On second down, Matt Davis kept the read-option play, and had nowhere to go with the ball, and was stopped on the play. With the clock rolling down, Davis was trying to throw the flat to number 23, Jeremiah Gaines, which the window quickly closed. Davis rolled back left looking for Courtland Sutton, then peered back right and was met by Grant Campbell of the Baylor defense, with only eight seconds remaining on the clock. Having burned the final timeout two plays earlier, the Mustangs were forced to head into the locker room, having left at least a field goal on the board.
#2: Third and Nine from the Baylor 31 yard line: Having already successfully converted two third downs earlier in the drive, following a K.J. Smith sack, Matt Davis found Courtland Sutton at about the 12 yard line, with a pass that Sutton had to bail his quarterback out with great athleticism. Sutton then promptly shucked a would be tackler, using his six foot four, 215 pound frame to his full advantage, on his way to a 31-yard touchdown reception, and bringing the game back to a seven point battle.
#3: Third and Seven from the SMU 43 yard line: Following a badly timed False Start by left tackle Chauncey Briggs, the line to gain was now seven yards away, instead of a much easier third and two. During the snaking escape by Matt Davis on the run, he gained five yards, looked to have stretched and contorted himself awkwardly and didn’t pop straight back up. Davis remained on the turf for about three minutes, and once to his feet, was clearly not correct. Following the play, SMU had pinned Baylor down within their own five yard line, but Baylor scored for the first time since the first quarter, and in the following SMU drive, it wasn’t Davis, despite returning to the sideline, Darrel Colbert taking the snaps, leading to the Mustangs first three and out of the game/season. In the time Davis went to the locker room and returned to the field, the Bears scored two touchdowns to break the game wide open.
Best Quote: “Paper doesn’t play football, 11 men do.” – SMU QB Matt Davis