SMU Mustangs: Bring On The Knights

By Frank LaCosta

The Mustangs have found their offense for the second straight week and have put up impressive numbers. They won the turnover battle once again by recovering two Memphis Tiger fumbles. The kicking game came through with three Chase Hover field goals and successfully converted five PATs. QB Garrett Gilbert for the first time this season performed well and didn’t have any interceptions. However the game ball for the second straight week goes to the defense. With the aforementioned fumble recoveries and holding the Tigers to only 4 of 13 third down conversions the defense looks like a strong unit. This was another game in which SMU took the lead and never played from behind.


The aerial attack orchestrated by QB Gilbert appears to be coming into its own. Against Memphis, Gilbert put up respectable numbers by completing 25 of 35 attempts for 353 yards and a touchdown. He spread the ball around to six different receivers. The “Johnson and Johnson” duo combined for 15 of those completions for 207 yards with WR Darius Johnson having a big day including a 70-yarder. Gilbert also used his legs in this one by providing two TDs in the red zone. Zach Line continues to be the workhorse for the rushing attack. He carried the rock 23 times for 127 yards and found the end zone once. The success on offense can be directly linked to the o-line which protected Gilbert well and opened holes for Line throughout the game.


This week the Mustangs go on the road for a pivotal match up with the Central Florida Knights. The Knights have a potent offense and put up a lot of points. They are led by QB Blake Bortles who is methodical in the passing game. Look for him to target wideouts J.J. Worton and Rannell Hall. Their two-headed rushing attack will also ground and pound. Senior Latavius Murray has back-to-back 100+ rushing games. When he needs a breather the Knights will turn to Storm Johnson.


Like it or not, this game will come down to SMU’s defense. If the Mustangs can win this one, they’ll be looking forward to a bowl game and building some serious momentum. A loss here and SMU will be on the outside looking in.


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