By Zach Walker
The new season of SMU Football, deserves a new, fresher way of recapping the games. Rather than the drooling, boring full recap of a play-by-play, I’m going to highlight three moments in the game that were most crucial to the outcome.
A Summary of the Houston Game: Final Score Houston 49 – SMU 28
When a team publicaly degrades another, one would figure that the disrespected team would have some fortitude and come out and prevent themselves from further embarrassment. SMU started strong then halftime happened and that same team didn’t come out. I wonder how many times that is going to happen, where the fire just gets extinguished by the end of the half. Actually, that isn’t completely fair. The first half turnovers is where this game was won and lost for the Mustangs. At halftime, the Mustangs had outgained the Cougars, but gave the ball up three times. It’s just another effort, fumbled away, and another loss on the season. I’ll be highlighting each of the three turnovers in the first half. In the second half, it was Houston, just rolling.
#1: First and ten from the Houston 36 yard line: Three plays earlier, it looked as though Xavier Jones had nearly messed it up and fumbled after a great catch and run on a savvy screen pass set up. Luckily, his own lineman Braylon Hyder landed on it, though he was down before the ball popped out. But, it would be Braeden West, who would fumble and take potential points off of the board for SMU. Result of turnover: A Justin Lawler sack on the following third down; PUNT forced. Score at this point: SMU 14 – HOU 14
#2: Third and Four from the SMU 28 yard line: After a pretty bold throw and catch between Matt Davis and Courtland Sutton, the Mustangs were set up with a pretty handle-able third and four. The play motioned Ryheem Malone across the play to the left, leaving only one passing option to the right, Darius Joseph. After a completely missed block by Xavier Jones, Steven Taylor had a free blindside shot on an unaware Davis, and the ball would fly backwards and Houston would recover at the SMU 12 yard line. Result of Turnover: A two play drive with Kenneth Farrow scoring a touchdown. Score at this point: SMU 21 – HOU 21
#3: Third and three from the Houston 44 yard line: Following a really poor spot of the ball by the ref after a really nice catch by Courtland Sutton, the Mustangs were on the Cougars’ side of the field in a manageable third down situation. However, Braeden West, after he crossed the line to gain, Steven Taylor ripped the ball from West’s grip and the ball volleyed from Mustang-to-Mustang-to-Cougar in pretty cool fashion, but Kris Weeks couldn’t snag it out of the air, neither could Taylor Lasecki, but the Cougars’ defense did. With 48 seconds left in the half, the Mustangs were looking to take the advantage into the half, not turn the flipping ball over to a dangerous Cougars, who would score and ride the momentum into the locker room and beyond. Result of Turnover: Back-breaking touchdown. Score at this point: SMU 21- HOU 28