SMU Mustangs Lose Iron Skillet Game

Aaron Stafford had a busy day returning kickoffs for the Mustangs. Photo Courtesy: Joseph Dowling
Aaron Stafford had a busy day returning kickoffs for the Mustangs. Photo Courtesy: Joseph Dowling

By Zach Walker

How did it go for the Mustangs?
After giving up an early touchdown to TCU, the Mustangs’ defense looked like they were different group. After a 27-yard screen pass that put the Frogs on the 1 yard line, the Mustangs held the Frogs out the end zone on four straight attempts, including three straight run plays. It was a deeply impressive accomplishment, unfortunately the offense still wasn’t warm to the idea of picking up a first down. The next TCU drive, the Mustangs got their first sack of the season from Zach Wood, on a second down, and two plays later, the Frogs missed a 45-yard field goal. But once again, the SMU offense could not piece a drive together, even after an excellent catch and run by Darius Joseph. Then on the SMU, that WORST play of last week’s game cropped up again, another personal foul penalty on the coverage of a punt, just real bone-head stuff. Then on the third down, the WORST play of this game happened, and prolonged an eventual scoring drive.

The SMU offense, down 14-0 and having picked up only a single first down so far in the game, woke up and put a drive together. A 14 play drive down to the TCU 1 yard line, leaving only a 4th and goal situation. The play was a roll right play-action and I believe Garrett Krstich was targeting tight end Jeremiah Gaines, when defensive end James McFarland got his hand on the ball and broke up the play and forced the ball over on downs. And after an offsides penalty by Zach Wood took away a safety for SMU, and nine plays later, the Frogs had a 21 point lead.

SMU tried to answer and moved the ball pretty well, and on the second 2nd down of the drive, the Mustangs looked like they cracked the end zone and maybe begin to steal a little momentum from TCU, with a great individual effort by Darius Joseph to keep going after landing on a TCU defensive back and go for 36 yards and a touchdown, but after the review, the refs ruled that Joseph’s arm was down after trying to slide off of the defender. And two incompletions later, the ball went over on downs, and TCU drove down and made it a 28 point game at the half, and TCU would continue to roll on to the sound of 56 to nothing.

Best and Worst plays of the Game
Was the way that the defense stood up to the Horned Frogs on their first redzone opportunities of the game. Three straight hand offs to running back B.J. Catalon for no gain. And on fourth down, the Mustangs forced Treyone Boykin to throw an incompletion. It was the best series that this defense has played all season, by far.

WORST: For the second game in a row, I’m targeting a penalty, and this one, broke the game. On third down of the Horned Frogs’ 4th drive, the Mustangs forced Boykin out of the pocket and Boykin forced a throw downfield, where it was broken up by Horace Richardson. But the penalty was a personal foul, where a defensive player lost his helmet and still pursued the play, and that’s a 15-yard penalty and an automatic first down. That penalty is the worst *BEEP *BEEP *BEEP-ing penalty in sports. How does a defensive lineman lose his helmet? It’s likely an uncalled illegal hands to the face penalty on an offensive lineman. That call gave the Frogs 15 free yards and a first down and the Frogs took the ball and scored and extended the lead to 14, but at that moment the Mustangs would have had some serious defensive momentum.