Thursday Night Football with the Cougars

By Frank LaCosta

There are no sure bets in this world. Not that I’m advocating wagering on college sports but what looked like a sure thing for the SMU Mustangs turned out to be a shocking a loss. The Mustangs took on a team that had lost its previous 15 games and found a way to lose. After three quarters, SMU found themselves in a 20-9 hole before rattling off a pair of touchdowns and another field goal. This gave them a 26-20 lead with a 1:22 left in the game. Tulane QB Ryan Griffin marched the Green Wave from their own 32 down to the SMU 16 yard line before hooking up with WR Robert Kelley for the game winning touchdown. After the final whistle the score was a 27-26 victory for Tulane and the end to their losing streak.


Now the Mustangs are 2-4 with a 1-1 conference record. They host the Houston Cougars for a Thursday night game which will be aired on FSN. Where do the Mustangs go from here? How will they bounce back from their recent shocking loss? How do they shore up their porous defense? QB Garrett Gilbert still has more interceptions than touchdowns thrown. The running game ranks 104th nationally which is a serious black eye considering they have a bruising back in Zach Line. The o-line needs to protect Gilbert better and open up more running lanes for Line. The Mustang defense is abysmal at this point. Only when facing weak offenses have they produced. If they cannot keep the game close then more losses are sure to follow.


The Cougars have won three straight and are sitting at .500 for the season with a 2-0 conference record. QB David Piland hasn’t turned the ball over in back-to-back games and has improved on his completion percentage. RB Charles Sims has three games in a row of rushing for over 100 yards. Coincidence? When the Cougars run the ball well they win games. If the Mustangs don’t find a way to shut down Sims then this will be another loss in what is quickly becoming a disappointing season.