By Craig Fields
To say that the Mean Green beat the Mustangs of SMU would be a massive understatement. The Mean Green demolished, destroyed, any word to convey that someone certainly dominated an opponent; yeah they did that to the Mustangs.
The score, 43-6 does not completely tell the story behind this Mean Green victory. For that you have to dig a bit deeper. For that story you need to visit the box score. More specifically you would need to look at the rushing yards by both teams in this game.
The Mean Green thoroughly outrushed their overwhelmed opponent, 245 to 8. Yes you read that right. The Mean Green had 233 more rush yards than their opponent who did not even have double-digit rushing yards. Even though the overall yard totals for both teams were considerably closer because of the Mustang passing game, that did very little to help them.
The Mean Green hangs their hat on being able to rush the ball. They need to be able to run the ball to compensate for their lack of playmaking receivers and quarterbacks. Whenever they out rushed their opponents last year, they would win that game. Whenever they were able to rush for at least 150 yards as a collective unit, if they didn’t win, they would at the very least be in contention for the win.
This is Mean Green football, a pound-and-ground run game with dominating special teams and defense. That is what will get this team to another six-plus win season and ultimately to another bowl game.
Speaking of special teams, true freshman Trevor Moore had a perfect day kicking the ball through the uprights for the Mean Green. He tied a school record of five made field goals in one game. Including three from 43+ yards. His longest of the afternoon was 47-yards and looked as if he could have kicked it from 55-yards out. This kid is special with a knack for getting the ball through the uprights when given the opportunity.
The Mean Green controlled field position all game long as SMU started most of their possessions at or behind their own 20-yard line. SMU’s dual quarterback and short pass system did not work as effectively as they would have hoped. Once Mean Green defensive coordinator, John Skladany realized that the Mustangs were doing a lot of screen and swing passes instead of going downfield, he really pressed the receivers and ultimately stalled the Mustang offense.
This game should have really showed the Mean Green what they were capable of. If they can follow up this dominant performance with another against Louisiana Tech, that Texas Longhorns game will definitely be in their rearview mirror, and the UNT fan base just might have a reason to be excited.