1. Forcing Turnovers
A point of emphasis this offseason for the SMU defense was creating turnovers and boy did they do that today. This game should have been a lot closer than the score indicated but the Mustangs forced an eye-popping 10 turnovers. SMU also blocked a couple of kicks. The first was blocked by Margus Hunt, who set an NCAA record with nine career blocked field goals. The second was blocked by Aaron Davis and allowed Kenneth Acker to scoop and score, giving SMU a 21-0 lead heading into halftime. Ja'Gared Davis sealed the deal with a 34-yard fumble return for a touchdown late in the third quarter. But the SMU defense wasn't done. Acker scored his second touchdown of the game on a 77-yard interception return and Cameron Rogers also scored on a 96-yard fumble return.
2. Feed The Beast
SMU was struggling early on offense. In fact, they only mustered nine yards during their first three possessions. But then came a dose of Zach Line and everything changed. Line scored SMU's first two touchdowns and really got the offense going. He finished the game with 61 yards and also caught four passes for 39 yards. SMU needs to keep giving line the ball early and often to find success in the first quarter.
3. Holman Steps Up
Keenan Holman had a nice game with Darius Johnson out. I compared him to Kevin Ogletree earlier in the week because he has potential but can never make plays consistently. Well, Ogletree broke out against the Giants and Holman caught five passes for 88 yards and a 25-yard touchdown pass. If Holman can finally establish himself as a go-to weapon, he can help this struggling offense excel. But I still feel Gehrig Dieter would be a better option. However, this night belonged to Holman.
1. Parks & Recreation
SFA seemed to be having fun throwing at Parks throughout the game. Although the Lumberjacks failed to score, they found success completing passes to any receiver lined up against Parks. The junior corner looked awkward and out of position most of the time. It's not that he's slow, he just has bad footwork and quicker receivers make him look ridiculous. Parks would probably be a really good safety, but he's not cutting it as a corner. There is a reason why he led the team in tackles today.
2. Inconsistent QB Play
Garrett Gilbert just hasn't looked like the quarterback we see at practice. He doesn't look like he has any kind of chemistry with his wide receivers yet. Today, he under and over threw quite a few balls. Gilbert was also picked off when he attempted to throw a long ball from his own end zone. The ball looked like a dead duck, something that is a rare sight at practice. I would say Gilbert needs to just get a few more games under his belt but with upcoming games against Texas A&M and TCU, his confidence may be rattled. Gilbert finished with 205 yards and a touchdown but also threw that interception.
3. Replacing DJ3
Replacing Darius Johnson may be a huge problem next year based off of today's game. Junior Ryan Walker struggled early and didn't catch a ball. Cole Loftin replaced him late in the game, but the senior dropped two passes that him right in the hands. Darius Joseph even played a bit in the slot, but he has been in June Jones' doghouse and was not a factor while on the field. It's clear SMU needs Darius Johnson when Texas A&M comes to town next week. The receivers overall dropped too many balls against SFA.
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