Publisher EJ Holland and editorial intern Russell Palmer will be blogging at the end of every quarter and will also be posting about injuries all right here for free! We will also be providing podcasts with our thoughts.
You can also follow us on twitter: @EJSports4 or @PonyUpSports
We are here in the press box and it's pouring but we are ready for some football. Kickoff is in 40 minutes!
We are underway here at Ford Stadium. Check back at the end of the 1st quarter for our offensive and defensive blogs as well as our podcasts. For now go talk it up on the forums!
1st Q Podcast
1st Q Offensive Blog
Obviously, Memphis is one of worst teams in college football, but the Ponies look a little more in sync.
Garrett Gilbert once again looks comfortable in the pocket and is making better decisions. Instead of forcing a throw, he threw it away. When nothing was there, he ran. However, his touch is still not there and has thrown a few bad balls.
The entre offense can thank their defense and special teams for making big plays thus far. The Mustangs have had great field position and if this continues, they will put up a lot more points.
1st Q Defensive Blog
On the other side of the ball, the SMU defense has played exceptionally well, allowing almost no yards on the ground, and completely shutting down the Memphis passing attack.
The SMU defense, who already leads the nation in takeaways added another when Cameron Rodgers forced a Memphis fumbled. The highlight of the first quarter was Kenneth Acker's 58-yard punt return, which set up Zach Line's touchdown.
2nd Q Podcast
2nd Q Offensive Blog
Red zone offense continues to be a problem for SMU. The Ponies should have a three touchdown lead but instead its 16-7.
SMU cannot keep settling for field goals and relying on the defense to set up great field position. SMU had a 1st and goal at the 5-yard line and got pushed back to the 15, which set up Chase Hover's third FG of the day.
Gilbert looked pretty bad this quarter. Again, his touch is not there, and he can't see to make clutch throws. He looks poised but just can't deliver. The Mustangs are lucky to be playing such an awful opponent.
2nd Q Defensive Blog
After a strong 1st quarter from the SMU defense, Memphis finally broke through on a 36-yard touchdown run by Brandon Hayes. On a simple run play straight up the middle, Hayes was able to find a rare opening in the SMU defense, and bust loose for a touchdown.
Besides that play, the SMU defense has looked stout, not allowing the Memphis offense to get any type of rhythm going. Tackles for loss have been at a premium for SMU, as Taylor Reed and Cameron Rodgers have continually gotten into the Memphis backfield to make big plays.
3rd Q Podcast
3rd Q Offensive Blog
SMU only had the ball twice in the third quarter but made the most of each possession.
On the first drive, Gilbert hit Darius Johnson in stride for a big 70-yard play. Gilbert followed that up by getting in the end zone with his legs. The second drive is still going on but the Ponies are in business.
Gilbert looked a lot better and Darius Johnson really stepped up which turned has given SMU momentum heading into the 4th quarter.
3rd Q Defensive Blog
To start the second half, the SMU defense came out flat, allowing Memphis to drive down the field with relative ease, resulting in a Memphis field goal. However, SMU created a lot of pressure on Karam and Hayes, but failed to make the necessary tackles behind the line of scrimmage, allowing for big Memphis gains.
The SMU defense responded to the field goal well, forcing a quick 3 and out, stuffing the run, and playing tight coverage on the Memphis receivers. As long as SMU can continue to put pressure on the Memphis backfield, the Mustangs should win comfortably.
4th Q Podcast
4th Q Offensive Blog
So how about Garrett Gilbert in the second half? That was the best he's looked all year. He threw very accurate balls and most importantly made big plays that resulted in touchdowns.
He did good job of using his legs and again, his decision-making was great. Gilbert showed a lot of mental toughness by coming out in the second half and playing the way he did. Maybe he is gaining confidence.
That throw to Der'rikk Thompson was right on the money despite being on the move. That's something he hasn't shown the ability to do.
Zach Line had a monster game and passed Craig James on SMU's all-time rushing list. June Jones needs to keep feeding him the ball.
4th Q Defensive Blog
After an up and down 3rd quarter, the SMU defense absolutely dominated the Memphis offense in the 4th. Memphis, who struggled to throw the ball the entire game, did absolutely nothing in the 4th quarter, as the SMU secondary really stepped up, and when they had to, made plays when the ball was in the air.
As we look ahead to UCF, the SMU defense should feel very confident, as besides really one drive, absolutely dominated the Memphis offense, and hopefully for Mustang fans, can carry this performance into the game at UCF, a pivotal game if SMU wants to content for the C-USA West division title.
GameDay Central: SMU 44, Memphis 13
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