How it happened: SMU had a 10-7 lead at halftime and plenty of chances to take advantage of TCU miscues. For example, the ponies got the ball at the 1-yard line after a blocked punt by freshman walk-on linebacker Jackson Mitchell. But SMU only came away with a field goal after a Garrett Gilbert pushed the team back 20 yards. In the second half, the Mustangs were flat especially on offense. No running game was established, and the offense failed to protect Gilbert, who threw three interceptions. The defense played well for three quarters, but the offensive woes definitely took a toll on this unit.
What it means: This was what was expected. SMU kept it close for most of the game but in the end, it just got away from them. The offense still lacks firepower and has plenty of problems. It is imperative for the Mustangs to get better play from their offensive line, running backs, wide outs and Gilbert moving forward. Yes, everybody had subpar games vs. TCU. This loss also means for the second straight year, SMU failed to come away with a win against a BCS opponent in non-conference play.
Side note: Traylon Shead is coming back next week so this argument might be pointless. But the fact of the matter is K.C. Nlemchi is simply a better running back than Prescott Line. He needs to receive more carries in conference play. Line can be a good short-yardage back, but he's definitely not an every down back. At half, he had eight carries for four yards- 0.5 yards per carry.
Next: SMU will host Rutgers its first conference game next Saturday. The Scarlet Knights will be coming off a bye week and will be an extremely tough opponent. Don't be surprised to see the Ponies drop down to 1-4.
Rapid Reaction: SMU Falls To Rival TCU
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