Blog Recap: Rutgers 55, SMU 52

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1st Q Defensive Blog

Rutgers gashed SMU on its first offensive possession, which ended with a 1-yard Gary Nova touchdown run.

But the unit has settled down since then. Despite getting no help from the offense, SMU's defense has stepped up in a big way. They made a big stop on Rutgers' next possession and Kenneth Acker recorded an interception on the series after that.

SMU will need to force a few more turnovers and get better pressure on Nova if it wants a chance to climb out of this 14-0 hole.

1st Q Offensive Blog

The SMU offense struggled in the first quarter vs. Rutgers. The offensive line was called for multiple penalties and gave up sack after sack. The Mustangs managed just 85 total yards and only got 10 yards into Rutgers territory before having to punt.

Garrett Gilbert has looked especially shaky after bobbling two snaps, one of which lead to a Rutgers fumble recovery for a touchdown. It's been all short passes and draws for the Mustangs, so Jeremy Johnson has played well but that's about it.

The team has done a good job keeping Rutgers off balanced and forcing the Scarlet Knights to make quick substitutions, but they are unable to take advantage of it.

2nd Q Defensive Blog

SMU's defense actually didn't do a bad job in the second quarter. Remember, one of Rutgers scores came off an offensive blunder.

Yes, the Mustangs did give up that 50-yard screen pass for a touchdown. But other than that, what exactly has Rutgers done? Not much. Rutgers quarterback Gary Nova appears frustrated, and the SMU defensive line is doing a better job of applying pressure.

Defensive end Beau Barnes came away with a sack, and the Scarlet Knights' run game has been limited. The defense needs to continue to make Nova nervous and force a couple of more turnovers.

2nd Q Offensive Blog

The Mustangs looked better on offense in the 2nd quarter. Garrett Gilbert was able to lead the team on a 9 play, 75-yard drive that ended with a 21-yard touchdown to WR Jeremy Johnson.

Johnson has nine catches for 94 yards and a touchdown already in this game. He has done an incredible job getting open and making plays for the Mustangs offense.

The team is still using quick passes and draw plays in attempt to keep the Rutgers defense off balanced and tired. However, the offensive line is still struggling to block the Scarlet Knights defensive line and Gilbert seems to be hurrying many of his throws.

Running back Traylon Shead hasn't managed to break a big run, but is averaging 4.8 yards a carry.

3rd Q Defensive Blog

Rutgers really took it to SMU on its first possession of the third quarter. The Scarlet Knights pounded the football with Justin Goodwin and Savon Huggins. SMU's defensive line struggled to get a push, and Rutgers took advantage.

The 66-yard scoring drive resulted in Rutgers regaining a 14-point advantage, 28-14. Later in the quarter, SMU's secondary allowed Brandon Coleman to streak free on the outside, which led to a 56-yard pitch and catch.

Rutgers extended its lead to 21. It was not a very good quarter for this unit, which appears to be tired and gassed. It is imperative for the Mustangs to keep Rutgers from scoring the rest of the game.

Starting outside linebacker Jonathan Yenga left the game with an unspecified injury. He was taken to the locker room and has not returned.

3rd Q Offensive Blog

The Mustangs were able to score on the first play of the half when QB Garrett Gilbert found WR Keenan Holman for a 55-yard grab. It was Holman's longest catch of his career and his first touchdown of the season.

On the next couple drives, the offensive line continued to struggle with penalties, batted balls, and sacks. The Scarlet Knights got to Gilbert on a 3rd down for their fourth sack of the game to end a Mustang drive.

Traylon Shead is up to 61 yards on 12 carries and Gilbert has 198 yards and 2 touchdowns without an interception.


SMU fell to Rutgers in 3 overtimes. Justin Goodwin scored the game winning touchdown for the Scarlet Knights. SMU is now 1-4.

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