1. Garrett Gilbert- Garrett Gilbert had a fantastic and historic game for SMU today. His 538 passing yards were an SMU record. Throw in his 97 yards rushing (good for 635 yards total offense), and Gilbert recorded the seventh most total yards in NCAA history. Gilbert was poised and used all of the time his offensive line gave him to find the right receiver and make the smart decision. Say what you want about this SMU team, they never give up no matter how much they are down by and a lot of that goes back to their poised quarterback who never panicked today.
2. Holman Steps Up- When Jeremy Johnson went down in the second quarter with his injury, it seemed like there was no chance for the SMU offense to get going. But Keenan Holman stepped up in a big way with three touchdown receptions and 209 yards on ten receptions. If Holman can keep up his level of play the rest of the season, the senior might put himself in a position to get picked in the later rounds of the NFL Draft this year.
3. Prime Time- Deion Sanders Jr. saw the field a lot today after the Johnson injury. He made the most of his time on the field, catching passes, more than he had all season prior to today. His ability to gain yards after the catch with his breakaway speed was readily apparent. He also broke free for a big 87-yard kickoff return that set up the go-ahead field goal. This gives hope that SMU will get a lot out of this talented freshman in the coming years.
1. Defensive Backs- With starter Hayden Greenbauer on the sidelines in a knee brace, the SMU secondary struggled mightily against Temple's freshman quarterback P.J. Walker. Walker put 293 yards passing on the board and completed four touchdown receptions. The SMU secondary did not force an incomplete pass until late in the second quarter. The secondary also was completely fooled on a trick play in the second quarter that turned into an 83-yard touchdown reception for Temple. Had it not been for Gilbert's stellar performance, the secondary's shoddy play would have been the storyline for SMU this homecoming weekend.
2. Run Defense- While the secondary was dreadful, SMU's run defense was not much better. SMU missed Kevin Pope at linebacker as the Owls ran for 217 yards and two touchdowns. The defense as whole was bailed out by a historic performance by Gilbert and the offense. Another defensive performance like this will not result in another win for the Mustangs.
3. Injuries- SMU may have pulled out the win, but they suffered two major injuries on their offense. Traylon Shead and Jeremy Johnson both left the game in the first half. Both returned to the SMU sidelines in the third quarter in street clothes. Shead was on crutches and had a boot on his left foot after an apparent ankle injury. Johnson had no visible limp while walking into the locker room before the end of the second quarter. If the injuries are serious, the Mustangs in trouble going into their bye week with their leading rusher and one of their top receivers injured.
3 Up, 3 Down
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