1. Garrett Gilbert- No surprise here, but Garrett Gilbert was again stellar for SMU. He ran for an early touchdown to get SMU on the board and kept them in the game in fourth quarter by orchestrating quick and successful drives. Gilbert is by no means a fast quarterback, but his ability to get away from pressure and find an opening for a big scramble constantly bailed out his leaky offensive line. We're heading into our last few games with Gilbert and it's going to be sad to say good bye to the fifth year senior at the end of this season. Who would have imagined saying that a year ago?
2. Pass rush- SMU's pass rush was extremely successful early in the game. Jonathan Yenga made a huge sack on fourth down early on to give SMU great field position and throughout the game the team put a lot of pressure on Bearcat quarterback Brendon Kay. Kay was constantly picking himself off the turf.
3. Wide outs- The SMU receivers shined again today. Darrius Joseph again found his way into the end zone multiple times and Jeremy Johnson and Keenan Holman were consistently good for the Mustangs. Deion Sanders Jr. made a nice one-handed catch in the first quarter and even Stephen Nelson got in on the action. It was vital for the SMU receivers to be on top of their game with the running game struggling, and they stepped up to the challenge.
1. Parks and Recreation- Chris Parks was picked on throughout the game. One series Cincinnati went after him in the flat four times in a row. The madness only ended when Yenga decided enough was enough and came over to help Parks. It's hard to say that Parks has been a disappointment this year after his performance last season, but it does not seem like Parks has improved in any notable ways. While this game was not any worse than any of Parks's other games this year, his performance was apparent as Kenneth Acker and the rest of the secondary stepped up their game.
2. Special Teams- Special teams were once again disastrous for SMU. Gilbert proved he is still the best punter on the SMU roster and the usually reliable Chase Hover missed two field goals that would have been the difference in the game had he made them. The only bright side for the special teams today was that they did not allow any big returns. There had to be a silver lining somewhere.
3. Scary Moment- More of an emotional down here as JaBryce Taylor went down with a scary neck injury during a kickoff return today. As he stumbled to the ground, his facemask hit the knee of a Bearcat player and his head bent backwards. Taylor stayed on the ground for a while and needed a stretcher to take him off the field and an ambulance to take him to the hospital. The announcers said that Taylor was able to squeeze the fingers of the trainers and he was in stable condition before he was released from the hospital.
3 Up, 3 Down
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