3 Up, 3 Down: SMU vs. TCU

Billy gives you his 3 Up, 3 Down from SMU's blowout loss to TCU.

3 Up

1. Garrett Krstich

After a tough first series, Krstich got the offense going a little bit. Krstich passed for 123 yards in the first half while dealing with protection issues all day. Krstich had two second half turnovers, but overall he played with more energy and confidence. He delivered catchable balls for the most part and you've got to believe SMU will score at one point the rest of this season.

2. Jackson Koonce

Koonce keeps popping up in our 3 Up, 3 Down, but Koonce had a big day for SMU. Koonce punted seven times for 302 yards, good for a 43–yard average. Koonce also had a big seven yard run for an SMU first down after it appeared his punt would be blocked, but he dodged the tackler and got the first down. The first down gave SMU new life as the offense proceeded to drive to the one-yard line, but the Mustangs came up empty. Koonce had better hang time and

3. Stephon Sanders

Sanders did a good job in pursuit on the backside of plays. Sanders did a good job of making decisions when to come up and make the tackle and drop in coverage. The defense wasn’t great by any means, but Sanders was the best linebacker on the field and played his gaps well. Sanders finished with five total tackles and a half-tackle for loss.

3 Down

1. Penalties

SMU took some bad penalties in the game. It wasn’t really the number and yards of penalties, but the timing of them. SMU gave TCU a first down after a third-down stop when Cameron Smith had his helmet come off, but he kept playing. It’s a little-known rule, but knowing it is crucial. Zach Wood jumped offsides with TCU backed up on their 1-yard line to give them room and the fire to march down the field and score. Linebackers coach Eric Daniels has talked about how SMU must cut out the penalties for them to win. The team isn’t good enough to commit these types of penalties.

2. 3rd Downs

TCU had their way with SMU on third-down. Whether it was Trevon Boykin scrambling for a first down, B.J. Catalon breaking one open or a big play from a TCU receiver, SMU couldn’t stop the Horned Frogs on third-down. Coupled with the fact that SMU was just 4-18 on third-down hurts. That’s not winning football and SMU will have to be set up better on first and second down with better play calling to make this fix.

3. Pass rush

SMU’s pass rush got a little bit of pressure on Boykin, but they did a terrible job defending Boykin’s scrambling ability. Boykin had 62 yards rushing and a lot of that was on scrambles after the play broke down. Offensively, it really hurt SMU when they’d gain a couple yards on first and second down and be stuck in 3rd and long.

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