SMU keeps it close, but falls at ECU

Andrew recaps SMU's road loss to East Carolina, where SMU's offense showed a little life in the 45-24 loss.

How it Happened

SMU put on by far their best game of the season in a 45-24 loss to East Carolina. SMU saw Garrett Krstich take over the reins at the quarterback position and give this position some stability with a great day. They also saw the likes of Darius Joseph (13 catches) and Stephen Nelson get into the game. SMU just missed too many opportunities in this game to come out with a W. On a play action rollout, Krstich found Jeremiah Gaines for a 19-yard gain but it was brought back on an ineligible receiver downfield penalty. Right after that Krstich was picked off over the middle by Travon Simmons. Although they got the ball right back that was a tough blow for this team. After SMU got the ball back down 11 following a fumble, Cody Racemacher missed badly on a field goal that would have brought SMU within one score. ECU came right down and was able to get a field goal after a few big passes to Isaiah Jones and then followed that up with a touchdown to put this game on ice.

What it means

Although SMU struggled a little bit on defense, SMU has reason to be optimistic after the days they got from Garrett Krstich and Darius Joseph. The Mustangs seemed to get more and more confident as the game went along, especially Garrett Krstich. We also saw the defense hold down a high powered down at times but they just couldn’t do it quite enough.

What’s next

SMU will have a bye week before hosting Cincinnati at Ford Stadium. The time of this game has not been announced.

Side Note

In the second quarter, SMU had an impressive 18-play 79-yard drive that was capped off by a Prescott Line touchdown. This was SMU’s first touchdown in the first half of the season and was also Cody Rademacher’s first extra point of the season. SMU did have a touchdown against North Texas but that was as time expired and SMU did not attempt an extra point.

Offensive Player of the Game: Garrett Krstich

Krstich couldn’t quite set an SMU record for completions in a game but finished the day 42 of 67 for 329 yards and 2 touchdowns. Krstich seemed to pick up a tremendous amount of confidence as the game went along that should have SMU fans excited for the rest of the season.

Defensive Player of the Game: Jonathan Yenga

Jonathan Yenga was one of the big players in SMU’s comeback late in the game. East Carolina tried a few shovel passes that Yenga was having none of, as well as, putting a couple of big hits on Pirates backs and receivers in the 3rd and 4th quarter. Play of the game

With SMU on the comeback trail Quan Johnson had the ball ripped away by K.C. Nlemchi. ECU had a couple good chances at recovering the ball but it ended up in the hands of Prescott Line at the ECU 25.

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