Welcome back, ladies and gentleman. This is the first UFR of the 2015-16 SMU Athletic season. My hope is that you are as excited reading these words as I was typing them.
I’m just going to jump right in.
I’ve hated almost every word I’ve written about SMU football up until this point. Mostly because I try to be as positive as I can be (most of the time) and after last season it was difficult to believe any optimistic sentence unfortunate enough to exist as words I actually wrote.
No one would believe a new coaching staff and a handful of freshman could transform the demeanor and disposition of a losing team overnight.
Well…after one game…it certainly feels like they have. Doesn’t it?
Yes, the final score was 56-21.
Yes, I still think it was a huge ‘win’ for this program.
No, I am not drunk.
Chad Morris may not have any interest in moral victories, but I certainly have no prejudice against them.
When Baylor took four plays to drive 75 yards and scored the game’s first touchdown, everyone and their mother was thinking, ‘Crap—here we go again.’
When Baylor went another 75 yards in four plays to go up 14-7, SMU didn’t hang its head and give up nor did it get caught into playing Baylor’s type of game.
Twelve plays and 81 yards later, it was knotted up 14-14.
The Bears would score two more touchdowns in the quarter while holding SMU scoreless.
The Mustangs weren’t done yet.
Did they give up 28 points in the first quarter? Sure.
But in the second, they didn’t even give up a first down. Baylor had the ball for 2:38 in the second, and was 0-2 on third down and was penalized five times for 40 yards.
I should also point out that Seth Russell was intercepted with 2:38 left in the half—giving SMU the opportunity to tie the game at halftime.
Of course the last 43 seconds at Baylor’s goal line was mismanaged and SMU went into the locker room trailing the bears 28-21.
BUT THEY SHUT OUT BAYLOR IN THE SECOND QUARTER.
A year ago we wouldn’t have expected to hold a team scoreless in any quarter, let alone the No.4 team in the nation—who, by the way, just toasted you for 28 points the same way that 20-something year-old (moonlighting at Quiznos to pay off his student loans) left your sandwich in the oven too long and now you can’t even taste the Baja Chicken.
I had a bad experience at Quiznos once—life is hard. Moving on…
Not only did we keep Baylor off the scoreboard, we held them to one yard. ONE YARD.
If the last possession of the first was handled better, maybe SMU goes into the third quarter tied. And maybe SMU puts together a drive and go up by three points. Can you imagine that?
The Hilltop would have exploded.
But it didn’t and Baylor blew SMU out like everyone expected.
No real reason to panic, but a lot of reasons to be overly excited. Let’s do our best to check any unwarranted optimism.
SMU punked Baylor’s defense in the first half—which after last season many were already suspicious of.
Baylor abused SMU’s defense—not in that second quarter though…just the other three.
Aside from the touchdown to Sutton, Davis struggled mightily with the deep ball.
Baylor’s 723 total yards of offense aside, SMU did do a lot to instill confidence in its fans.
I mean, seriously, does any team in the AAC come close to Baylor?