1. Offensive LineEverything SMU was trying to do was based on its trust in the offensive line. There wasn't a huge stress on quick slants and screens to get the ball out of Matt Davis' hands. It was all about having Davis take deep shots and survey the defense. He had time to do so most of the time as well.
Everyone wants to talk about the Courtland Sutton show and for good reason. Sutton grabbed balls for yards and touchdown. Ryheem Malone and Shelby Walker made enough plays for SMU to treat them as serious threats and go back to them especially in the second half, where Walker and Malone both had big catches. Sutton made some unreal plays on some not-so-great balls from Davis, but they made them when SMU really needed it the most. Outside of a bad drop by Walker on a screen and a poorly timed hold by Sutton, collectively I thought the receivers had their best game as a unit.
2. Receivers step up
West had his best game of his young career with 13 carries for 64 yards and while he didn't get on the scoreboard, it was a solid performance from West. Jones was bottled up a little more, but West really had some room to run at times and I thought he was the best back for SMU on the day. Would like to see him more involved in the passing game.
3. Braeden West
1. SecondaryThat was rough to watch. TCU's receivers were open all night and SMU didn't really contest many of them at all. David Johnson not contesting the ball to Doctson was a killer, which led SMU to falling behind by 12 and not being able to catch up. The secondary rotated all night and while TCU has some incredible speed and great playmakers, there was so much cushion for the receivers to work with it was nuts. There has to be some work done to correct angles taken and just poor ability to contest balls.
SMU had it going on third down in the first quarter, hitting four of six third downs, but in the second quarter and half, SMU managed to go one for nine on third downs. SMU got a lot of help from TCU's nine penalties for 115 yards, but overall it wasn't a great showing on offense on third downs. A lot of mental errors, but the offense, which has been so good on third down, failed to step up at times.
2. Third Down Offense
SMU could have cut out three holding penalties and probably won the game. It was really that simple for SMU, but also a lot of the mental errors led to the team being set up in third and longs. If SMU is going to take the next step, mental errors like those can't happen.
3. Mental Errors