3 Up 3 Down: SMU vs. ECU

Demo gives his 3 ups and 3 downs from SMU's 49-23 loss to ECU Saturday afternoon at Ford Stadium

3 Up

1. Trick Plays are Fun

When you force turnovers or are given favorable field position, you have to take advantage of the situation before opponents have a chance to adjust. Trick plays are a nice way to do that. SMU’s half back pass from Xavier Jones to Xavier Castille to go up 13-7 went a long way for momentum. Too bad SMU didn’t do more with it. Still, you have to like the imaginative play calling in that situation.

2. Turnovers

Bad defenses need all the help they can get. Thankfully for SMU, Blake Kemp was off in the first half and threw two interceptions before being replaced by James Summers. The Mustangs managed 10 points off those two turnovers to lead by as much as 23-7 in the first half.

3. No major injuries

Yup—that’s an up. SMU got its butt handed to it in a brown paper bag. In situations like this you have to count your blessings. ECU had a couple injuries, including Jimmy Williams who needed to be carted off the field in the fourth quarter. This is a very young team, and a very young coaching staff—having players stay healthy is huge at this point.

3 Down

1. Offensive Line

Matt Davis was sacked eight times for 72 yards. The Mustangs managed only 40 yards rushing on 29 carries. SMU may have some weapons and Davis might be incredibly athletic, but an offense is only ever going to be as good as their offensive line. One yard per rush—that just aint going to cut it.

2. Defense

No new news here; this defense is challenged. Not that it makes much of a difference, but Jonathan Yenga’s ejection was a blow to SMU. He is one of the leaders on this team and I’m sure that leadership was missed to some degree. Still, having him on the field wouldn’t have contributed 25 points to SMU’s cause.

3. Sutton

Where was he? Courtland Sutton finished Saturday’s game with just 4 catches for 51 yards and was kept out of the end zone. And 22 of those came at the end of the game in garbage time. Sure he was being double covered a lot, but that happens all the time to team’s number ones. It’s up to Chad Morris to find ways to get him the ball. Then again, maybe he did and Davis simply didn’t have time to find him.

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