Matt Visinsky

Upon Further Review: SMU vs. Tulsa

Demo has your Upon Further Review following SMU's loss to Tulsa on Saturday.

So that was kind of, sort of okay.  It wasn’t too bad, was it?  

We still saw some of the same storylines; the Mustangs still disappeared in the middle of the game (a little bit), they lost the turnover battle again, and as a result lost yet another winnable game. This time a 40-31 contest to Tulsa at the Hilltop on Halloween night.  

All the way across the board (except for the ground game) it was a solid performance. Teams are starting to load the box against SMU and this week was one of The Mustangs worse performance’s on the ground. In fact, their 84 rushing yards were second only to their 40 against East Carolina. 

Still aside from that, the game brought a ton of positives. 

Like, how about only being penalized once for ten yards? Or not allowing a passing touchdown for the third straight week and the fourth time this season?

I’m a little surprised by that stat—if I’m being honest. Then again, they’ve allowed 16 rushing touchdowns in that same three game stretch, so…

Anyway, you got to love that SMU found ways to get Courtland Sutton the ball early in the game. It certainly got him and Matt Davis into a bit of a rhythm and helped them connect later on in the game. Sutton finished with 165 yards on eight catches and two touchdowns. It was the most yardage total by an SMU receiver since Keenan Holman posted 209 on Temple. Sutton now has nine TDs this season. 

And, Davis had a bit of a bounce back game and threw for 236 yards and three touchdowns on 19 completions. That interception though…I wish we didn’t have to talk about it…but it was kind of a big deal. 

SMU was up 14-10 and there was a little less than three minutes left in the first half. Davis and the Mustangs had the ball with a chance to extend their lead before half. But of course, Davis’ pass fell into the arms of Kerwin Thomas, who returned it 31 yards to the house, because that sort of thing is what happens to any team that calls Dallas home.   

Still, you got to love that rather than hang their head, the Mustangs went 65 yards in 1:14 to take a 21-16 lead, on the very next possession. 

It would have been nice for the defense to come up with a stop. Instead, Tulsa went 75 yards in 53 seconds to take a 23-21 lead into halftime. 

Keep in mind that when I say SMU disappeared in the middle of the game, I really mean just offensively. To be within striking distance the entire second half and not let it get out of reach was impressive. And yet, I’m unimpressed with how SMU played the final 10 minutes of the game, unable to close that nine point gap. 

There is always going to be things to improve on, but still a ton of positives to take away from Saturday’s loss.

For the first time in a while, it feels like the team took a step in the right direction and that’s the biggest thing to take into this week. 

By the way, love how’ the ESPNN announcers referred to Prescott Line as SMU’s “bell cow.” It would take two seconds to look at SMU’s cumulative stats and see that Davis and Xavier Jones each have more than twice as many carries as Line. But whatever, it’s not like viewers need accurate background information when watching a game. 

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