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Rapid Reaction: SMU at Baylor

SMU lost at Baylor Saturday afternoon, 40-13, to move to 1-1 so far in 2016.

How it Happened

Both teams played a sloppy first half, which ended in a 6-6 tie. Each had two turnovers, and after both Baylor turnovers, SMU gave it right back. Jordan Wyatt intercepted Baylor quarterback Seth Russell and ran it back to the Bears' 12-yard line, but Ben Hicks was picked in the end zone on the ensuing possession. Baylor receiver Blake Lynch fumbled on the 1-yard line, wiping out a potential touchdown and giving SMU the ball back. Ke'Mon Freeman fumbled on the next play. Ben Hicks, starting in place of Matt Davis, completed only 2-of-9 passes in the second quarter after helping SMU gain 184 yards in the opening quarter. Baylor scored on a 31-yard pass from Russell to Lynch on a drive that look like it would end with Justin Lawler sack, but a hands-to-the-face penalty negated it. Hicks threw too low for Courtland Sutton in the end zone and Davion Hall intercepted it, which set up Russell's 19-yard scramble for a touchdown. Hicks' third pick came on the next possession, and Orion Steward returned it 33 yards for a touchdown. Hicks finished 17-for-44 with 1 touchdown and 3 interceptions.

What it Means

Matt Davis is without a timetable for return and SMU may need to stick with Hicks for a while. After a good first quarter, he reverted back to some of the bad habits he showed in SMU's spring game: rushing through reads and missing throws he shouldn't miss. After his third interception of the game, Hicks led a 75-yard drive that ended with a 20-yard touchdown pass to Sutton. If SMU needs Hicks to start for a while, it is going to have to live with some mistakes and growing pains of a young quarterback.

Player of the Game: Courtland Sutton

Halfway through the first quarter, Sutton had 4 catches for 77 yards. Like last season, SMU took a shot down the field for him on its first offensive play. He hauled in the pass for a 39-yard reception. He left briefly after an end zone collision but returned in the second quarter. With his third-quarter touchdown, Sutton became the first SMU receiver with 4 touchdowns in his first two games since 2008. Sutton finished the game with 6 catches for 112 yards and 1 touchdown.

Side Note

Running back Xavier Jones did not play against Baylor after leaving last weekend's win at UNT with an injury. SMU head coach Chad Morris said it was a hamstring cramp, the same injury that had bothered him in fall camp. Michael Badejo was helped off the field after a high block on a Baylor punt return, but did return later.

What's Next

SMU will play its first home game of the season next Saturday against Liberty. Kickoff is at 6 p.m. CT.

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