Gameday Central: SMU vs. Liberty

Come inside Pony Stampede's Gameday Central for SMU vs. Liberty as the Mustangs gear up for their home opener.

When: Saturday, September 17, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. CT 
Where: Gerald J. Ford Stadium (Dallas, Texas) 
SERIES: This is the first ever meeting between SMU and Liberty

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1st quarter blog- SMU 10, Liberty 7

SMU scored on the game's opening drive on a 23-yard touchdown run from Braeden West, who had a 26-yard run on the play before. Ben Hicks completed all three of his passes for 23 yards. Once SMU got into Liberty territory, it upped the tempo considerably. Liberty tied the score on its opening possession, using a 1-yard touchdown run from Carrington Mosley. The Flames went 75 yards in 12 plays for the score. SMU got down to the red zone on James Proche's 29-yard catch, but Hicks was intercepted in the end zone when he stared Proche down on a post. SMU got it right back with Jordan Wyatt's interception that led to a Josh Williams field goal. SMU picked off Liberty quarterback Stephon Masha again on the next drive, with Horace Richardson snagging an underthown deep shot. It did not produce any points after SMU went three-and-out.

2nd quarter blog- SMU 13, Liberty 7

SMU started the quarter with another 24-yard field goal after it failed to convert a 3rd and 5 from the Liberty 7-yard line. SMU forced a three-and-out after Frankie Hickson's 54-yard kick return gave the Flames good field position at the SMU 46. True freshman running back Jordan Carmouche burned his redshirt on SMU's next possession, gaining 6 and 7 yards on his first two carries. Liberty made a quarterback switch to Stephen Calvert, but the first drive with him stalled after Wyatt broke up his pass on fourth-and-two. Had he caught it, he would have likely taken it for a pick-six. On the next play, Courtland Sutton stiff-armed a defender in the open field and broke a couple tackles on a 47-yard catch-and-run to give SMU first and goal at the 6-yard line. Yet again, SMU faltered near the goal line after Hicks was intercepted in the end zone on third-and-six. Intended receiver Shelby Walker appeared to get shoved, but there was no penalty. On SMU's next possession, Hicks hit Sutton on the hands on a deep post, but dropped it. SMU ended up punting.

3rd quarter blog- SMU 19, Liberty 14

After SMU forced a punt on Liberty's opening possession, Braeden West scored on a 66-yard touchdown run using a spin move and a couple missed tackles. A pass interference call against Liberty set up the play. The extra point was blocked and initially returned for two points, but the score didn't count because a Liberty defender illegally kicked it forward. Rodney Clemons grabbed SMU's third interception of the day on an underthrown, hanging pass. SMU couldn't turn it into points after turning the ball over on downs. Liberty converted a third-and-14 on a 13-play, 63-yard drive that ended in an 8-yard touchdown pass from Stephen Calvert to Dante' Shells. Calvert, in for Stephon Masha, delivered a perfect pass with Justin Lawler in his face. The quarter ended with SMU in the red zone after a facemask and roughing the passer against Liberty.

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