How it Happened
SMU's offense struggled to score again and the Mustangs relied on their defense for much of the game, until TCU gained 230 yards in the third quarter. SMU opened the game with a 69-yard opening drive that yielded a field goal, but gained only 91 yards in the rest of the first half and trailed 6-3 at the break. TCU didn't pick up a first down until the last 90 seconds of the first quarter. The Horned Frogs reached SMU's 19-yard line early in the second quarter, but Anthony Rhone picked off Kenny Hill on the goal line. They had first-and-goal on SMU's 4-yard line on their next possession, but only gained one yard on their next three plays and settled for a 20-yard field goal. TCU scored touchdowns on it first two possessions of the second half to go up 20-3. the Horned Frogs converted three straight third downs with at least eight yards to gain on the second touchdown drive. In between TCU's touchdown drives, SMU missed a 46-yard field goal after it couldn't convert a third-and-two on the TCU 29. SMU's defense forced two red zone stops that resulted in field goals before giving up a late touchdown.
What it Means
SMU's offense gained 320 yards today, the lowest in its four games. Repeated conservative decisions by Chad Morris show that he would rather rely on SMU's defense to get stops and create field position instead of give his offense chances. SMU punted instead of trying to convert a fourth-and-three from TCU's 36 and didn't try to put together a two-minute scoring drive before halftime. SMU got the ball back with 2:24 left in the first half and appeared content to let it run out into halftime, but couldn't get a first down and had to punt it back to TCU. SMU missed a field goal after opting not to for it on fourth-and-two on its first possession of the half.
Player of the Game
Courtland Sutton. While SMU's defense played well for a majority of the game, Sutton was the only consistent player all game. He caught 5 passes passes for 113 yards and also drew a pass interference penalty.
Left tackle Nick Natour left the game in the second quarter and did not return. Jordan Wyatt was down for several minutes and was escorted off the field, but returned later. Daniel McCarty was not dressed and didn't start at guard.
SMU starts conference play next Saturday at Temple. The game starts at 11 a.m. CT and is on ESPNNews.null