How it Happened
Down 10 late in the fourth quarter, it looked as though SMU was about to suffer a demoralizing defeat on the road, but Ben Hicks and the offense came back to life with two late scores to give the Mustangs a thrilling 35-31 victory. It wasn’t a pretty first half for SMU, but they still took a 11-point lead into half. Aside from one 47-yard touchdown drive, the Mustangs defense held Tulane to just 12 yards and 59 overall for the half. It was a big first half for Braeden West on the ground who had over 100 yards on the ground including a long 41-yard run to set up an SMU touchdown. With a lot of attention being paid to Courtland Sutton, James Proche also had a big first half hauling in two touchdowns and a couple other big catches to finish with 119 yards. The second half was much of the same early on, as neither side could get much going offensively and both continued to hurt themselves with costly penalties. Tulane got things going late in the third quarter with two long touchdown passes capped off by a 24-yard touchdown from Glen Cuiellette to Terren Encalade for a to give Tulane a 24-21 lead. Sherman Badie adding another scoring early in the fourth quarter to give Tulane a 31-21 lead. SMU found some life with just over 7 minutes left after Ben Hicks hit James Proche for a 50 yard catch to get them inside the 5. Braeden West punched it in from a yard out to bring SMU back within 3. SMU rallied late again with a couple big passes from Ben Hicks to Xavier Castille that had SMU inside the 20 with just under two to play. Braeden West continued his big day punching it in from a yard out to give SMU a late lead.
What it Means
Coming off a massive win over Houston, SMU handled success well by winning a conference game on the road. It was by no means pretty with both sides racking up penalties and making sloppy mistakes, but the Mustangs did just enough to get a win and improve to 4-4. Memphis will provide another big test for the Mustangs, and they are going to have to play a lot better as bowl eligibility becomes a possibility after this win.
Player of the Game
James Proche: The redshirt freshman was sensational on Saturday finishing the game with 164 yards and two touchdowns. With Courtland Sutton being held in check, Proche provided a much needed option for Ben Hicks. Braeden West would certainly be another candidate for this with 129 yards on the ground and a couple scores.
This was SMU's first set of back-to-back wins since November 23, 2013.
SMU returns home to face Memphis at 3pm next Saturday in Ford Stadium.