How it Happened
Memphis wasted no time building a big lead early on, and added on to it with the help of continued miscommunications and poor play by SMU in all phases. The Tigers traveled 81 yards on two plays on their first drive, capped off by a 50-yard touchdown pass from Riley Ferguson to Anthony Miller. SMU quarterback Ben Hicks fumbled on the ensuing drive, and Memphis ran it back to the 5-yard line and scored two plays later. SMU was able to get into the end zone on their next drive, with Hicks throwing to Ke'Mon Freeman for a 16-yard catch and run, but their progress was quickly erased as Memphis return man Darrell Henderson took a kickoff 99 yards to the house. It was all Memphis from that point on. After a 55-yard Doroland Dorceus run set up a field goal, the Tigers strip-sacked Ben Hicks and capitalized on the short field as Ferguson found a wide open Daniel Montiel for touchdown on the first play of the drive. Memphis scored another touchdown before the half, to take a 38-7 lead into the intermission. Memphis scored a touchdown and two field goals on their first three drives of the second half, pulling Ferguson from the game after taking a 44 point lead. The Tigers finished with 474 total yards, the Mustangs with 307.
What it Means
With two SMU wins in their last two games, it looked like Chad Morris and the Mustangs had put it together. This game shows that they still have a lot of work left to do. While the Mustangs have definitely showed progress this season, they need to show that they can be consistently competitive with good schools in order to sell their progress. It will now be an uphill battle for the Mustangs to make a bowl, as they will need to win two out of their three remaining games, all three of which are tough matchups.
Player of the Game
Riley Ferguson: Memphis' quarterback picked apart SMU's secondary. He was able to hit wideout Anthony Miller and tight end Daniel Montiel at will. Ferguson finished with 287 yards and four touchdowns, completing 20 of his 27 passes.
Chauncey Briggs was out for today's game. Jerry Saena started at right tackle.
SMU will go on the road again next Saturday when it plays East Carolina at 11 a.m. CT.