Matt Visinsky

Rapid Reaction: SMU drops finale to Navy 75-31

With a potential bowl game on the line, SMU dropped its home finale to Navy after allowing 41 unanswered points after halftime.

How it Happened

It was a back and forth game for the most part in the first half with SMU starting the game by going right down the field for a touchdown to open up the scoring. SMU allowed Navy to score back-to-back touchdowns, but chipped away at Navy's lead to bring the score to 14-10 and then after a Navy touchdown to go up 21-10, SMU scored two straight touchdowns. The second touchdown was fueled by SMU stripping Navy on a kickoff and getting a short field to go up 24-21. After SMU allowed Navy to drive down the field with 3:06 to go in the first half and score to go up 28-24 with six seconds left, that broke the Mustangs' back. 

Navy came out and scored on its first offensive possession of the second half and then Ben Hicks made his biggest mistake of the night as he telegraphed a slant route and it was picked off and run back for a score to make it 42-24. Navy was 11-for-11 on drives in scoring a touchdown and except for a fumble on a kickoff return, played nearly flawless offensively with even the backup quarterback Zach Abey getting in on the fun. SMU broke the streak of 47 unanswered points with an 8-play scoring drive and a 3-yard Ke'Mon Freeman run from three yards out to bring the score to 68-31 with 5:44 to go in the fourth quarter, but the damage was done. Navy scored late in the fourth again to win 75-31.

What it Means

Unfortunately for SMU, the team won't be going bowling this season. As uncertainty swirled around SMU coach Chad Morris and his coaching situation with Baylor, the team came out and battled for the first half, but after that, it was all Navy. SMU couldn't get anything going consistently enough until SMU ran in a 3-yard TD late in the fourth quarter. SMU has a lot of reflecting to do after this defensive effort as well. The season is over and SMU will face another long offseason.

Player of the Game: Xavier Castille

Castille racked up eight catches for 86 yards and a touchdown. It was one of Castille's better games since arriving on the Hilltop. If not for a few misses, he would have had a bigger day.

Side Note

Navy's 11-for-11 day on scoring drives allowed the team to score 60+ points in back-to-back games for the first time since 1917. Navy averaged 11.2 yards per play.

What's Next? 

Nothing. SMU's season is over. Wait and see if there's any staff changes. 

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