A tale of two quarterbacks is the best way to describe Southern Methodist University's game with No. 12 Texas Tech this past Saturday night in Lubbock.
SMU's true freshman quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell set a record for himself, throwing five interceptions, three back to back during the Mustangs first three out of four possessions Saturday night giving way for the Red Raider's high scoring offense too many opportunities despite several key defensive stands by SMU defenders.
Mitchell, who had looked impressive in his first two outings against Rice and Texas State, could never find his rhythm against a good Tech team. While a couple of the interceptions were tipped, Tech defenders proved they are used to seeing a lot of passes and were experts defending the spread offense.
Defense had been a problem in SMU's previous two ballgames, Mustang defenders had a hard time making key stops against Rice and Texas State. That wasn't the case in the early going for SMU Saturday night against Tech.
After giving Tech possession of the ball on their own 48 yard line, SMU's defense arose to the occasion. Two back to back standout plays by cornerback Bryan McCann, forced Tech to settle for a field goal to give the home team an early 3-0 lead.
Mitchell moved the Mustangs up the field on two completions before Tech's Daniel Charbonnet had a career night, picking off three of Mitchell's five interceptions.
Another great defensive stand by SMU forced Tech to punt, something that couldn't make Texas State do at all last week. Big plays by Youri Yenga from his defensive end position and McCann from the corner position gave the Mustangs another opportunity to make it a competitive game early.
Following a three and out series and an outstanding punt by Thomas Morstead, Tech found the end zone on a forty yard run by running back Barron Batch, giving the Red Raiders an early 9-0 lead with 6:36 to go in the first quarter.
SMU found out early that you can't give a quality team like Texas Tech several opportunities before they cash in. Following Mitchell's third interception, Graham found Michael Crabtree for a 28 yard touchdown reception with 5:39 to go still in the first quarter, leaving the home team with a 15-0 lead.
SMU moved the ball well at times under Mitchell, but again missed opportunities, dropped passes or holding calls kept the Mustangs off the score board. It looked as if Emmanuel Sander's scored to make it a 15-6 game, but the play wasn't reviewed by the replay official, two plays later Mitchell threw another interception.
Tech put the game out of hand on its next possession, marching the field 98 yards to put the home team up 22-0 before a sell out crowd at Jones AT&T Stadium.