SMU endures another frustrating close loss

SMU suffered another frustrating close loss to a Conference USA opponent, this time to Memphis 31-26. The Mustangs kept the game close, suffered several key injuries including losing quarterback Bo Mitchell. Go inside to see what June Jones had to say about the loss.

Youth has its advantages and disadvantages.

SMU suffered through another frustrating close loss here Saturday afternoon, dropping a 31-26 defeat to Memphis in Conference USA action.

The Mustangs, who have started several true freshmen this season, have seen several younger players gain valuable playing experience as June Jones prepare to rebuild his SMU team.

Injures plaque this team today, with the Mustangs losing starting quarterback Bo Mitchell in the first half, offensive lineman Vincent Chase in the first quarter and defensive back Darius Bell in the second quarter.

"We won't find out about Bo until we get the results of the MRI," Jones said after the game. "He is a tough young man, he wanted to go back in, he will definitely be sore for a few days, I didn't want to risk a major injury to his throwing arm."

Mitchell, who has started every game this season as a true freshman, was replaced by red-shirt sophomore Logan Turner.

Mitchell was 5-for-7 for 83 yards and a touchdown, before being injured on a quarterback scramble after a bad snap made him apparently abort the called play. Turner finished the game with 228 yards on 19 completions against 31 attempts and no interceptions.

Several bad snaps by true freshman Blake McJunkin cleared the way for the return of junior center Mitch Enright. The Rimington Watch list candidate has missed several games due to a broken finger.

"I'm not sure Mitch's finger was completely 100 percent," Jones said. "We needed him and he responded, he is a great competitor and a smart player."

Memphis jumped out to an early 14-0 lead, but the Mustangs didn't quit and only trailed 14-13 at the half.

"These close losses are very frustrating," Jones said. "Like I told the guys, we will turn the corner, we will win here. It's up to someone to step up and make the necessary plays to help us win now."

Junior wide out Emmanuel Sanders echoed his head coach's sentiments.

"We have a great coach and a great coaching staff that we believe in very much," Sanders said after the game. "We will win here, I'm certain of it. When we start clicking on all cylinders it's going to be fun around here again. We are very close; we just have to turn the corner."

Defensively the Mustangs continued to have problems stopping the run. Memphis' rushing attack dominated the game, keeping SMU's defensive unit on the field for long periods of time.

"We gave up too many third down conversions," said linebacker Pete Fleps. "We have to step up and make the needed plays to help keep the defense off the field and put the ball in our offense's hands."

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