SMU comes away with a huge conference win against last year's Conference USA champion ECU Pirates. The Mustangs dominated the special teams game which ultimately gave them the victory. With 2 blocked field goals, one returned for a touchdown, and a key defensive goal line stand early in the game, the Mustangs D proved too much for ECU.
Quarterback- Bo Levi Mitchell had his best game of the season going 17-29 with 266 yards and two touchdowns. He also had zero interceptions, a key stat to SMU's success. It looked like Bo was more comfortable today and while he misread some receivers routes(or vice versa), he was able to lead the team to a big conference win. Bo's 96- yard strike to Aldrick Robinson will put him in the record books. If he can play with the composure he had tonight, this team is bowl-bound.
Running Backs- The running game never really got going as Shawnbrey finished with just 44 yards. Also, Zach Line had an untimely fumble late in the fourth quarter that gave ECU yet another chance to tie it up.
Wide Receivers-A mixed night for them, but they stepped it up when it mattered. Aldrick Robinson's big catch not only put SMU up by a touchdown, but also gave Bo and the offense some confidence. A few dropped balls in the first quarter hurt the offense's momentum. Emmanuel Sanders had a relatively quiet night with 62 yards receiving and no touchdowns. He seemed irritated with a certain ECU corner the whole game.
Offensive Line- The O-Line was not as solid as they have been previous weeks. Bo was sacked three times tonight, and there never seemed to be any big holes for the running backs. I'm not discrediting the ECU defense but on a night when Bo had his most consistent game of the season, a little stricter protection would have been nice.
Defensive Line- Despite 176 yards rushing for ECU, the defensive line held their own. Taylor Thompson proved to be a difference maker and used his size to pressure the quarterback but his two unsportsmanlike penalties hurt the Mustangs. The defensive line is a unit that I thought would have a greater impact than they are having right now and it is frustrating sometimes with this bunch.
Linebackers- Chase Kennemer again led all tacklers and the linebackers had a tough time stopping the run. Taylor Reed had a clutch sack and the youth of these linebackers is promising.
Secondary- Outstanding job tonight by the secondary. Another dominant performance by this group and they prevented the ECU defense from being able to air it out. Bryan McCann had a standout night and Rock Dennis hauled in an interception return for a touchdown. June Jones feels this group of guys in the secondary has the most swagger on the team- it showed tonight.
Special Teams- After getting manhandled last week against TCU, the special teams shined tonight. Two blocked field goals- both by Margus Hunt- were the difference maker, and despite one return at the end of the game, the kickoff coverage was solid as well. Penalties proved to be a major problem for the team tonight- over 150 yards amassed- but they made up for it with their special teams coverage. Bryan McCann mentioned that there was not additional emphasis placed on special teams this week but that the players knew they had to take care of business this week.
Feel free to add your thoughts from the game: