SMU was able to avoid the upset tonight largely in part because of Hunt. As Rice went for the extra point attempt after their second score, Hunt blocked the try, keeping SMU within 6. Then later in the game, with SMU trailing 20-14 with four seconds left in the half, Rice lined up for a field goal attempt. Margus then proceeded to work his magic and the block was returned for a touchdown by Bryan McCann. SMU took the lead going into the half and never looked back. The Mustangs ended up winning by just three and might have lost the game if it had not been for Hunt's blocked kicks. Hunt basically accounted for an eight point swing. While Hunt didn't make any plays at his true position at defensive line, it was his special teams play that allowed SMU to snag their fifth win of the season. His two blocked kicks tonight set the school record for most blocked kicks in a season.
Hunt is now tied for fifth in NCAA history for blocked kicks in a season. What's more amazing about these records is that Hunt hasn't even been playing football for more than a year.
Speaking of wins, take a look back at the ECU game. The final score was 27-20. How did SMU score seven of those points? On a Margus Hunt blocked field goal that was returned for a touchdown. Again, another instance of how SMU might have lost a game had it not been for Hunt's wingspan and power. While I'm not fully suggesting that SMU would have lost both the games against Rice and ECU if it didn't have Hunt, it sure does make for quite a convincing argument. This team could easily be 3-6 instead of 5-4 and the probable bowl dreams they have now would seem pretty far out of reach.
Margus Hunt is arguably the SMU team MVP at this point in the season. While Shawnbrey McNeal and Emmanuel Sanders have also been standouts, have they impacted and changed the fortunes of the game, and the season the way Margus has? The answer has to be no.
We knew the scary potential that Hunt could have before the season started, but most people were attributing that to what would be his staggering sack total. Instead, Hunt has figured out a way to not only show us his ability, but in ways we never imagined.