The theme of the game was defense.
In what has been a common occurrence over the past two years, the Mean Green forced 5 turnovers, and shut out the Mustangs for the first shutout of SMU in the Safeway Bowl since 1933. The 42 point victory was the largest margin of victory for either team in this rivalry since SMU won 54-0 in 1941.
The game started out slow, as temperatures neared closed to 100 degrees. With quarterback Josh Greer struggling in the first few drives, running back Reggie Pegram led the way with 81 yards and a touchdown on 21 attempts. The defense took over after that, forcing 3 fumbles, one which led to a 31 yard touchdown by defensive lineman Jamarian Roberts, and two interceptions, while limiting the Mustangs to only eight yards on the ground.
The Mean Green ran for over 245 yards on the ground, with four different Mean Green running backs running for over 45 yards. Even freshman quarterback Dajon Williams got into the action, with a 19 yard scamper late in the fourth quarter on a 1st and 20.
Before the late score on a "Hail Mary" play, SMU hadn't scored in a real football game since last year, a field goal with 3:24 remaining in the third quarter against UCF on December 7th.