The stage was set for a run at an upset. Memphis has been struggling and trending down. SMU had their first conference win of the season last week against Tulane. Surely, it would at the very least, be competitive.
Getting blown out is fine this season. SMU is a rudderless ship that has been caught in a storm of June Jones pulling a George O'Leary and leaving the team high and dry.
We keep telling ourselves that it's fine. We'll pull off a couple of small victories and have something build upon. Well as of right now, the foundation of SMU football is built upon a vat of warm jello.
Paxton Lynch would finish the day with 7 touchdowns, all of them in the first half. After shaky game against Temple, Lynch recovered in a big way. This game will surely help his draft stock in April. SMU looked absolutely hapless on defense, as if the defensive coordinator sent them out there without a game plan. Oh and those 7 first half touchdowns were to 7 different receivers
SMU looked like that had a little bit of swagger last week against Tulane. Sure it was Tulane, but laying down a blowout of their own was sure to give them momentum headed into the last game of the season. At the very least, they would be able to go into Memphis and leave with a little pride.
SMU's offense behind Matt Davis, Coutland Sutton and a resurging Xavior Jones couldn't break the 100-yard barrier in total offense. TOTAL OFFENSE. 97 yards. Of course 5 turnovers surely didn't help anything. Let's look at something more positive...
Memphis finished their regular season and Justin Fuente's tenure on a very high note. The Tigers dominated every phase and played a nearly perfect game. Fuente will be headed to Virginia Tech next year to coach the Hokies after turning the Memphis program around after a 4-8 record his first year in 2012. Now they're playing for their second 10 win season in consecutive years.
SMU will need to do some serious soul searching. Matt Davis did all that he could, but finished 4/18 for 28 yards and a pick. Davis is a great athlete, but was utterly inept in the pocket. Xavier Jones followed up last week's 3 touchdown performance by rushing 10 times for -6 yards. Their potent offense was at something they could hang their hat on and focus on patching up their swiss cheese defense, but now, it appears as SMU needs serious work on both sides of the ball.
SMU finished this season with a 2-10 record, with those wins coming against the C-USA and AAC's worst. I wish I could find a positive spin on this season, but there is none to be found.
Memphis is bowl bound and Fuente's replacement will have great roster talent coming in. Paxton Lynch will likely go in the first round the NFL draft and the Tigers will have plenty to look forward to in 2016.