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SMU allowed UConn to hang around before pulling away for a 49-28 victory

A win is a win, but this shouldn’t have been a scare.

Connecticut v SMU Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

The game was entertaining, but scary for SMU fans. Though the Mustangs finally prevailed in the fourth quarter, it was enlightening to a degree. SMU faced some adversity in a game they were favored in, and responded well, winning 49-28.

SMU came out on fire to start the game. After the defense let UConn drive on them, on the first possession, Justin Lawler blocked a 44-yard field goal try. The offense went out and attacked from all areas of the game. They ran and passed the ball efficiently, and capped the drive off with a Ben Hicks six-yard touchdown pass to Courtland Sutton. The defense began to fold though, as they allowed Bryant Shirreffs to pass for a 64-yard touchdown to tie the game.

Both teams started the second quarter off good, but couldn’t keep the momentum going. The first score came off a Xavier Jones 25-yard rush to get back on top. On the ensuing drive, UConn’s, Michael Tarbutt kicked a 42 yard field goal to cut into the lead. After the UConn field goal, Ben Hicks led a 10-play, pass heavy drive that resulted in a Trey Quinn touchdown to make it 21-10.

The third quarter was won by UConn. SMU punted on their first possession of the half, and UConn drove 48 yards for a Nate Hopkins rushing touchdown to make it a one possession game. SMU did nothing with their next opportunity, but UConn did as they would kick another field goal to make it 21-20. SMU finally got their first score of the second half with a touchdown reception to Trey Quinn to make it 28-20 near the end of the third quarter.

Shirreffs opened up the fourth with a 59-yard touchdown pass to Keyion Dixon, and got the 2-point conversion to tie the game. This was a huge blow to SMU, and you could really hear the fans disappointment. But Courtland Sutton came up big with a touchdown pass from Ben Hicks. At that point, SMU didn’t look back. They would continue to pile on the scoring while UConn could do nothing about it, resulting in a 49-28 win.

Game Notes:

  • Courtland Sutton finally put up big numbers (7 catches for 112 yards and 2 touchdowns).
  • Trey Quinn was the leading receiver for SMU as he finished with 15 receptions for 116 yards and two touchdowns.
  • The defensive line played crazy good. Justin Lawler led the team with 4 sacks, 4 tackles for loss, and the big special teams play.
  • The defense overall needs some work though. Giving up 28 points to UConn, and not putting them away earlier is not a good sign with Houston next week.
  • The running backs were solid racking up 218 yards.
  • Hicks improved his accuracy and compiled a stat line of: 27/37, 280 yards, 4 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions, which resulted in 84.3 QBR.