SMU came into the game with high hopes. While it took a last minute effort to beat Tulane, they still were able to get the job done and come away with a win. This week was very much the same. Sadly though, the Mustangs failed to get it done on the final play of the game.
While there was not very much scoring to show for it, the first half was rather entertaining. The Bearcats started the game with touchdown from Desmond Ridder to Kahlil Lewis. Ridder put on a clinic that opening drive on throwing perfect deep balls.
SMU would not respond immediately as they put together a short five play, 25 yard drive. It subsequently resulted in a punt. While it started to look like Cincinnati may end up dominating the game, Ridder immediately fumbled the ball on the next possession. SMU was then able to capitalize with great field position as Ben Hicks threw a touchdown pass to his new favorite target Reggie Roberson to tie the game up seven.
The rest of the first half was a bunch of sloppy football. Cincinnati had two interceptions thrown, a turnover on downs and a punt. SMU was not any better despite the amount of turnovers the defense produced. While SMU did not turn the ball over, they punted five times with three drives going three-and-out.
SMU started out the half with the football, but could not produce anything. The Mustangs’ three-and-out led to a less than ideal punt, as the sluggish play on offense continued.
The Bearcats would respond just like they did in their opening drive in the first half, with a touchdown. Desmond Ridder tried to find his favorite target in Josiah Deguara, but could not complete a pass. Ridder did find his next favorite receiver Kahlil Lewis for another long touchdown pass. The 32 yard passing touchdown to Lewis would open the scoring back up to 14-7. Cincinnati did not stop their either. The Bearcats took advantage of a second consecutive SMU three-and-out and was able to put together a 10 play, 68 yard drive, that was capped off by a 24 yard Cole smith field goal.
At that point, SMU finally woke up. SMU would respond with a touchdown strike from Ben Hicks to Reggie Roberson once again to bring the score back to 17-14. SMU would then take advantage of Cincinnati’s short drive if a solid drive of their own that was capped off with a 20 yard Kevin Robledo field goal to tie the game at 17. The tide seemingly shifted as Cincinnati had lost all of their momentum to SMU.
It was not all for not though. Even when Cincinnati was in their rut. SMU was set up for a longer 42 yard field goal and missed. This missed field goal is something to remember as this would have put SMU in the lead. The Mustangs would not miss on their next attempt though as Robledo puts through a 36 yard field goal to make it 20-17.
SMU was able to hold the lead all the way till the last drive. Ridder demonstrated his leadership through the air and on the ground as the entire offense centered around him. He was able to lead his Bearcats to SMU’s 24 yard line. As time expired, Cole Smith was able to knock a 41 yard field goal through to tie the game at 20.
The fans got to enjoy some free football as the two teams were even at the end of regulation.
SMU got the ball first as the first play of the overtime period seemed like a bad omen. Hicks was sacked on the first play for a huge loss. Although Hicks would respond by throwing a 17 yard strike to James Proche, he then threw an 86 yard pick six on the next play.