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SMU Falls to No. 19 Michigan 45-20

Another poor performance from the Mustangs drops them to 0-3

SMU v Michigan Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Sonny Dykes era is off to the 0-3 start that I envisioned. When you play a top 10 G5 team in North Texas, and two top of the line blue-blood programs, it wasn’t a surprise to see this team go 0-3. Although the score may indicate that the game went better than TCU, this team leaves me confused about how they will perfom when conference play begins.

First Half

The first quarter was dead silent for both teams. Neither one could get anything going offensively. The only notable point in the first quarter was when Michigan was driving down the field before Mikial Onu came up with a clutch interception that gave the Mustangs a chance to change the momentum.

To start off the second quarter, after the punt, SMU’s drive was short lived and had to punt the ball. Following the punt, Michigan put together the drive they needed to put points on the board. The series lasted six minutes and 25 seconds and was capped off by a Ben Mason rushing touchdown.

The good news here is that SMU responded. In a quick five play series, Ben Hicks found his top target, James Proche, for a 50-yard touchdown that immediately silenced the fans in Ann Arbor.

The bad news here, Michigan would respond two-fold. After an explosive drive by the Mustangs, the Wolverines had a quick drive of their own. Immediately after a Mustangs unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, Shea Patterson throws to his top target in Donovan Peoples-Jones for a 35 yard touchdown pass.

Here is where Michigan was able to capitalize twice on the Mustangs. On the ensuing drive, SMU was in the 2 minute drill offense. SMU’s offense actually looked pretty good on this drive until Hicks pass was intercepted by Josh Metellus and taken to the house with no time left in the half. At this point the momentum shifted, and it appeared that SMU had no chance as Michigan went up 21-7.

Second Half

The second half was much more explosive than the first. SMU got the ball to start the half with a new QB. True freshman William Brown came off the bench and got the keys to the Mustang’s offense. The series started out with a punt, but this was a significant moment in that Dykes is losing faith in Hicks.

While SMU and Michigan traded touchdown blows for four straight series, I want to focus on Brown’s touchdown series.

Starting with Brown’s first touchdown drive, I was super impressed by his leadership. SMU had the ball at the 13-yard line and Brown was able to show why he was currently in the game. He relied on his running backs Braeden West and Xavier Jones to help him out. When they were not able to help, Brown would run the ball himself. What impressed me most was Brown’s passing on third down. He was able to convert three third and long situations. He capped off his first touchdown drive with a two-yard pass to Ryan Becker.

A successful start to the freshman’s career. The last scoring play for SMU came on Brown’s third series. Again, he did get help from running back Xavier Jones, but he looked good again. Brown led a 12-play, 80-yard drive that was capped off by a touchdown pass to James Proche.

Michigan dominated the rest of the game, but overall this game seemed to be an improvement from the first two. However, I am left more mystified coming out of this game with plenty of questions heading into the Navy game.