Anyone who expected this to be an offensive show through the air was terribly wrong. The rain came down pretty much all night and absolutely affected the offensive approach for both teams. You would not be able to count, on two hands, how many balls were dropped by both teams on both sides of the ball.
SMU got the fireworks started on their opening drive. After a long lightning delay, and much deserved criticism from last week, SMU caps off a blank yard drive courtesy of Braeden West’s blank yard rushing touchdown. This was a terrific start to this game and established the tone early on for SMU. This was especially true for a team that struggled running the ball against UNT the previous week.
The next notable series came with five minutes left in the first when TCU was forced to punt. However, the weather changed TCU’s punt plan when the punter dropped the ball and the ball was kicked out of the end zone resulting in a safety. The Mustangs lead 9-0 at this point and were able to pin the Horned Frogs at the one yard line for their next drive.
To start off the second quarter, TCU would continue their drive that started at the one yard line and marched down the field looking for a change in momentum. TCU was set up for a field goal from 48 yards out, but the kicker’s field goal attempt hit off the crossbar as the TCU special teams continued to be a disaster, early on that is.
Immediately, after all the special teams disasters, KaVontae Turpin changed the whole unit. After a rough series for SMU, following the missed field goal, Sackville punted to Turpin as he took the punt return 78 yards to the house to get the game back within reach, at 9-7 SMU.
The next key possession comes on one of the weirdest plays you could imagine. A TCU run up the middle that initially looked like a sure-fire touchdown was fumbled right near the goal line, but Jaelen Austin was in the end zone and recovered the football in the end zone for a TCU touchdown. The momentum appears to be completely lost at this point for SMU as they awoke the beast.
Although the SMU defense actually stayed pretty locked in. After a fumbled snap by TCU under the two minute mark, SMU was able to fall on the ball and get possession with around a minute to work. SMU was able to move the ball decently well, even converting on a 4th and 1 setting up a 49 yard field goal. The kick by number 89 was good from 49 to make it a two point game at the end of the first half.
On the first drive of the second half, SMU’s defense comes up big. As TCU was driving down the field Shawn Robinson threw his first career interception right at Shane Haley. However, the Mustangs found a way to screw things up. The literal next play after the momentum changer, Ben Hicks could not handle the zone read and fumbled the ball for a TCU scoop and score. 21-12 TCU.
After this play, the game was over for SMU. The Mustangs failed to record a single point in the second half, despite being only two down to start the second half. The worst part of all of this, is the defense actually played well enough to win if SMU’s offense actually would have done it’s job.
Ben Hicks had a bad game going 18-38 with 111 yards. We all thought that the Dykes Air-Raid offense and Hicks would be a perfect marriage. Through two games though, the opposite has been true. Hicks looks like he has know idea what to do in this system and the offense in general has been underwhelming.
The defense actually played pretty well. I know as a channel we ripped on SMU’s defense, but to play that well against a ranked team, even with the weather, is great. If we are going to criticize SMU’s defense when they play bad, we have to credit them when they play well.
Braeden West has emerged as the best of all the backs. He adds so much to the SMU offense, not only as a runner but is a threat in the passing game too. Expect West to get the majority of the carries from here on out.
Patrick Nelson looks legit. I’ve been praising Jordan Wyatt as a DB. but time to give Nelson come credit. He is a hard hitter.