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Pony Express Outlast Pirates in a Shootout

SMU outscores ECU in an offensive battle

East Carolina v SMU Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

ECU Recap

The Pirates showcased another perfect offensive display by putting up 644 yards of total offense and 51 points. However, the Pirates could not stop the offense of SMU no matter how hard they tried.

The Mustangs accumulated 636 yards of offense on their own and put up 59 to beat the Pirates. The offense couldn’t be really any more efficient other than one fumble. The Pirates were 9-16 on third down.

NCAA FOOTBALL: NOV 12 SMU at East Carolina Photo by Michael Berg/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Holton Ahlers was spectacular by going 32-42 for 498 yards and 6 touchdown passes. 19 of the 32 completions were to Tyler Snead who caught 19 passes for 240 yards which were both career highs.

Even though the Pirates will be ineligible for a bowl game this year, the past two weeks show a ton of progress for Coach Mike Houston this season. The Pirates played extremely well especially on the offensive side of the ball against consecutive Top 25 opponents.

The next step is for the Pirates to get that coveted fourth win they seem to be unable to get the past couple seasons. Up next for the Pirates will be a bye this next week before traveling up to UConn Nov. 23.

Highlights for SMU were James Proche and Xavier Jones both set program records after their respective performances. James Proche now holds the record for career touchdowns in program history. Xavier Jones set the SMU record for total TDs in a single season.

East Carolina v SMU
Xavier Jones has totaled 15 rushing TDs through 10 games
Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Top performers for SMU

QB Shane Buechele: 33/46, 414 yards, 5 TDs, 1 INT

WR James Proche: 14 receptions, 167 yards, 2 TDs

TE Kylen Granson: 7 receptions, 138 yards, 3 TDs

RB Xavier Jones: 20 carries, 157 yards, 3 TDs

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 09 East Carolina at SMU
SMU TE Kylen Granson ranks 9th in FBS in receiving yards at his position
Photo by George Walker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Video game numbers; and on the other side you have to feel for Ahlers who as mentioned above threw for almost 500 yards and 6 TDs in a loss, that’s incredible and unheard of.

SMU’s offense put in another great performance this week but again the Mustang secondary was suspect and got burned many times by ECU. SMU’s secondary has some great players in Rodney Clemons and Patrick Nelson but cannot seem to eliminate big plays. It seems like every week since the Tulsa game SMU gives up huge plays on defense that helps the opposing team stay in the game.

Today SMU gave up touchdowns of 45, 57 and 68 yards. That simply will not cut it against the better teams in FBS. 5 of ECU’s TDs came on receptions of 30 or more yards away. The SMU secondary must improve by the time bowl season comes around or they will be disappointed when they play better competition. This is the third week in a row that SMU has allowed an opposing receiver 140+ yards in a game.

SMU moved to 9-1 on the season and will travel to Navy this week in what will be a very interesting matchup for both teams this week. SMU will need to win their last two games against Navy and Tulane and hope Memphis drops a game in the coming weeks to get to the AAC title game.