What a difference a week makes.
Seven days earlier, both SMU and UNT were more or less matching their opponents in passing yardage, playing two pass-happy teams and putting up big points on both sides of the ball, against Arkansas State and FCS Abilene Christian, respectively.
But despite the Mustangs sneaking by the Red Wolves a week ago, 37-30, this game was all SMU, all day.
Roaring to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter, SMU never looked back, as quarterback Shane Buechele completed 21 of 31 passes for 292 yards and three touchdowns. James Proche led all receivers with seven receptions for 115 yards, and a touchdown. Reggie Roberson Jr. added another two touchdowns on six receptions for 94 yards.
Despite the SMU defense locking down the notorious UNT offense, there were some bright spots— notably the explosive appearance of running back Tre Siggers, the missing piece that this team needs with conference play looming. Siggers had 18 carries for 164 yards and a touchdown, one of the better performances we’ve seen from the Mean Green since Jeffrey Wilson’s graduation. Without the SMU defense stifling him, big things could be in store for this team.
North Texas appeared to wake up in the second quarter, closing the gap to 28-14 at the half, but SMU answered right back, as Buchele tore up the Mean Green defense and the UNT receivers struggled to haul in passes.
Xavier Jones had a much better week this week against against Conference USA competition, carrying 16 times for 127 yards and three touchdowns. Jones will be another dangerous weapon for the Mustangs as they head into week three, against sacrificial lamb Texas State.
North Texas is back in Denton next week with challenges of their own, as they will try and regroup against the Pac-12’s California Golden Bears.