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SMU loses late to Navy 35-28

The Mustangs suffered a loss Saturday that knocks them out of the AAC West title race

SMU fell short against Navy dropping them to third in the AAC West standings
Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

SMU lost a heart-breaker last Saturday at Navy dropping them to 3rd in the AAC West standings. Unfortunately for the Mustangs they are now eliminated from contention for a conference title this season but will face Tulane next week to compete for a 10th win.

It’s wild to think that with a win next week SMU could be one of three teams in their division alone to finish the regular season with 10 wins. That is a testament to how competitive the American Athletic Conference has been this season.

Navy QB Malcolm Perry accounted for an astonishing 357 yards of offense by himself. Perry finished with 38 carries for 195 yards and 2 TDs. As we’ve seen in recent weeks, SMU failed to stop the big play on defense and subsequently got burned by a number of big chunk plays by Navy including a 70 yard TD run by Perry.

SMU’s run defense, which is generally their defensive strength, gave up 378 yards on the ground and 540 total yards to the Midshipmen. With that kind of production, it’s tough to win any game no matter how high powered your offense is.

After SMU took a 21-10 lead, Navy clawed their way back into the game by not allowing SMU to score for a long stretch. SMU struggled at times to move the ball on offense after the initial 21 point lead, only accruing 93 rushing yards and only 344 total yards. Shane Buechele did not play poorly but ultimately the SMU offense stalled. The Mustangs were 5-13 on third downs on Saturday. The offensive efficiency was clearly not exactly what it has been in weeks past.

Notable performances for SMU:

Rashee Rice caught a 61 yard TD

Delano Robinson finished the game with 14 total tackles

CJ Sanders had the most impressive day for SMU finishing with 3 receptions for 51 yards and a 100 yard kickoff return TD to open scoring for the Mustangs.

Going forward, SMU will regroup and get ready for a tough Tulane team that will certainly give SMU their best shot on Saturday. Though 2 losses late in the season has sort of deflated the hype that SMU garnered earlier in the season, getting a 10th win this coming Saturday would be a remarkable milestone for this program.

SMU QB Shane Buechele still sits 5th in FBS in passing yards with 3446
Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images