SMU Wins Again, Mustangs are 1-0 in conference

The Mustangs looked rough through the first three quarters.

Kind of how they’ve looked through Chad Morris’ first two seasons – a flash of brilliance and flair followed by a heart breaking string of plays – but Saturday afternoon under the blue “Lock Arms” flag that flew over Ford Stadium, the Mustangs did something they’ve struggled to do for the last 34 months, finish.

“This was a football game the last two years would have been hard to win.” Morris said.

The Mustangs got started early, with Courtland Sutton finding the end zone on a six yard slant from Ben Hicks. However, Connecticut recognized SMU’s weakness on defense and took advantage of both Jordan Wyatt and Cedric Lancaster being out with injuries.

The Huskies dominated through the air, starting quarterback Bryant Shirreffs threw for 408 yards and 2 touchdowns. Despite the struggles of the secondary, the Mustangs were able to get pressure on Shirreffs. The defense was boosted by the return of Senior Mason Gentry, who sacked Shirreffs twice. In total, SMU sacked the quarterback eight times for a season high.

“Defensively not our best play, we were exposed on the back end, we knew that we knew Jordan was going to be out this game. He will be back next week.” Morris said.

Despite UConn’s success in the air, SMU’s run defense continued to improve. The Mustangs held the Huskies to -8 yards on the ground, the fewest allowed by SMU since 2012.

“While it wasn’t our best performance, in any of our phases, it was our best response.” Morris said.

Leading at halftime 21-10, the Mustangs looked poised to run away in the third quarter, but back to back scores by the Huskies cut SMU’s lead to 21-20.

And so began the response that Chad Morris has been missing for nearly 34 months.

“I didn’t think we came out in the third quarter and played very well. I thought we had a lot left in the tank.” Morris said. “I challenged them to finish empty. We did play well in the fourth quarter. We dominated the fourth quarter.”

Dominate in the fourth quarter the Mustangs did. SMU outscored UConn 21-8 in the final 15 minutes with Ben Hicks lofting a strike to Courtland Sutton while Braeden West and Ke’mon Freeman scored a touchdown each.

The Mustangs offense is averaging 48 points a game and is the only FBS team to score 36+ in every game this season. With three solid running backs and the emergence of Trey Quinn at receiver, Morris and Offensive Coordinator Joe Craddock have been gifted with easily the best three look running back and three look receiver set with Proche, Sutton and Quinn.

POST GAME HIGHLIGHTS 

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