The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

Mustangs win in a landslide

Strong defensive showing leads SMU to 17-0 victory
Quarter Garrett Gilbert avoided a sack and threw an incomplete pass down the field versus UTEP on Saturday.
AP
Quarter Garrett Gilbert avoided a sack and threw an incomplete pass down the field versus UTEP on Saturday.

Quarter Garrett Gilbert avoided a sack and threw an incomplete pass down the field versus UTEP on Saturday. (AP)

The final score may not have been as dominant as head coach June Jones wanted, but the SMU Mustangs (2-3, 1-0 in C-USA) opened up Conference USA with a dominant defensive performance against the UTEP Miners winning 17-0 Saturday night.

“The defense, of course, played very solid,” Jones said in a post game interview.

After a 19-yard field goal by kicker Chase Hover gave the Mustangs a 3-0 lead in the opening quarter, SMU’s defense began showing why it will be a force to be reckoned with going forward in conference play.

UTEP’s drive after the field goal quickly saw the Miners reach the SMU 32-yard line before junior linebacker Randall Joyner intercepted his second pass of the season from and returned the ball to the Mustangs’ 27 yard line.

The Mustangs carried the momentum from the turnover into its next drive, using a 40-yard touchdown pass from Gilbert to senior receiver Darius Johnson to extend the lead to double-digits at 10-0 in the 2nd quarter.

Gilbert improved over his poor performance from last week, completing 22 of 44 passes for 234 yards to go along with his one touchdown pass and interception.

When asked about Gilbert’s performance, Jones said, “We hit a long pass down the middle. We could’ve hit two or three, and we like to be one hundred percent.”

Line also contributed to the effort with 84 yards with 25 carries.

“It was all rough tough yards. He’s just a good, solid football player,” Jones said.

The final score of the evening came on another interception from a SMU linebacker against Nick Lamaison. Senior Ja’Gared Davis stepped in front of an attempted screen pass while the Mustangs defensive line swarmed UTEP’s quarterback, and Davis sprinted 30 yards for the game breaking touchdown two minutes before halftime.

As the second half began, the Miners put its best drive of the game together, driving 64 yards in 14 plays before attempting a 28-yard field goal that would end the Mustangs’ shutout attempt.

Fortunately for SMU, senior and NFL prospect Margus Hunt was able to block his tenth field goal attempt of his career on a low kick.

The Mustangs’ defense left its poor performances behind, holding the Miners to 285 combined yards and 13 first downs while the offense earned 14 first downs through the air alone.
SMU’s second half possessions were dominated by a steady dose of running backs Zach Line and Luke Seeker, who combined for 112 yards on 29 attempts to ruin any hope of a UTEP comeback as the Mustangs went on to complete the shutout, 17-0.

The Conference USA schedule will continue for the Mustangs, who are looking to get back to .500 as they travel to New Orleans for a Saturday matchup at noon against the Tulane Green Wave. 

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