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

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Kincade breaks Dickerson’s record

 Kincade breaks Dickersons record
Kincade breaks Dickerson’s record

Kincade breaks Dickerson’s record

The SMU Mustangs must have sent a bad omen to the Dallas Cowboys the day before the Cowboys took on the Seattle Seahawks. Despite junior tailback Keylon Kincade breaking Eric Dickerson’s school record of carries in a single season, the Mustangs were unable to secure a victory in Houston, falling to Rice 27-15.

Kincade carried the ball 34 times for 122 yards Saturday, giving him 272 run attempts on the season, 16 more than Dickerson with three games left to play. Kincade also topped the 1,000-yard mark for the season.

Kincade was unable to enjoy his feat, as he and the Mustangs watched Rice take advantage of costly SMU mistakes. The same weekend that Emmitt Smith broke NFL’s rushing yardage record and the Cowboys lost, Kincade found little satisfaction in a similar situation.

“I don’t take satisfaction in losing,” Kincade said. “I just wanted the win.”

The Ponies got on the scoreboard first as Trent Stephenson kicked a 28-yard field goal for the lead. Rice responded with a field goal of its own before SMU began to make the mistakes that cost the game.

With 12:40 remaining in the first half, Rice blocked an SMU punt and returned it 26 yards for a touchdown and a 10-3 lead.

“That was the turning point in the game,” head coach Phil Bennett said. “We had played pretty well to that point.”

Rice added another touchdown before the half, taking a 17-3 lead into the break. On their first possession of the ensuing half, running back Robbie Beck broke away from the SMU defense for a 33-yard touchdown run, putting Rice ahead 24-3.

The Mustangs responded by marching down the field, and quarterback Richard Bartel connected with senior Cody Cardwell for a touchdown with 2:33 remaining in the third quarter. SMU missed the extra point, so trailed 24-9.

SMU’s defense held and the offense took over again at their own 11-yard line. The Mustangs drove into Rice territory before Bartel was intercepted. Cardwell was the intended receiver, but slipped and fell on the wet grass. Rice took advantage, returning the ball 46 yards and setting up a 41-yard field goal and a 27-9 lead.

Bartel, in only his second start and encore to a heroic homecoming effort, led the Mustangs down the field for another touchdown, finding receiver Cedric Vinson open for the score. Kincade made critical plays to sustain the drive, allowing Vinson to catch the first touchdown of his career and pull the Ponies to within 12, 27-15.

SMU would have two more possessions, but each would prove pointless. The first ended in a turnover on downs and SMU’s last chance concluded when Bartel tried to make a difficult throw and had the pass intercepted. He finished the contest 30-42 for 267 yards, with two touchdowns and two interceptions.

Bennett was very disappointed with the loss. SMU’s three turnovers and blocked punt led to 13 Rice points.

“Our worst enemy was our self,” Bennett said. “In my mind it was a gift, and I don’t mean to discredit Rice. We were very, very inconsistent.”

In addition to turnovers, dropped passes and mental errors plagued SMU. Despite more than respectable stats, neither Bartel nor the rest of the offense played at a level that satisfied Bennett.

“[Bartel] didn’t play well and he’ll tell you that,” Bennett said. “But he did some things that the average guy can’t do.”

Bennett and his staff will use the remainder of the season to try to set a positive tone for departing seniors and have something to build on next season. SMU’s goal to win the remainder of its games has not changed, but inconsistency and injuries will force the first-year head coach to evaluate much of his team.

Redshirt freshman receiver Trey Griffin made big plays against Rice, catching eight balls for 85 yards. Griffin replaced senior receiver Johnnie Freeman. Freeman got sandwiched between defenders early in the contest and was forced to leave the game. He would later receiver twenty stitches in his chin.

In addition to Griffin, Bartel and Kincade give the Mustangs something to look forward to in the future.

“We can start building and getting a relationship with each other,” Kincade said. “He’s really a motivator in the huddle, and he pushes me to run better.”

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