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SMU Daily Campus

SMU Daily Campus

SMU Daily Campus

SMU lost to TCU in Saturdays Iron Skillet game 34-17. Next years matchup is the last scheduled game in the longstanding rivalry.
SMU falls short at TCU
September 26, 2023

SMU bests LA Tech in season opener

Mark Reese

SMU opened up the 2023-2024 season with a 38-14 victory over the LA Tech Bulldogs Saturday.

Eyes were focused on sophomore Preston Stone as he made his debut as the new starting quarterback at Ford Stadium. Tanner Mordecai, SMU’s previous starter, announced in December 2022 that he would spend his final year of eligibility at Wisconsin.

A Dallas native and SMU legacy, Stone is excited to be a part of the evolving football program he grew up watching.

“This is a program that I’ve been around and watched my entire life,” said Stone. “I’ve been a Mustang fan for as long as I can remember. To be able to contribute to the growth of this program is something that I feel really honored to be a part of.”

Stone came out to play and secured a 67-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Hudson with minutes left in the first quarter.

Kori Roberson intercepted the ball less than two minutes later and returned for a touchdown. This momentum continued through the second quarter as SMU put another 17 unanswered points up on the board.

Some fresh faces also made their mark on the field including freshman linebacker Alex Kilgore who had two sacks. Head coach Rhett Lashlee is looking forward to seeing what else Kilgore can bring this season.

“Alex is a special freshman,” said Lashlee. “And we think he’s going to have a great career here. He can run and he’s very instinctive; he just knows how to play the game.”

The Mustangs held onto their lead throughout the game despite the efforts of the Bulldogs in the second half and secured their win with a late touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Up in the stands, fans gathered in the new “Stampede” sections. The new sections behind the visitor’s bench mark one of the many ways SMU is hoping to boost school spirit this year. Fans like sophomore Kaitlyn Amburn were anxious to see how the new Stampede section would feel.

“I know the new student section is going to be different,” said Amburn. “I think it’s going to be fun and I like where we are better now. We’re going to be a lot closer and we’re going to be a lot more spirited.”

The team was happy to have fans packed into the stadium. Lashlee said the first half was exactly what the team was looking for.

“It changes the feel when you can hear them chanting,” said Lashlee. “That’s the atmosphere you want.”

While fans can continue to celebrate the ACC announcement and Saturday’s win, the team is turning their focus to their next game at OU.

“We’re going to have to play a whole lot better and for all four quarters,” said Lashlee “But our guys will be excited for the challenge.”

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