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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SMU wins two in a row

Mustangs snap Wolf Pack’s three-game winning streak, look for fourth win in El Paso
 SMU wins two in a row
Photo by Nate Regan,
The Daily Campus
SMU wins two in a row

SMU wins two in a row (Photo by Nate Regan,
The Daily Campus)

Boosted by junior defensive back Alvin Nnabuife’s two fumble recoveries for touchdowns, the Mustangs (3-7, 3-4 WAC) were able to snap the Nevada Wolf Pack’s (5-5, 3-3 WAC) three-game winning streak and win back-to-back games for the first time since 2002.

The Mustang defense was able to stop the Wolf Pack on their first drive after a stop on a fourth and two play. With the stop, the Mustangs took over at their own 40-yard line.

Two plays later, the Mustangs found the end zone after quarterback Tony Eckert completed a 38-yard touchdown pass to running back Cedrick Dorsey. After the extra point, the Mustangs took a 7-0 lead.

The Wolf Pack struck back with a field goal on their next drive to narrow the Mustangs’ lead to 7-3.

On the Mustangs’ next drive, Eckert completed four straight passes, but then was sacked and after two attempted passes into the end zone to wide receiver Reynaldo Pellerin, SMU settled for a touchdown to take a 10-3 lead.

After Nevada was forced to punt, backup quarterback Jerad Romo took over for Eckert. After marching the offense, to the Nevada 6-yard line, Eckert’s pass was intercepted on third-and-goal.

Nevada added a field goal in the second half to narrow the score to 10-6 with 8:58 left.

Later in the second quarter, the Wolf Pack threatened the Mustang end zone, but could not get a play off before time expired in the half.

With Nevada’s miscue on offense, the Mustangs took their 10-6 lead into halftime.

Early in the second half, the Wolf Pack took a brief lead after a touchdown pass from quarterback Jeff Rowe to Nichiren Flowers form 18 yards out. With the extra point, the Wolf Pack took a 13-10 lead.

With Romo at the helm, the Mustangs quickly regained the lead. Romo ran the ball in from 13 yards out for the Mustangs’ first of four touchdowns in the third quarter.


Running back Foy Munlin would punch in a touchdown from 1 yard out less than two minutes later to put the Mustangs up 23-13.

With Chris McMurtray’s extra point, the Mustangs took an 11-point lead.

Ten seconds later, Nnabuife returned a Nevada fumble 17 yards for another Mustang touchdown.

With the extra point, the Mustangs took a 31-13 lead.

The Wolf Pack would narrow the score after Rowe’s second touchdown pass of the day, this one to Talib Wise. The 40-yard touchdown pass combined with the extra point brought Nevada within 11 points.

Later in the third quarter, with Nevada within the Mustangs’ 10-yard line, Nnabuife would recover his second fumble of the night and take it 95 yards for his second touchdown. After the extra point, the Mustangs took a 38-20 lead.

Neither team would score in the fourth quarter and the Mustangs would go on to win their first back-to-back games since 2002.

Nnabuife’s 95-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown was the second longest in SMU history.

Nnabuife is also one of only three players to recover two fumbles for touchdowns in NCAA Division I history.

“I think Alvin is a good guy,” Bennett said. “He’s come a long way in the past four years.”

The win also marked the first time the Mustangs have won back-to-back games at home since 2000 when the team also beat Nevada and Tulsa. Head Coach Phil Bennett’s record also improved to 6-0 when the Mustangs score 24 or more points.

With the loss, Nevada drops to 0-5 on the road. Prior to the game, the Wolf Pack won three straight.

“Honestly, it was nice to win,” Bennett said. “The thing I like best is that we won a game by 18 points, that I don’t think we particularly played well in.”

Bennett referred to turnovers as an area of improvement. Both teams finished with four turnovers.

On offense, the Mustangs finished with 400 yards, 40 less than Nevada. Eckert finished six-of-10 for 129 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

Romo led all rushers with 79 yards on 17 attempts. Passing, he finished eight-of-13 for 101 yards and one interception.

Wide receiver Bobby Chase led all receivers with seven catches for 119 yards.

In the third quarter, the game was interrupted after an SMU student took a Nevada helmet, put it on and ran through the field.

The student was promptly dealt with my stadium security and local law enforcement.

“Where did he get that helmet?” Bennett asked. “I know this, he stayed on The Boulevard too long.”

The Mustangs next face the No. 23 University of Texas-El Paso Miners in El Paso. Kickoff is set for 4:05 CST, Saturday, Nov. 20.

SMU wins two in a row (Photo by John Schreiber,
The Daily Campus)

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