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


Pirates sink Mustangs

SMU couldn’t recover from first quarter deficit

SMU gave up 14 first quarter points and were unable to catch up with ECU in the game on Saturday in Greenville, N.C.

The Mustangs mounted an impressive comeback to start the second quarter tying the game at 14. But with 29 seconds left in the half, ECU running back Brandon Simmons scored from one yard out to give the Pirates a 21-14 halftime lead.

The Mustangs were unable to get any offense in the third, but gave up a 36-yard field goal and entered the final quarter with a 10-point deficit.

SMU then gave up two fourth quarter touchdowns to the Pirates while only being able to score one, which came in the final two minutes of the game.

The Mustangs looked outplayed on Saturday and fell into the trap of playing poorly on the road. SMU now falls to 1-4 away from Ford Stadium, and 2-2 in the conference.

Luckily for the Mustangs, three of their final four games will be played in Dallas.

The Mustangs were missing some crucial components this weekend. The injuries to Cory Muse and DeMyron Martin continue to hamper the play of both the offense and defense. The absence of Duke Hasson and Zack Sledge was also noticed and left quarterback Justin Willis with one less target to throw to.

But Willis was still able to continue his air attack throwing for three more touchdowns bringing his season total to 19 which is just two shy of tying the SMU single season record.

Emmanuel Sanders continues to re-write the record books, his first touchdown catch was his sixth straight game with a touchdown reception breaking his own record of five. His second gave him seven catches on the season, which is a freshman record.

Columbus Givens caught the other touchdown from Willis. It was Givens third touchdown reception on the season, and his five catches in the game are a career high for the sophomore.

But individual statistics weren’t enough to stop ECU.

As a team the Mustangs could only gain 89 rushing yards, with the leading rusher being James Mapps with only 37 yards.

Willis threw for 224 yards and three touchdowns, but that wasn’t enough to overcome the Pirate offense.

The SMU defense that has held strong through most of the season collapsed against ECU on Saturday. The defense held the Pirate rushing attack to only 36 yards, but gave up three short rushing touchdowns and gave up 402 yards passing and two touchdowns.

Justin Rogers returned to the SMU lineup recording three tackles, one of which was for a loss. Adrian Haywood picked up the only sack for the Mustangs, it was his second of the season.

Once again the Mustangs had a mediocre day on third down conversions, both on offense and defense. It was the third time this season the Mustangs have managed a better than 50 percent success rate on third downs, but SMU also gave up better than 50 percent success on defense.

Another category the Mustangs had utilized in the past was turnovers. The Mustangs were unable to win the turnover battle while losing a Willis fumble and not being able to take the ball away from the Pirates. A SMU defense that had made things happen in previous games couldn’t help the offense.

The loss to ECU was a major pothole in the road to a conference championship. Now the Mustangs will have to win out, and hope that someone can upset UTEP and Tulsa.

SMU will return to Ford Stadium in two weeks, but not on a Saturday.

The Mustangs will take on the UAB Blazers on Halloween, Tuesday Oct. 31 at 6:30 p.m. The game will be nationally televised on ESPN 2.

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