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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Breaking down SMU’s performance vs. North Texas

Breaking down SMUs performance vs. North Texas

Run offenseB-Quarterback Justin Willis was once again the team’s leading rusher. DeMyron Martin needs to get the ball in his hands more often. He can be a difference maker if given the opportunity. This game was a toss-up for him. His fumble late in the fourth quarter could have cost SMU the game. But his 1-yard touchdown dive with no time left on the clock in the second quarter gave the Mustangs a huge boost of confidence. Mapps performed well, scoring two touchdowns on the night.

Pass offenseB+Willis turned it on this week and powered SMU to a victory. For good or bad, SMU is going to have to outscore its opponents each week to win. That means lots of offense and Willis and the receiving corps delivered against North Texas. Zack Sledge was the standout player all night, with the most important play being his 13-yard touchdown catch to put SMU up for good. Emmanuel Sanders returned to his normal form, shaking off the rust that he seemed to have from last week.

Run defenseBSMU allowed 12 yards of rushing for the night. Even adding back the yardage from the botched North Texas snap with a minute to go, it still would have been below 40 yards for the night. The run defense doesn’t get tested very often because the secondary is being abused most of the game. The true measure of this group will be how well they pressure the quarterback. They did better than they did against Texas Tech, recording three sacks on the night. But more pressure means less time for whomever to throw the ball.

Pass defenseDThis would have been an F, but the secondary stepped up and got key interceptions when they had to. Bryan McCann picked off a pass that allowed SMU to get the winning score and Bryce Hudman ran back an interception 49 yards for a touchdown. But the rest of the night was brutal. North Texas had 601 yards passing for the night and broke school records in several categories for offense. The Mean Green picked apart the secondary. SMU was better at tackling this week, but those tackles occurred after 8 or 10 yard receptions.

Special TeamsAThomas Morstead did everything in his power to put the North Texas offense at a disadvantage. He consistently pinned them inside their own 20-yard line. Maybe the defense will help him out more in the future by getting some stops. He also broke the school record for consecutively made PAT’s. The old mark was 34, it now stands at 40. Mapps and Jesse Henderson did not battle for the ball on kickoffs, but neither had a spectacular return either.

CoachesBIf the secondary didn’t allow so many yards, this would have been higher. Head coach Phil Bennett said during the off-season that his team would embrace big moments in games and not be scared by them. SMU had such a moment with no time left on the clock in the second quarter. A gutsy call to have Martin leap into the end zone, but it had to be done and the offense executed the play perfectly. But there needs to be more emphasis on helping the secondary this week in practice. Every game can’t be a record setter for the opposition.

OverallBIt was a wild shoot-out at Ford Stadium on Saturday night. SMU showed that it has the tenacity to win these types of games, which is good because most conference games will probably be like that. But, again, the secondary must improve. There were plenty of good things (offense, special teams) and plenty to improve upon for next week at Arkansas State. SMU has not performed well on the road, but this needs to be the game they win because a win at TCU seems unlikely. If SMU can build off this win, then they should be in good shape for their first road trip of the season.

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