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


Mustangs make power plays in Tech game

 Mustangs make power plays in Tech game
Mustangs make power plays in Tech game

Mustangs make power plays in Tech game

Texas Tech took advantage of Mustang mistakes and walked away from Gerald J. Ford Stadium with a 24-14 victory. SMU scored no points on two trips to the red zone in the third quarter, giving Tech the opportunities it needed to put the Mustangs away.

In front of a sellout crowd of 32,000, the second in the stadium’s young history, the Mustangs held their own against a Big-12 team that many predictors thought would handle SMU easily.

Junior tailback Keylon Kincade had 37 carries for 160 yards and a touchdown. Kincade, starting in place of sophomore ShanDerrick Charles, led a rushing attack that accounted for 227 yards. The outburst followed Tech’s poor defensive showing last Saturday at Ohio State. They gave up 317 yards en route to a blowout loss.

Kincade’s 37 carries tied for third-most in school history. Head coach Phil Bennett liked what he saw out of Kincade, but wishes Charles would have been worked into the offense more.

“I’m a little bit disappointed that we didn’t get ShanDerrick in there a little bit more than we did,” Bennett said. “Keylon had a great night. He was in a groove and really ran hard.”

Tech quarterback Kliff Kingsbury struggled against the Mustangs early, leading head coach Mike Leach to bench the preseason Heisman Trophy candidate. Kingsbury would return to rack up what seemed to be a quiet 369 yards passing, hitting on 32 of his 49 passing attempts and scoring three touchdowns. Kingsbury was also picked off twice.

SMU took a 6-3 lead when Kincade scampered in from 12 yards away. The Mustangs missed the extra point. Texas Tech scored on the next drive when Kingsbury found Mickey Peterson on a 13-yard pass play. Tech took the 10-6 lead into the locker room.

SMU’s best opportunity came when senior linebacker Vic Viloria intercepted a Kingsbury pass within the Mustang five-yard line. The Ponies marched down the field, going 96 yards in 17 plays.

Kincade nearly scored a touchdown from seven yards out, but on a questionable ruling, the ball was spotted just short of the goal line. SMU ran the ball on third down and was stuffed.

On fourth down and goal from the one-yard line, Bennett called a timeout and prepared his team to go for the touchdown. Quarterback Tate Wallis tried to dive in on a quarterback keeper, but referees ruled that the ball did not cross the goal line.

“All we needed was a crease (on the quarterback sneak) and we didn’t get it done,” Bennett said. “We still had chances after that though.”

Tech went 99 yards on 10 plays and scored a touchdown, giving them a 17-6 lead.

Another trip into the red zone came up empty when SMU misfired on a field goal. Rutledge returned a kickoff to the Texas Tech 32 yard line and Wallis scrambled down the field, putting SMU in position to score. The field goal sailed wide left and the Mustangs were still trailing 17-6.

SMU would get the ball back and Wallis hit senior wide receiver Cody Cardwell down the sideline for a 57-yard touchdown pass. Wallis ran the ball around the corner to complete the two-point conversion, bringing the Mustangs to within three, 17-14.

SMU’s defensive philosophy was “bend, don’t break,” but it broke on a critical third down in the fourth quarter.

Kingsbury found an open receiver on third down and the play would put them in the red zone, with junior cornerback Jonas Rutledge saving a touchdown. Tech went on to score when Kingsbury found Nehemiah Glover in the end zone. The result would be the final score, 24-14.

“I thought we had our opportunity,” Bennett said. “It was a crucial call down there on fourth down, obviously we didn’t get it.”

The Mustangs were disappointed by the game’s final outcome, despite having played substantially better than last Saturday’s showing against Navy.

“We had better effort and better concentration,” Bennett said. “I thought we put ourselves in position to win, which we didn’t do a week ago.”

Bennett has obviously made an impression on the team, as Viloria echoed Bennett’s comments.

“We felt like this was a good opportunity for us to come out and win,” Viloria said. “We did some things that were improvements, but we’re by no means satisfied with this loss. Our goal is not to accept losing.”

Wallis, making his second start, looked much more confident against Tech than he did last week against Navy. He completed 10 of his 23 pass attempts for 144 yards and a touchdown. He was also intercepted twice, and had 49 yards rushing.

His 93.0 quarterback rating was a big improvement over last week’s 75.5.

SMU will begin preparing for neighbor and rival Texas Christian University. The Mustangs will play Saturday, at 6 p.m. in Fort Worth, where they hope to earn a victory and the Iron Skillet with a victory.

“We’ve got to get focused and look forward to TCU,” Bennett said. “I can’t wait to start practicing.”

The game will begin a three-game road trip for SMU.

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