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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Mustangs ‘gassed’ in 66-8 loss to Aggies

 Mustangs gassed in 66-8 loss to Aggies
Photo by John Schreiber, The Daily Campus
Mustangs ‘gassed’ in 66-8 loss to Aggies

Mustangs ‘gassed’ in 66-8 loss to Aggies (Photo by John Schreiber, The Daily Campus)

It was not a happy homecoming for SMU Head Coach Phil Bennett. Bennett returned for the first time as a head coach to his alma mater Texas A&M, a school where he also spent time as a coach, for the SMU Mustang’s first away game of the season.

Poor tackling, horrendous special teams and an overall inability to execute the fundamental skills of football by SMU let the Texas A&M Aggies gain a record-setting 66-8 win against SMU Saturday afternoon in College Station. The entire Aggie football team, excluding the red shirts sitting out this season, got a chance to play, including two appearances by the all-walk-on “12th Man Team.”

SMU kept up with A&M at the start of the game. The Mustangs were able to pull off a punt fake on a fourth and one down on their first drive, but on their second drive A&M’s Amos Gbunblee blocked a punt by Ryan Mentzel at the SMU one-yard line, giving Jaxson Appel the chance to put the Aggies on the scoreboard for the first time.

Two drives later, SMU quarterback Jerad Romo completed a pass to Bobby Chase on a long third and 19 down. The 67-yard play got SMU its one and only touchdown, but kicker Chris McMutray missed the extra point attempt.

As the game progressed, A&M got further and further ahead of SMU, much to the delight of a crowded audience of 75,128 at Kyle Field.

“We had chances to stay in the game, but they had an explosion and we couldn’t recover from it,” Bennett said.

The Aggies did not begin to truly dominate the Mustangs until the second half. With the stands of Kyle Field literally shaking, A&M scored 28 points in the third quarter. The Aggies would go on to post 714 offensive yards, SMU gaining only 348.

“We all knew this is a tough place to play,” said Bennett. “Once they started sharking on us, it was a feast.” He also added that stamina was again an issue for the Mustangs.

“I know our kids at halftime were gassed,” Bennett said.

The daytime heat may have been a contributing factor. SMU has been able to avoid the hot Texas weather by playing its first two games at night, but this is the second time Bennett has blamed poor performance on endurance. Bennett first addressed the problem after the Baylor game. “They just wore us out,” he said after the team’s first loss.

SMU’s running game was nowhere near as impressive as it was against TCU, and they only gained 39 yards. The standout player from last week, DeMyron Martin, only contributed eight rushing yards and negative eight passing yards, essentially canceling himself out. Fred Turner was SMU’s leading rusher with 26 yards. A&M quarterback Reggie McNeal contributed 100 yards of rushing in the game, plus an additional 349 passing yards, a new Texas A&M record.

SMU’s game was filled with mistakes, including eight penalties resulting in a loss of 61 yards.

The special teams have been underperforming all season. Despite personal changes over the past weeks, SMU’s punting and field goal teams have struggled all season.

“We didn’t execute. They didn’t force us to make mistakes, it was ourselves,” Romo said.

The team also had trouble communicating on the field, especially at the beginning of the game, Romo added. The team had practiced with crowd noises blaring through the speakers of Ford Stadium prior to the game to prepare for what will most likely be the largest crowd the squad will face this year.

“You can practice silent count over and over again, but it’s never the same in a game, it got out of control,” Romo said.

This game marks the end of pre-conference play for SMU. This weekend, the Mustangs will be back at Ford Stadium to face Tulane. While this loss was a severe one, defensive tackle D.D. Lee thinks the team will be able to bounce back.

“[The loss] was disappointing and embarrassing. I’m going to talk to my teammates and get us focused,” Lee said, adding that with conference play starting next week, “we’re really 0 and 0.”

The beginning of conference play also coincides with the annual Family Weekend at SMU. SMU will face the Tulane Green Wave Saturday at 7 p.m. at Ford Stadium.

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