SMU survives Temple

It was homecoming Saturday in Dallas and the Mustangs had hopes of an easy victory over the visiting Owls, but the visitors had another idea in mind. The Mustangs would come out on their first drive and showed a troubling trend of a turnover, but the defense would hold and SMU would get the ball back to score and take a touchdown lead. But Temple, behind Quarterback P.J. Walker would have another idea and end up tying the game at seven on their next drive. This is point where the SMU offense would start having issues. Walker would lead the Owls to 28 unanswered points and look to have the game in Owl control.

SMU would get a defensive stop with 3:07 left in the half and the crowd could sense a score here would help change the momentum of this game going into the half. Garret Gilbert would organize a drive down the field to lead the mustangs into the end zone and put SMU on the board for the first time since the first quarter. There was a decided momentum shift at that time as the crowd had something to cheer about before halftime. Temple would choose to run out the half and take the opening kickoff to start the second half.

Coach June Jones said in his post game press conference “If we go out and stop them, we will win the game”, Maybe June has a magic ball and we are just not privy to it yet. As the Mustangs started the second half, they got a much needed defensive stop and had a chance to pull within a touchdown of Temple early in the second half. Enter Gilbert again who seems to have a knack of doing good things when it is not expected of him, he once again led the Mustangs down the field and got a much needed touchdown to make it a 28-21 deficit. But Temple wasn’t going to lie down and let SMU stampede over them, as Walker moved his offense down the field and put temple back up by 14. This seemed to damper the crowd just a bit,

Gilbert and the Mustangs would come back and score 14 unanswered points to tie the game up, which would leave only one quarter for either team to decide who wanted it more. By this point the crowd at Ford Stadium got loud and started to let their Mustangs know they were behind them 100 percent. There was a sense of something special is happening on the Hilltop because Gilbert had 422 passing yards and 92 rushing yards going into the third quarter. Gilbert would lead the Mustangs through four drives in the fourth quarter and score 17 unanswered points to pretty much wrap up the game, but Temple and Walker had another idea. Walker would lead Temple into the end zone, but a missed onside kick would be the final nail in the coffin for the Owls. SMU would walk away a winner and survive a very strong punch thrown by their American Athletic Conference foe.

Garret Gilbert would throw for a career high and SMU record 538 yards. SMU would also set a school record with 728 yards of total offense, and a record of 34 first downs. This would also be the first time SMU has not allowed a sack since 2012 against Southern Mississippi. All in all it was a very good day on the Hilltop as SMU won the game and improved their record to 3-4(2-1). SMU will take on Cincinnati on November 9th and return home on November 16th.



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