Although the Mustangs’ managed to shutout Stephen F. Austin in a 52-0 win last week, Texas A&M reminded June Jones and SMU that they still have a long way to go.
Despite Saturday’s 48-3 loss to their former Southwest Conference rival, SMU managed a few bright spots. DE Margus Hunt blocked another PAT putting him at 16 blocked kicks in his NCAA career — now tied for second-most all time. While RB Zach Line churned out 104 yards rushing to snatch his 17th career 100+ yard game.
But the real show at Ford Stadium was TAMU’s freshman QB Johnny Manziel who went absolutely crazy passing for 294 yards and rushing for 124 yards with six touchdowns — four passing, two rushing. He somehow avoided sack after sack and habitually came up big on scrambles that shredded SMU’s defense.
As for QB Garrett Gilbert, the transfer is still haven’t trouble connecting with receivers, especially hitting them while they were on the run. He was 23-49 with 203 passing yards and an interception. A flash of rhythm came in the last minute of the first half when Gilbert ran a hurry-up offense and connected on back-to-back passes for 10+ yards. But fizzled out as he missed three consecutive passes, which led to a missed 48-yard field goal.
Although he mainly dealt with targeting issues throughout the day, a few dropped passes didn’t help the junior’s completion rate.
Last week’s high-scoring shutout over SFA, thanks to the Mustang defense forcing 10 turnovers, doesn’t cover for the fact that the Mustang’s offense has been unproductive in their first three games of the season.
Next game is Sept. 29 against #16 TCU. Hoepfully, the week between will do SMU some good.