Dallas, TX – In front of a loud and rowdy crowd of both Eagle and Mustang fans, North Texas and Southern Methodist engaged in back and forth battle for four full quarters. SMU would go on to finish with an impressive 49-27 victory Saturday night.
Quarterback Shane Buechele and the SMU offense proved to be too much for the UNT defense minutes into the first quarter, scoring on their first possession. Buechele completed 21 of 31 passes for 292 yards and had three touchdowns. He led the Mustangs in a 9-play, 75-yard opening touchdown drive, completing all five of his pass attempts.
The SMU defense appeared poised to maintain the energy of Ford Stadium. A quick three and out would send the North Texas offense to the sideline on their first possession, resulting in a quick 83-yard, nine play drive and touchdown run by Xavier Jones.
The first quarter concluded with SMU in the driver’s seat with a score of 21-0.
If North Texas was rattled, the team masked it well. Quarterback Mason Fine and the Eagles’ offense returned to the field in the second quarter and scored two touchdowns. They were led by their only real threat to SMU – star running back Tre Siggers, who rushed for 164 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries.
At the half, SMU led North Texas 28-14.
Still the North Texas defense could not contain the SMU offense. Jones rushed 16 times for 127 yards and three touchdowns. James Proche was on the receiving end of seven Buechele passes, totaling 115 yards. He caught one of Buechele’s three touchdown passes. Wide receiver Reggie Roberson Jr., caught six passes for 94 yards and was the recipient of Buechele’s other two scoring passes.
Ford Stadium was split fairly evenly with both SMU and North Texas fans. The Mustang fans, however, stayed the entire game and appeared to enjoy the thriving SMU team – definitely a welcomed sight for Coach Sonny Dykes.
“We’re in Dallas, and it’s important to get everyone involved in SMU football,” Dykes said.
SMU begins the season 2-0 and is set to face Texas State University at home next Saturday. UNT falls to 1-1 after the loss and will play at California next week.