Dallas, Tx – The officials needed a second look, but Shane Buechele did indeed pass for a game-winning 25-yard touchdown to James Proche in the third overtime Saturday night, as No. 24 SMU beat Tulsa 43-37.
For most of Saturday night’s matchup, SMU appeared to have underestimated a well-prepared Tulsa team. The Mustangs, however, did manage to erase a three-touchdown deficit in the fourth quarter.
The Tulsa defense managed to stop SMU at the one-yard line three times. Tulsa quarterback Zach Smith passed for 346 yards and four touchdowns. His three interceptions didn’t do much damage, as the Tulsa defense kept SMU under control for much of the game.
Tulsa was definitely in the driver’s seat as the two teams headed in for halftime – SMU still scrambling for an effective offensive scheme. Most of the first half and even early into the third quarter, SMU was out-matched, out-worked and repeatedly beaten deep in the secondary.
A 23 to 9 score became 30 – 9 by the time the two teams entered the fourth quarter.
SMU’s fourth time at the goal line proved to be a game-changer. Interestingly enough, the game changer didn’t happen until the first play of the final quarter. Down three touchdowns, Ke’Mon Freeman ran the ball in.
The home fans had every reason to give up, but the SMU sideline never took on a defeated stance. The Mustangs would go on to score three
The fourth quarter began with SMU down 30 – 9 to Tulsa. After Freeman’s one-yard run and score, Buechele found Proche for a 30-yard touchdown reception on the next possession. A 4-yard run and score by Xavier Jones was up next. SMU tied the game at 30 all with just over four minutes remaining in the game.
Tulsa scored first in overtime, but SMU and another spectacular catch by Proche sealed the deal for the Mustangs in the third overtime.
“For us to go down 21 and just for them to keep playing, hang in there and figure out a way to win the game, it’s a real credit to their character,” SMU coach Sonny Dykes said.
SMU improves to 6-0, which now makes the team bowl eligible.
In celebration of the team’s first ranking in 33 years and an unforgettable come-from-behind win – fans took to the field in excitement.
Tulsa will play at home against Navy next week. SMU has a bye week before facing Temple on October 19.