Mustangs Survive Thriller for First Win of Season

Dallas, TX – After a rough start to the season, SMU is finally in the win column and Sonny Dykes has his first victory as the Mustangs’ head coach.

While the Midshipmen of Navy are not known to be a great passing team, they’re known to outduel their opponents. They would only total 25 passing yards Saturday, compared to 166 for SMU. Their 349 rushing yards, however, exhausted SMU’s defense.

The Mustangs had a balanced attack offensively, with quarterback William Brown completing 21 or his 29 pass attempts for 150 yards. He would throw two touchdowns and no interceptions. Running back Braeden West carried for 145 yards in 26 carries.

Going for two in overtime is never an easy feat, but the call proved to be a defining moment for the young team desperate for a win. Hunter Thedford caught a 2-point conversion pass in the first overtime against a tough Navy team, leading to a 31 – 30 victory for SMU.

After a long nine-play scoring drive that put Navy in the lead to start overtime, SMU replaced quarterback William Brown with a more experienced Ben Hicks for their overtime possession. Soon after the quarterback transition, Hicks threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to James Proche. Dykes decided to go for the win with a special play.

“We had to make some strange decisions,” Dykes said. “When you play Navy, you have to do some things differently.

The Mustangs chose to put an offensive lineman in motion from the tight end spot on the left, moving to the right slot. Hicks’ throw to Theford, who would leap over a Navy linebacker in the end zone won the game.

“Well there were a number of things,” Dykes said when asked about why he went for two. “Number one, I felt like we had a good play. The second thing was we were running out of bodies defensively. We were beat up. We were getting ready to go with a couple true freshmen at linebacker.