Dallas TX – The SMU Mustangs played their final home game Friday night in front of a spirited crowd and many fans hopeful for next season.
SMU (5- 6) lost to the bowl-eligible (7-4) Memphis Tigers 28-18, but there were indeed flashes of greatness on both offense and defense.
Going into Friday night, the two very evenly matched teams were predicted to provide a great duel of passionate programs. The first half was nothing short of a battle it out affair.
Both SMU and Memphis had big plays on offense that led to even bigger defensive plays and non-scoring drives. SMU quarterback Ben Hicks threw the ball 55 times, completing 29 passes for 344 yards and two touchdowns. Receiver James Proche was on the receiving end of both touchdowns. Proche also had a game-high 12 receptions for 134 yards. Sophomore Reggie Robinson Jr. made seven receptions for 116 yards.
While the ball seemed to be moving for both teams throughout the game, there was a host of overthrown passes and dropped balls. The only first half touchdown came on a 16-yard pass from Memphis quarterback Brady White to Joey Magnifico. SMU settled for a field goal in the first quarter and with Memphis pinned deep on the two-yard line in the second quarter, SMU forced a safety.
Memphis led 7 to 5 at the half and would never surrender their lead. The Tigers’ running back Patrick Taylor Jr., rushed for a nine-yard touchdown on a quick scoring drive, increasing the Tigers lead to 14 to 5 early in the second half. Still SMU managed to only trail Memphis 14 – 12 at the end of the third quarter, after a well-executed 31-yard passing touchdown from Hicks to Proche.
Taylor would rush for a total of 112 yards and two touchdowns. White passed for 226 yards and two more Memphis touchdowns, despite being picked off by the SMU defense twice.
Memphis took over the final quarter with two quick scores, and with just over eight minutes remaining SMU had no room for error. The Mustangs would score again on a short Proche touchdown reception, but they failed on the two-point conversion with six minutes remaining.
The final score read 28 -18. SMU plays at Tulsa next Saturday for their final game of the season.