On a day where the kids in the stands were more productive sliding down the hill than the team was on the field, the SMU Mustangs were outplayed in every aspect of the game by the TCU Horned Frogs and lost its fourth game of the season 56-0 in front of 23,093 fans.
The season pattern of being unable to generate any offensive consistency continued on Saturday afternoon as the Mustangs compiled only 245 total yards — 147 of that coming in the first half. And even when it looked like they finally were having some good fortunes offensively their luck turned on them. A 36 yard touchdown catch and run by receiver Darius Joseph where it initially appeared that he kept his balance on top of a TCU defender and ran in for the score was reviewed and ruled that his elbow had touched the ground. Four plays later the offense was forced to punt and all the momentum the play had generated was taken away and the offense never recovered.
Making his second consecutive start at quarterback, junior Garrett Krstich went 14 of 30 for only 142 yards and was constantly harassed by the aggressive Horned Frog defense and was sacked seven times — three by junior defensive end James McFarland. With no consistent passing game, the rush offense continues to struggle as the nine players combined for only 89 yards on 45 carries led by junior Luke Seeker’s 34 yards on nine carries.
Despite an early touchdown run by quarterback Trevone Boykin to give TCU an early 7-0 three minutes into the game, the SMU defense did its best to contain the TCU offense by not allowing them to score on the following two drives. But with the start of the second quarter it seemed as if things fell apart as Boykin, who passed for 280 yards and had six total touchdowns, led the offense on three consecutive touchdown drives to make the score 28-0 at half.
Things continued to get worse defensively in the second half as SMU allowed Boykin to pass for 127 yards and three touchdowns in the third quarter alone. Joining in on the statistical fun was junior running back B.J. Catalon who ran for 114 yards on 19 carries — his highest output of the season after only combining for 58 yards in the two previous games.
On a day that you surrender 614 yards of total offense, not only is it hard to find a silver lining in defeat but interim Head Coach Tom Mason has to work against players losing focus in blowout losses. One player that was able to play well despite the outcome was sophomore safety Darion Richardson who led the team in tackles with 10 and seemed to always be around the ball.
But until the offense is able to sustain drives and score points, the team has only one touchdown on the season and is last in FBS in scoring (3.0 ppg), the losses as well as the frustration will continue to mount for a program that not too long ago was playing in four straight bowl games from 2009-12.
It wont get any easier for the Mustangs next week as they travel to North Carolina to face a high powered East Carolina Pirates offense that has the No. 6 passing offense in the nation and scored 70 points on a UNC team that many hoped could be competitive in the ACC this season.