By: Nicholas Gilanfar
Headed into yet another early week game, the SMU Mustangs faced the Temple Owls at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as SMU looks to remain undefeated in conference play. The Mustangs were able to maintain the task at hand by getting the whopping 55-0 shutout against Temple to improve to 5-2 on the season with a 3-0 conference record. The SMU blowout marked the first shutout against a conference foe since 2012.
Temple ended up falling to a record of 2-6 as they lost five straights while all five games letting up 40 or more points. Temple was missing their starting QB EJ Warner from this game, so you were able to see a combo of Quarterbacks from Quincy Patterson and Forrest Brock who each traded half. Both quarterbacks showed their own, but the SMU defense was on their best and overwhelmed any positivity on the offensive end for the owls.
The SMU offense was able to log a total of 563 yards with 205 being on the ground and 358 through the air propelled by yet another stellar game from QB Preston Stone as he threw 23/36 300 yards and two touchdowns. As it has been all season, Stone has enjoyed spreading the wealth between the receivers as it seems like SMU has close to five WR1 as there were ten different players that tallied a reception for the Mustangs.
SMU starts the game with the ball as they immediately turn to RB Jaylan Knighton to get the run game going until they find themselves at 3rd and 4. The mustangs have been efficient at turning third down conversions as they were able to do the same in this instance as Stone was able to find Jordan Hudson for a gain of 20 yards. They then decide to turn to Knighton again as they approach 3rd down again, Knighton fumbles the football and turns it over to Temple.
The opening two drives for Temple were also lackluster compared to SMU as they were forced to punt after two three and outs. That was the trend for most of the game as the Temple offense was startled by the explosiveness of the Mustang defense. SMU also had a punt of their own in this sequence as the game went three straight drives with two punts for Temple and one for SMU as both teams were starting slow out the gate.
For the next two drives SMU starts to wake up as they were able to end the quarter forcing two touchdowns in back-to-back drives. The first TD featured in a bail out by a pass interference which led SMU to the endzone forcing a three-yard touchdown rush by Jaylan Knighton as the SMU lead rose to 7-0. The next Temple possession with no surprise would result in a punt. Then to close out the quarter SMU starts to target passes on Temple CB Jalen McMurray as he forced yet another pass interference resulting in another SMU redzone stint. Stone eventually finds Jordan Hudson on the fade for yet another touchdown as the lead grew 14-0 to end the first quarter.
After yet another punt from Temple, which was their fourth of the game, SMU did not stop the momentum as they were able to force another scoring drive which consisted of eight plays. In this drive Stone was able to find three different receivers in Roderick Daniels jr., Jake Bailey and RJ Maryland. Maryland ended up logging the touchdown for a two-yard reception on 2ndand goal to give the Mustangs a 21-0 lead.
After the SMU Touchdown Temple was able to build positive momentum in a 13-play drive. Temple battled through adversity getting to the red zone as it was a grind all for the Temple offense to get stumped on the one-yard line. Being down 21-0 Temple needed some points, so they go for it on fourth down as they try to run a QB sneak resulting in Patterson being sacked for the runover on downs.
The Half then ends with a punt from each team and a 25-yard field goal for SMU kicker Collin Rogers. SMU rallied to give themselves a 24-0 lead as they did not miss a beat for the entirety of the first half.
The Third quarter kicks off with yet another temple punt, but when Temple punts its Roderick Daniels jr. Is on the return and takes it to the house for a 67-yard punt return touchdown to extend the lead 38-0. As Temple squanders another drive by a punt SMU keeps the hot hand going on the next offensive possession stacking another touchdown on the board with a Preston Stone rushing touchdown for 21 yards putting a 38-0 SMU lead early in the third quarter.
Temple then starts to roll on the offensive end with a ten-play drive being able to march down the field. They do as much as they can as they ultimately have to settle for a 37-yard field goal attempt which was shanked to the right as things were getting unbearable for the Temple Owls on all facets of the game.
For the next possession SMU will keep the ball rolling as they were able to extend their lead 41-0 with a 47-year FG from SMU kicker Collin Rogers which is the longest of his career. Temple goes back on offense with a new quarterback resulting in a three and out which made them 0/10 on 3rd down conversions for the game.
To open up the fourth quarter, Kevin Jennings enters the game as he rallies the SMU offense to yet another scoring drive by hitting a pop pass to Jordan Hudson for a seven-yard touchdown with the lead now standing at 48-0.
After Kevin Jennings came in with the touchdown SMU elected to put in Alex Padilla for one drive as the SMU Mustangs puts a bow on the game getting more points on the board with another touchdown as the final score was 55-0 in favor of the SMU Mustangs.
Photo Via Gregory Fisher/ USA TODAY Sports