SMU's 21-18 victory against Tulsa Saturday night wouldn't earn any style points in any ranking system, but right now the Mustangs are just concerned with wins.
Maybe at some point in the future SMU football will be ranked and making sure they beat teams like they are supposed to, and maybe even by more, but the 2010 team just wants to win, and they are doing a good job of that so far.
The Mustangs (4-2) have started the season 3-0 in conference play for the first time since 1986.
After giving up a touchdown on Tulsa’s first drive of the game the Mustangs scored 21 unanswered points to take a 21-7 lead with 11:53 left in the third. SMU quarterback Kyle Padron connected with three different receivers for the three touchdowns.
Padron hit Darius Johnson for a 22-yard score, Cole Beasley for a 32-yard score, and Bradley Haynes for a 14-yard touchdown. Padron would finish the game with 381 yards, it was his fourth 300-plus yard passing game of his career and second game this season.
Padron’s three touchdown passes give him a total of 16 for the season to go along with 1,564 passing yards and a 58 percent completion rate.
If Padron continues on his average of 260.6 passing yards a game he will set a new single-season passing record for SMU. The record is currently held by Chuck Hixson who threw for 3,103 yards in 1968 and along with Mike Ford, with 3,007 yards in 1978, are the only two SMU quarterbacks to throw for 3,000 yards in a season.
Padron’s four career 300-yard passing games ties him for fourth in SMU history, Hixson holds that record as well with eight.
After the third touchdown, the Mustangs’ offense struggled to put drives together. Tulsa however had a drive for a field goal, a field goal blocked and a touchdown with a two-point conversion that brought the Golden Hurricane to within three points with less than seven minutes left in the game.
Then SMU put together their most important drive of the game. They didn’t score, but the Mustangs drained 6:45 off the clock running 12 plays for 49 yards. SMU picked up four first downs, converted on two third downs, and ran the last play of the game on the other.
It will not go down as one of the prettiest wins of the season, but the Mustangs did what they had to in order to get the win. They blocked two field goals and even though the offense wasn’t brilliant in the second half, they held the ball long enough to run out the clock.
The blocked field goal in the first half was Margus Hunt’s sixth career block, the attempt in the fourth quarter was blocked by Kevin Grenier and the Mustangs have five blocks this season.
While it didn’t always convert points, the offense was moving against the Golden Hurricane defense. SMU had season highs in first downs by pass with 17, passing yards with 381, total yards with 487, pass completions and attempts going 27 for 40. It was the defense who stepped up for the Mustangs.
Tulsa came into the game with the eighth ranked offense in the country averaging over 500 yards a game. The SMU defense held them to just 364 yards and half their season average of points. Pete Fleps led the team with eight tackles, Ja’Gared Davis had SMU’s only sack.
The Mustangs will complete their non-conference schedule next week as they travel to Annapolis to face Navy (3-2).
The Midshipman are coming off a 28-27 win at Wake Forest this weekend. The series between SMU and Navy is tied at seven, but Navy has won the last three games played in 2002, 2008 and last season’s 38-35 overtime game.