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Thursday, September 23, 2021

Commentary

History: A look at last season’s SMU match


Sophomore defensive end Eric Eiland takes a peek at those chasing him as he returns a fumble 62 yards to the SMU 1-yard line. | Caitlin Hilton

Houston vs SMU at Reliant Stadium in 2013. | Caitlin Hilton/The Cougar

 

The Houston Cougars (4-0) look to ride the momentum from their 38-24 win over the Tulsa Golden Hurricane back into TDECU stadium against the Southern Methodist University Mustangs. UH has not lost to SMU since 2012 and they hope to continue this dominance. If junior quarterback Greg Ward Jr. and senior running back Kenneth Farrow can have a similar game as they did last year against the Mustangs, the Cougars should go 5-0 for the first time since 2013 (8-5).

UH routed SMU last year 35-9 due to a strong running offensive attack and big defensive stops on defense.

The Cougars started fast and never came off the throttle. They scored on their first offensive play from scrimmage with a 38 yard touchdown run by Greg Ward Jr. The defense forced SMU to punt on five consecutive possessions.

In the second quarter, SMU scored on a safety as well as a 67 yard touchdown pass from quarterback Matt Davis to Jeremiah Gaines. It was SMU’s only reception over 10 yards.

The Cougar’s offense exploded in the third quarter as they rushed for three touchdowns on three consecutive possessions. Two of the three were for over ten yards, both by Farrow. Ward then scored on a four yard rushing touchdown.

Ward scored again on a five yard run in the fourth quarter.

Ward passed for 144 yards as he spread the ball around to a few different receivers and completed over 60 percent of his passes (17-28-1). He was just as effective on the ground as he rushed for 93 yards and scored three touchdowns.

Farrow finished the game with 110 yards and two touchdowns, giving him his fifth 100-yard rushing game of the season.

The Cougars’ defense forced nine punts and a fumble as they held the Mustangs to just nine points. SMU quarterback Matt Davis passed for 145 yards and a touchdown and also ran for 70 yards. The Mustangs’ running backs would only gain 13 yards.

The Cougars hope to create a similar result tonight. No SMU running back has ran for over 100 yards all season, yet Matt Davis has ran for over 100 yards twice. If the Cougars want to win, they will have to stop the run and force the Mustangs to try to beat them in the air.

Receiver Courtland Sutton is the only SMU receiver to go over 100 yards this season. He gained 115 yards against TCU and 137 yards against James Madison. Look for the Cougar secondary to try to force Davis to throw to other receivers.

UH will try to force more turnovers than last year’s game where they only forced one fumble. Davis has only thrown two interceptions this season, but the Cougars have four interceptions in four games. The defense plans to be an x-factor once again on Thursday night.

Fans should look forward to this game as it again will showcase two fast-paced offenses on the same field.

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