SMU held a predominantly running team to just 69 yards. That is solid. If there was a concern, it is that SMU gave up 193 yards, which is more than double Arkansas State’s previous passing high for the season. Of course, a third of that came on one play in the first quarter. As for scoring, SMU beat Arkansas State worse than Oklahoma State did.
Again, Arkansas State is not very good. Like I mentioned, they would have lost that Army game if Army had its whole team. Army turned around and beat Baylor after barely losing to A&M. You can tell Arkansas State didn’t have a clue on defense.
The story, like last week, is the offense. It is the second week in a row where Rusty Burns and Phil Bennett decided to look beyond the first five pages of the playbook. This led to the weirdest stat of the night: Zack Sledge’s season pass efficiency rating is 1,060; going 1-1 for 75 yards and a touchdown will do that. I honestly didn’t think it went over 1,000.
Dorsey had 80 yards on 10 carries; Mapps had 132 yards on 14 carries. All and all, 226 rushing yards isn’t bad for a team starting its third tailback in four games.
There was some concern in the first quarter. SMU scored in the first 90 seconds, then SMU and Arkansas State trade punts, then SMU, err- Devin Lowery, gives up a touchdown, but blocked the extra point. As an aside, I am one of those that believes the missed or block extra point usually ends up being a factor at the end of the game. Then, SMU commits five penalties in the first quarter. Then the Sledge pass to Chase and SMU took off. SMU straightened out the penalties, committing only three more in the last three quarters.
But, hey, it is hard to complain when the offense scored 40+ in back to back weeks for the first time since 1982. We were debating this in the stands; I thought they might have done this under Cavan in 1997, or possibly Rossley in 1992 or 1996. BrianTinBigD guessed it was while Meyer was coach, and I was sure at least Collins had pulled it off. Then there was the combined 100 points in two games; you have to go to the combined drubbings of Rice in Trinity in 1928 for that. It was the first time SMU scored 50 since beating Northridge State in the last game in the Cotton Bowl.
Now, it is on to New Orleans to face Tulane. This game is giant question mark. Tulane got drilled by Houston and LSU; the Houston loss may not be something to be embarrassed about as Houston is 4-0 after beating Okie State. Tulane beat Mississippi State, an SEC team, which barely beat UAB in overtime. Of course, all games were on the road, so you can look at the schedule and say that Tulane is pretty good, much better than their 1-2 record reflects.
The story, of course, is that Tulane is returning to the Superdome. I have absolutely no idea what to expect from the Tulane crowd and I don’t think anybody else does either. There is a note in the paper that suggests 50,000 people could be there. Comments on the Tulane message board suggest there might be 20,000. I guess I have a hard time believing Tulane is going to sell 50,000 tickets at $32 a pop. Regardless of the size of the crowd, it will be an emotional night. We can chalk this up to one other incredibly stupid scheduling decisions that allow Jim Copeland to haunt this school from Virginia. Seriously, was he an active participant in scheduling or did he just respond to every question with a shrug of the shoulders?