Catch 17- Episode 7

October 30, 2009 by · Comments Off 

“Catch 17? is a weekly radio program hosted by Alan Rose featuring SMU Wide Receiver Emmanuel Sanders as he chronicles life throughout this year’s football season.

Sanders is in his senior year and final football season. He leads the team in receiving yards and touchdowns caught. Sanders is expected by many college football analysts to be drafted in the spring’s NFL Draft.

In this episode, Emmanuel talks with Alan about how the team is preparing to face Tulsa, especially with Bo Levi Mitchell sidelined for the game.

Mustangs Lose to Houston, Drop C-USA Lead

October 25, 2009 by · Comments Off 

By Robby Gillespie
rgillespie@smu.edu

SMU held the nation’s most productive offense to 394 total yards Saturday, but turned the ball over three times to lose to No. 17 Houston, 38-15.

The Mustangs (3-4, 2-1 C-USA) fumbled on two of their first four drives, leading to two Houston touchdowns and an early 14-0 Cougar lead.

SMU sophomore quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell left the game near the end of the first quarter after dislocating his shoulder while fumbling the ball on the SMU 1 yard line.

The Mustangs alternated between freshmen quarterbacks Kyle Padron and Braden Smith following Mitchell’s injury. Padron was 11 for 16 passing, 141 yards, and one touchdown.

The SMU defense held the NCAA’s best offense to 394 yards, by far their lowest total this season. No. 17 Houston (6-1, 2-1) came in averaging over 570 yards of offense per game. The nation’s highest rated quarterback, Case Keenum, threw for 233 yards and one touchdown. For the first time this season, the Cougars were led by their defense and running game.

SMU went 0-10 on third downs and 0-2 on fourth downs, as they found themselves facing many third and longs.

Running back Shawnbrey McNeal ran for 95 yards, his third highest of the year. Senior wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders caught six passes for 47 yards and now how 628 receiving yards this season, making him the first SMU player to catch over 600 yards in four consecutive seasons.

The Mustangs hit the road again next Saturday to take on Tulsa.

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Mustangs Lose Big to TCU

October 3, 2009 by · 2 Comments 

By Robby Gillespie
rgillespie@smu.edu

A second half scoring surge from the TCU offense helped the Horned Frogs defeat archrival SMU 39-14 Saturday at Amon G. Carter Stadium to maintain possession of the Iron Skillet.

After going into halftime up 12-7, No. 10 TCU (4-0) racked up 256 offensive yards and four more touchdowns in the second half to start the season 4-0.

“The first half, I was happy how we played,” said senior captain Chase Kennemer. “The second half, I feel like we should have made more plays than we did.”

SMU (2-2, 1-0 C-USA) struck first in the game with a 24-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell to Shawnbrey McNeal. The Mustangs never led again.

TCU responded with 25 unanswered points that came from a punt returned for a touchdown and three rushing scores. The 71 yard punt return came from Jeremy Kerley who broke TCU’s seven year streak without a punt returned for a touchdown.

The Horned Frogs finished the game with 229 rushing yards with three different backs earning more than 50 yards each.

The Mustangs scored one second half touchdown and had difficulty producing points facing a tough TCU defense. TCU quarterback Andy Dalton threw for 189 yards and two touchdowns, but the Horned Frog running game led the team to victory.

Senior tailback Joseph Turner led TCU with 81 rushing yards and one touchdown. The Horned Frogs are 13-0 when he runs for more than 56 yards.

The SMU defense forced one interception to total 12 for the season and leads the country in that category. Both teams turned the ball over three times as the on and off rain showers kept the field and ball wet.

“It should have been a tight ball game,” Kennemer said. “I felt like we were ready for it, they just made more plays than we did.”

Kennemer earned his first career fumble recovery and a career high 18 tackles Saturday.

SMU quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell threw for 240 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions. He completed only 45 percent of his passes. Mitchell now has the sixth most touchdown passes in SMU history with 32.

His second touchdown pass came with 2:26 left in the third quarter when he connected with senior Emmanuel Sanders on a 4 yard slant.

TCU is the highest ranked team the Mustangs will face all season and many football analysts are talking BCS possibilities for the Horned Frogs.

SMU returns home next Saturday to take on C-USA opponent East Carolina.

Mustangs Lose in Overtime

September 21, 2009 by · Comments Off 

After turning the ball over five times Saturday, the SMU football team lost in overtime 30-27 to Washington State and failed to start the season 3-0 for the first time in 25 years.

The Mustangs (2-1, 1-0 C-USA) led 27-13 with ten minutes left in the game before SMU quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell threw an interception returned for a touchdown. The Cougars (1-2) scored again to tie the game with 32 seconds left on a 7 yard touchdown pass from QB Marshall Lobbestael.

In overtime, Mitchell’s first pass was intercepted by WSU’s James Montgomery. The Cougars proceeded to make a 39 yard field goal to win the game.

Mitchell threw for 424 yards, which puts him third on the list for most passing yards in a game from an SMU quarterback. He also threw two touchdowns and four interceptions.

The SMU defense, which leads the country in interceptions, forced two Saturday.

Transfer running back Shawnbrey McNeal ran for 83 yards on 22 carries.

Mustangs Start Season 2-0

September 12, 2009 by · Comments Off 

Sophomore Quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell threw for three touchdowns as he led the Mustangs to a 35-33 victory over UAB Saturday in Birmingham, Ala. Mitchell also threw for 353 yards and two interceptions.

The Mustangs sealed the victory when UAB’s quarterback Joe Webb was stopped short on a two-point conversion attempt with 13 seconds left.

SMU is 2-0 for the first time since 1996 and snapped a 17-game Conference USA losing streak.

The SMU defense forced five turnovers, including an interception by safety Rock Dennis. Dennis won the C-USA defensive player of the week award last week.

Transfer running back Shawnbrey McNeal rushed for 67 yards on 21 carries and one touchdown.

Senior wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders had nine catches for 148 yards and one touchdown.

SMU to Open Season With Sold Out Crowd

September 4, 2009 by · Comments Off 

By Robby Gillespie
rgillespie@smu.edu

With only one year left at SMU, wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders has spent the off season making sure it will be a year he won’t regret.

As a leader in statistics and stature, Sanders has shown he wants to forget about last year’s 1-11 season. He stepped up his work out regimen this summer by adding Saturday practices with the receiver’s coach.

“He has worked as hard as anybody this summer,” said SMU head coach June Jones, who enters his second year with the program. “He’s in the weight room all the time.”

Sanders caught 67 passes for 958 yards last season. He says his goal is 1000 yards this season, a statistic he has never attained in his career and something NFL scouts say they take notice of.

“I just want to leave here with a bowl game and 1000 yards,” Sanders said. “I think we can win more than six games.”

To reach that goal, Sanders will have to grow more comfortable with sophomore quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell who started every game last season as a freshmen. Mitchell finished 2008 with 2865 passing yards and 24 touchdowns, but also threw 23 interceptions, the most in Division I.

“I think he’s there now, he knows the system better,” Sanders said. “He’s ready, he’s comfortable. It’s going to be a whole other QB behind center.”

Many times before and after practice, Sanders and Mitchell are found tossing the football with each other. Sanders tells Mitchell to treat games just like practice.

“We can only go as far as he takes us,” Sanders said.

Mitchell, who has looked noticeably sharper in practice to his teammates and coaches, has stepped up his workouts as well.

“Bo doesn’t even look the same,” Jones said. “Our whole team just looks bigger. From January until now, this is a different group of kids.”

Coach Jones, who coached at Hawaii before coming to SMU before the 2008 season, has tried to set a new a bar of achievement for his players.

“This season or next, we are going to a bowl game,” Jones said.

To be eligible for a bowl game, the Mustangs must win six games, something they’ve done once in the last ten years.

SMU’s road to a bowl game begins Saturday Sept. 5 against Stephen F. Austin at Ford Stadium. The game has been sold out, after the athletic department teamed up with Dallas business leaders to achieve “Sellout 2009,” an initiative aimed to produce the biggest crowd in Ford Stadium history. The project is expected to beat the previous attendance record of 34,689.

“There’s a lot of hype,” Sanders said. “ Running out of that tunnel, I’m going to be so pumped. When you have the crowd behind you there’s no better feeling.”

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