PHOTO SLIDESHOW: Army Beats SMU in the Armed Forces Bowl

December 31, 2010 by · Comments Off 

Photos By Julius Pickenpack
julius.pickenpack@gmail.com

Turnovers Cost SMU Armed Forces Bowl

December 30, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Ali Williams
ajwilliams@smu.edu

SMU’s Pony Express did not come out of the last game of the year with an excess of points as they suffered a 16-14 loss to Army in the 2010 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl at Ford Stadium.

Turnovers in the first half proved key to the ultimate demise of the Mustangs as the completion of two quarters left them down by 16 and without any points of their own. Two of the turnovers were interceptions planted by SMU quarterback Kyle Padron.

SMU quarterback Kyle Padron threw for 302 yards in Thursday's bowl game against Army. (PHOTO BY JULIUS PICKENPACK / SMU DAILY MUSTANG)

“He didn’t go through his progressions in the first half quite like he should have,” said SMU Head Coach June Jones. “He did a lot of good things in there today, but you just can’t turn the ball over.”

SMU gained momentum in the second half to score two touchdowns, but their rallying efforts were too late and their mistakes were too many.

“It was a well-fought game. The turnovers obviously were the difference,” Jones said. “We had three and one for seven points, and they had none.”

Nearly a minute and a half into the game, Army’s Josh McNary picked up a fumbled ball from a sacked Padron for a bowl record 55-yard run to the end zone.

“We needed that fast start,” said Army Head Coach Rich Ellerson. “We needed to take advantage of that moment in the game where we have a little bit of an advantage because of our uniqueness, and we did that.”

Not only did the Mustangs give the ball up, but two missed field goals by senior kicker Matt Szymanski also caused SMU to miss out on crucial points. Coach Jones spoke with Szymanski before he took the pivotal fourth quarter kick for the Mustangs, who were behind by two points.

“I took the timeout just to tell him to hit the ball, relax, don’t rush it,” said Jones. “It looked like he rushed it, which is easy to do when you’re a young kid, a lot on the line. But he had enough leg. Just unfortunate it didn’t go in.”

Strong wind and a hasty strike by the kicker sealed SMU’s fate with only four minutes left to go and an inevitable Army possession until the final blow of the whistle.

SMU wide receiver Aldrick Robinson attempts to run the ball in the Armed Forces Bowl. (PHOTO BY JULIUS PICKENPACK / SMU DAILY MUSTANG)

SMU’s performance included noteworthy moments that helped them in their close combat with Army.

Margus Hunt blocked Army’s extra point after their second touchdown score in the first quarter. A six minute, 92-yard drive by SMU in the third quarter for their first touchdown of the game set a bowl record.

Wide receiver Darius Johnson, the player with the most receiving yardage, was SMU’s bowl game MVP. He also made a leaping catch to score a second and final touchdown for his team.

“Throughout the season, we persevered. We took some losses early in the season,” Johnson said. “To get to this point has really been a blessing for me, and I know [it] has for my teammates.”

Although the Mustangs lost, they fought back in the second half to make it a close game until the end. Jones said that he is proud of how hard his athletes played and battled back in the second half.

“I think we’re learning how to compete together, play together, all those things that you do, good football teams do,” Jones said. “Now we’ve got to put them together and just keep winning.”

The win for West Point gives them their first winning season since 1996 and their first bowl win in 25 years.

VIDEO: Post Game Interview With MVP Darius Johnson

December 30, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Daily Mustang Staff
mustangeditors@smu.edu

The SMU Daily Mustang’s Ali Williams talked to SMU wide receiver Darius Johnson, the SMU MVP of the game, after the Mustang’s loss against the Army 14-16. Hear what he had to say about his performance, the team momentum and the team’s relationship with June Jones after his controversial interview for a positon at Maryland.

VIDEO: Post Game Interview with Darius Johnson from SMUDailyMustang.com on Vimeo.

SMU Mustangs Beat UAB in Unexpected Style 28-7

September 12, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Chris Sacks
csacks@smu.edu

Posted by Kimmy Ryan

Zack Line runs in a winning touchdown into the inzone, SMU 28 UAB 7. (PHOTO BY STUART PALLEY / SMU DAILY MUSTANG)

The SMU Mustangs improved to a 1-1 season after winning in unexpected style 28-7 against UAB last night. Freshmen running back Daryll Fields started the game, but senior SMU running back Zach Line stole the show with 122 rushing yards and 25 receiving yards.

“I could tell after Zach’s first carry he had gained some confidence from last week,” Coach June Jones said in a post-game interview.

Jones was very excited about winning in such an unexpected style. This is the first time SMU has had more rushing yards than passing yards under Jones in the “run and shoot’ offense.

Kyle Padron played with more confidence than he did against Texas Tech. He completed 18 of 33 passes for 145 yards. He had nine rushes for 66 yards. And, with four touchdowns and a passer rating of 111.45, Padron had a successful night.

“Kyle was still a little bit unsettled, but he did what he had to do to win the game and made plays when he had to,” Jones said.

Padron was quick to scramble yesterday after seeing UAB’s downfield coverage. Scrambling was better than panicking and forcing passes, which resulted in interceptions in the Texas Tech game.

“Instead of panicking and just throwing it, Kyle ran the ball,” Jones said.

Padron spread the ball out and got many receivers involved in the game. Padron continues to mature as a quarterback.

SMU wide receivers Cole Beasley and Aldrick Robinson had 51 yards each, but Darius Johnson was the star wide receiver of the game, catching two touchdowns.

The SMU front seven continue to be the strength of the SMU defense, especially the “speed at linebacker,” according to Coach Jones. Linebacker Pete Fleps led the team with 13 tackles in the game and one tackle for loss.

The front three put a lot of pressure on UAB. The linebackers were able to contain UAB rushing-quarterback David Isabelle to just 34 rushing yards.

Turnovers, which plagued the Mustangs against Texas Tech, were not as big of a problem against UAB. The Mustangs did fumble early in the first quarter, which led to a UAB passing touchdown from David Isabelle to wide receiver Mike Jones.

“As long as we don’t turn the ball over, we will be competitive in every game,” Jones said.

The Mustangs host Washington State next week on Saturday with a 2:30 p.m. kickoff.

Kimmy Ryan and Chris Sacks breakdown the highlights of Saturday’s home game against UAB.

SMU vs. UAB: Post Game Recap from SMUDailyMustang.com on Vimeo.

Spring Football: WR Sanders Leaves Big Shoes To Fill For Mustangs

April 11, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Robby Gillespie
rgillespie@smu.edu

Read more

Two Mustangs Earn C-USA First Team Honors

December 8, 2009 by · Comments Off 

By Robby Gillespie
rgillespie@smu.edu

SMU seniors Emmanuel Sanders and Chase Kennemer were named to the First Team All-Conference USA for the 2009 season. Sanders also earned the honor as a punt returner.

Sanders caught 91 passes for 1,215 yards, a single season SMU record. As a punt returner, he led the C-USA with a 15.4 yards per return average. Kennemer earned 126 tackles to lead the Mustangs and place himself second in the conference and 13th nationally.

Ten Mustangs earned C-USA honorable mentions.

SMU’s starting quarterback, Kyle Padron, who took over when Bo Levi Mitchell went down with an injury at Houston, was named to the C-USA All-Freshmen Team. Padron led the Mustangs to a 4-1 record as a starter and their first bowl appearance in 25 years.

Wide receiver Darius Johnson and defensive back Taylor Reed also were named to the All-Freshmen team. Johnson played in four games catching ten passes 107 yards and a touchdown. Reed was fifth on the team with 56 tackles and pulled down an interception to seal a victory at UAB early in the season.

SMU was second only to Houston and Tulsa, who had four players on the C-USA All-Freshmen list.

The Mustangs began practicing Monday for their Dec. 24 match up against Nevada in Honolulu for the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl, which will be televised on ESPN.