The SMU Mustangs triumphed over the Rice Owls in a compelling contest for the Mayor’s Cup. This marked their fifth consecutive win, further cementing their dominance in the American Athletic Conference (AAC). Quarterback Preston Stone spearheaded the Mustangs’ offense, maintaining the team’s perfect scoring streak when surpassing 30 points in a game. Stone, who ranks 10th in the NCAA for touchdown passes, continued his stellar season by connecting with wide receiver Roderick Daniels Jr. for a 34-yard touchdown and rushing for a 20-yard score himself.
Photo Cred: SI
Southern Methodist’s defense, ranking in the NCAA’s top 20, was relentless in the 36-31 win. Elijah Chatman and Elijah Roberts both sacked Rice’s JT Daniels, which decisively shifted the game’s momentum. The Owls struggled to harness their home-field advantage and failed to establish a rhythm, which mirrored their inconsistent season performance. Even with SMU incurring a personal foul that set them back 15 yards, Rice could not match the intensity and strategic play of the Mustangs on both sides of the ball.
Following their 69-10 victory over Tulsa, the Mustangs continued their impressive run in the AAC, having outscored their opponents 189-36 in the previous four conference games. SMU’s defense shut down Rice, reinforcing the team’s control and leaving little opportunity for the Owls to retaliate. This game marked the 91st meeting of a long-standing rivalry, with Southern Methodist now leading the series 49-41-1.
Photo Cred: ACC
Rice, coming off a close defeat to Tulane, couldn’t gain the momentum needed to improve their home record against the Mustangs. Southern Methodist’s offensive efficiency and defensive strength were on full display, aligning with their 6-0 record when scoring over 30 points this year. SMU will look to carry this formidable momentum forward as strong contenders in the AAC, ranking only one game behind Tulane.