The Southern Methodist Mustangs (SMU) delivered a commanding performance against the North Texas Mean Green (UNT), securing a 45-21 victory at Gerald J. Ford Stadium on Thursday. SMU’s offense and tenacious defense were pivotal in clinching their eighth win of the season, improving to an 8-2 record. The Mustangs set the tone early, with quarterback Preston Stone connecting with Moochie Dixon for an 8-yard touchdown. This initiated a series of scoring drives that kept North Texas on the defensive throughout the game.
Photo Cred: ACC
Stone completed 11 of 20 passes for 234 yards, throwing two touchdowns. His targets, Moochie Dixon and RJ Maryland, each contributed a touchdown reception. This highlights the team’s aerial strength. Southern Methodist’s ground game was equally as impressive, with the team accumulating a season-high 318 rushing yards. Jaylan Knighton and LJ Johnson led the charge, each surpassing the 100-yard mark. Knighton dazzled with a 20-yard touchdown run, while Johnson’s consistent drives culminated in a 3-yard score, contributing to the team’s four rushing touchdowns.
Defensively, SMU was unrelenting. They held UNT to a mere 4-for-14 on third down conversions, continuing their trend of defensive dominance. The Mustangs’ defense also recorded four sacks and two crucial takeaways, including an interception by Jahari Rogers and a fumble recovery by JaQwondis Burns. They further stifled North Texas’ offensive ambitions. The Mean Green’s effort was led by Chandler Rogers, who passed for two touchdowns. One of them was a 19-yard connection to Trey Cleveland, while the other was a late 29-yard score to Blair Conwright. However, these efforts were overshadowed by Southern Methodist’s overwhelming control of the game.
Photo Cred: Fox 4
The Mustangs led 14-7 at the end of the first quarter and continued to build their lead, showcasing their ability to score on the ground and through the air. Their performance reflected a well-rounded and disciplined team capable of executing their game plan effectively. SMU’s next challenge will be against Memphis on November 18, where they will look to extend their winning streak and solidify their position in the American Athletic Conference.
Meanwhile, the Mean Green’s loss pushes them to a 3-7 record, with improvement needed in both offensive and defensive strategies. With this victory, Southern Methodist not only cements its status as a formidable force in the AAC but also demonstrates the depth and versatility of its squad. They are ready to take on upcoming challenges in the ACC the following season. SMU is ready for the Power 5!