MMQB: SMU shows fight against Tech

September, 7, 2010
9/07/10
8:07
AM CT
A day or two after each game this season, we'll bring you some general random thoughts. Here are some about SMU following Texas Tech's 35-27 victory over the Mustangs:

* Don't underestimate the importance of SMU's comeback and the fact that it showed a lot of fight. That's the kind of thing that June Jones can build on as the season progresses. Few folks gave SMU a chance to be in the game late in the fourth quarter on the road in Tommy Tuberville's opener as Texas Tech coach. But the team was there at the end, trying to see if they couldn't force overtime.

* It appears Kyle Padron will be OK (he landed on his ribs and wrist) for this week's game with UAB. But he was roughed up a bit in Lubbock. It was clearly not the sophomore's best game. He had three interceptions and appeared rushed at times. He also looked frustrated with himself. But it's the first game of the year and he has plenty of time to get things figured out. I was reminded by several SMU coaches a few weeks ago that Padron, while showing great promise in 2009, is still just a true sophomore. He's going to make more mistakes before he learns the entire system and how to thrive in it. He's a smart kid and he'll bounce back.

* How about that catch by sophomore Darius Johnson? He turned back, reached out with one hand and snagged Padron's pass on a big drive late in the game. The catch made ESPN SportsCenter's top plays of the week (No. 4, in fact). Johnson could develop into an important weapon for Padron and this offense.

* RB Zach Line isn't fancy, but he goes hard into the line and keeps his legs churning. That's the type of possession back you want.

* I don't care that the wind was with kicker Matt Szymanski on that 61-yard field goal. That's still a lot of pressure on the road and to make that kick was something special. You could see the boost of energy it gave the team, too. It's always big for a team to have a reliable kicker. Szymanski will end up having a chance to win some games late for this team in 2010.

* That was a good overall defensive effort from the Mustangs. Once Texas Tech got the big lead, things could have turned. But they kept fighting and got better. That's very encouraging.

* I know Tommy Tuberville said he would gamble some, but going for it on fourth down like that from your own 34-yard line up 15 points made no sense. SMU took advantage and seized the momentum. For a coach stressing defense, it was an odd decision.
Richard Durrett joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He writes about colleges, the Dallas Stars and the Texas Rangers. Richard spent nine years at The Dallas Morning News covering the Rangers, Stars, colleges, motorsports and high schools.

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