MMQB: SMU finds 2nd half rhythm vs. WSU

September, 20, 2010
9/20/10
10:00
AM CT
DALLAS -- It was a 14-14 game at the half on Saturday at Gerald J. Ford Stadium, but the Mustangs got things done in the second half. Some general thoughts on the game:

* WR Aldrick Robinson had his biggest game of 2010 and maybe it's a sign of things to come. QB Kyle Padron found Robinson several times and the wideout had 3 TDs. Like any smart wide receiver, Robinson was quick to praise his quarterback, saying he got "perfect" throws.

"They have worked hard thoughtout the summer," coach June Jones said. "He had a couple of really nice corner routes. We missed one early in the game, he overthrew it, which I was surprised about. That happens sometimes. Al is a big play player. I’m glad to see him get a little success. He’s a good football player."

* Padron said the team made a concerted effort to work more in practice with him in the pocket. And he needed to trust his offensive line to hang in the pocket longer and try to make plays. That's what he did on Saturday.

* There was a controversial call on a muffed punt in the first half. Darius Johnson dropped it and Washington State got a touchdown out of it. It was close in terms of whether the Cougar player was blocked into Johnson or if he conviently stumbled into Johnson.

"I can’t comment on it," Jones said. "I have an interpretation, but I don’t want to say it because my pocketbook is not big enough for that."

* The Mustangs want Padron to protect himself as best he can. But he ran out of bounds instead of sliding during a critical early second-half drive and it helped SMU. Padron was hit late, getting 15 extra yards on the penalty.

"When you get a competitive kid like Kyle, that happens," Jones said. "I think he thought he'd get out of bounds before he got him. We haven’t protected him and some of those are his. Some of those he should have thrown the ball. I am concerned, to be quite honest."

* The SMU defense did a nice job of getting a pass rush going in the second half. That disrupted the Cougars' game plan and forced some bad or rushed throws. As we blogged on Saturday, Jones was quite complimentary of his defensive front.

* SMU and TCU have a shorter week to prepare with the game on Friday night in Dallas. We'll have much more on that game as the week progresses.

* If SMU plays the way they did in the second half on Saturday, they can hang in with TCU. You be sure that will be the focus this week.
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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