SMU beats TCU for first time since 2005

SMU beats TCU for first time since 2005

The Mustangs upset the 20th-ranked Horned Frogs 40-33 in overtime. J.J. McDermott had his best performance of the year, completing 23 of 45 passes for 349 yards and four touchdowns. Darius and Jeremy Johnson (no relation) came up huge for the offense and the defense made the play of the game, stopping TCU quarterback Casey Pachall on fourth down in overtime to secure the win.

Five Quick Hits from Saturday's game:

1. SMU beat No. 20 TCU for the first time since 2005. It's also the first time SMU has beat a ranked team since '05 (TCU was No. 22 that year and SMU beat them 21-10).

This is undoubtedly the biggest win in the June Jones era.

"This game for SMU is probably the equivalent to the Hawaii Bowl win," Jones said (the Mustangs beat Nevada 45-10 for first bowl victory since Death Penalty in 2009).

"I told them that when we lost to A&M, we wanted to get to TCU 3-1 and if we beat them, we'd get ranked. We'll see if that happens. I think we beat them and so we ought to take their position now."

2. All college football rivalries should pan out like this year's Battle for the Iron Skillet. Tied at 33 at the end of regulation, SMU and TCU headed into overtime. SMU quarterback J.J. McDermott found Jeremy Johnson for a 19-yard game-winning touchdown pass.

TCU had a chance to tie the game again, but SMU's defense stopped them on fourth down.

When the whistle blew, Mustangs fans rushed the field and chants of, "SMU! SMU! SMU!" rang throughout Amon G. Carter Stadium.

"I had a feeling we were gonna win today," Johnson said.

The players walked to the visitor locker room through a tunnel of fans that were cheering, jumping, hugging and patting them all on the back.

Then when the Mustangs were awarded the Iron Skillet in the locker room, more chaos ensued. Chris Banjo, a senior who said he couldn't graduate without beating TCU, took the frying pan trophy and ran outside to the fans. The scene was crazy.

"I'm just really excited for the kids," Jones said. "Seniors in particular. They battled through so many things. I'm really happy to see this."

3. With starting slot receiver Cole Beasley out for this game, there were question marks surrounding SMU's offense and who would step up. Well, Darius and Jeremy Johnson (no relation) combined for 221 yards and three touchdowns.

"Ain't nobody who can stop the Johnson boys," Jeremy proclaimed in the post-game.

Darius had 12 receptions for 152 yards and two touchdowns, including the first score of the game where he connected with McDermott for 13 yards on a third-and-long.

"That guy is really a weapon," McDermott said. "Any time he's one-on-one, you gotta look his way because he'll win most of them."

Said Jones of Darius: "He'll be playing on Sundays someday. He's a big-time player. He makes plays every game. I just think he's a good kid and it's fun to see him excel."

Jeremy, replaced Beasley in the slot, caught the game-winning touchdown pass in his first collegiate start.

"I didn't know what to do when I caught the ball," Jeremy said. "When I scored, I was like, ‘Thank God I caught the ball.' I'm just so happy right now, I don't know what to say."

Jeremy said that he was a little jittery to get his first start, but Beasley eased his nerves.

"He kept me right the whole game," Jeremy said. "He told me to be calm and catch the ball. He just kept me going, coaching me the whole way.

"When I scored [in overtime] he was crying. I think he was more excited than I was."

4. SMU was ahead the entire game, but it's in TCU's nature to play the role of the comeback kid this season. The Frogs were down after the first quarter in their last two games before playing SMU and came back to win those games.

They made a similar surge Saturday, scoring three touchdowns and a field goal in the fourth quarter to force overtime. But even when the game was close, Jones stuck to his gameplan. There were times when it seemed he should have let Zach Line run the ball for time management purposes, but he opted for the passing game and called for McDermott to throw the long ball in an attempt to make big plays.

"When you do what we do, you better throw it. That's what got us here," Jones said of his Run-and-Shoot gameplan. "If you ever want to be a great team, you have to execute and throw the ball deep and make great plays."

In overtime, Jones pulled Line, something he hardly ever does. But he called for McDermott to hit Jeremy Johnson on a post corner route they'd been practicing all week.

"We hadn't run that play all game," Jones said. "I knew they'd be in the defense they'd be in, but I was surprised they didn't blitz us. Jeremy Johnson made the perfect route and J.J. stood in the pocket and threw a strike."

5. Jones said he told his players after the loss at Texas A&M in Week 1 that they needed to get to the TCU game with a 3-1 record.

"I said if we beat them, we get ranked," Jones said. "We'll see if that happens. I think we beat them and we ought to take their position now."

Now SMU heads into a perfectly-timed bye week. They have a ton of banged up players that will be able to rest and nurse their injuries so they'll be healthy for a tough stretch that starts with reigning C-USA champion UCF at home in two weeks.

After that, the Mustangs have back-to-back conference road games against Southern Miss and Tulsa.

Bonus Point:

-A major turning point in the game was when Zach Line forced TCU defensive back Greg McCoy to fumble the opening kickoff return of the second half. Chris Parks recovered the ball in the end zone and the Mustangs took a 24-10 lead.

"That was a huge moment," Jones said. "[Special Team coordinator Frank] Gansz [Jr.] had been talking all week that this guy gives it up and that we could make a big play on a kickoff return even though he's scary when he runs it back. But we did it. We flew down there, made the hit, picked it up and that was huge."

The crowd went numb. Fans started to file out and empty seats littered the stadium.


For more SMU coverage, follow Laken Litman on Twitter!

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