1. First thing’s first, this was a must-win games for both teams, as Tulsa and SMU are ranked second and third respectively behind Houston in the West Division of C-USA.
After making it to the conference championship last year and losing, SMU made this season’s No. 1 goal to get back to that game and win it. With today’s loss, there’s a slim chance of that happening.
The Mustangs went into this two-game road stretch with a ton of momentum from emotional back-to-back wins over TCU and UCF, but they came out with two losses.
2. The main reason SMU lost Saturday was its own miscues, which started right after the first whistle:
On the first series of the game, Terrance Wilkerson let a ball from quarterback J.J. McDermott go through his arms, and that was followed by a short punt by Mike Loftus. On the Mustangs’ next series, McDermott was intercepted. Then James Richardson fumbled a kickoff on the SMU 10-yard-line, Richard Crawford fumbled a punt on the 24, McDermott threw a lateral pass that was almost picked off and that was just the first half.
The Mustangs finished the game with six penalties for a loss of 72 yards and five turnovers, four of which were interceptions by McDermott.
3. McDermott had his worst performance of the year (worse than the Texas A&M game), completing just 17 of 37 passes for 180 yards and four interceptions. He led a nonexistent offense, one that is usually high-powered and averages 431 yards per game, to finish with a total of 265 yards.
The Run and Shoot was ineffective for the second consecutive week, not making any explosive plays downfield. And when that’s the type of offense you run, big plays are how you win games.
Overall, McDermott didn’t look fundamentally sound, but it wasn’t all his fault as the offensive line didn’t protect him well enough and allowed three sacks.
And despite McDermott’s uncharacteristic day, there was no one else June Jones could have put in as Kyle Padron didn’t even make the trip due to a herniated disc from lifting weights, and redshirt freshman Stephen Kaiser doesn't have any game experience.
4. Did the defense really miss Taylor Reed? This week Kevin Pope, who was starting in Reed's place, explained exactly what they needed to do to stop Tulsa: contain quarterback G.J. Kinne in the pocket and stop the run. They knew exactly what to do, but could not do it.
Kinne went 24 of 33 for 274 yards and a touchdown. He also added 39 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown, and Tulsa racked up 451 yards of total offense.
Pope also said they needed to prevent receiver Willie Carter from exploding. He had 13 receptions for 173 yards and a touchdown.
5. Probably the most disheartening thing about this loss is that the SMU sideline seemed quiet the whole game. There was no one rallying the troops, no leader stepping up and pulling the team together. They had the look of, ‘Here we go again.’
SMU cannot get down or else they’ll lose the rest of their games.
This isn't the type of performance teams trying to get invited into BCS conferences can afford to give.
A bright spot for SMU was Zach Line (as usual). He rushed for 118 yards, his 13th career 100-yard game, and a touchdown. He scored his 31st career rushing touchdown, tying Doak Walker for third-most in SMU history.
Tulsa didn’t contain Line, but unfortunately for the Mustangs, that didn’t matter.
For more SMU coverage, follow Laken Litman on Twitter!