ANNAPOLIS, Md. (SMU) – Despite completely erasing a 23-point second-half deficit, SMU’s comeback fell just short at Navy, falling 43-40.
The SMU offense sprang to life in the second half, scoring on four of its five possessions to erase Navy’s 34-11 lead. The Mustang defense was able to hold the Midshipmen down in the final 30 minutes, allowing only nine points and holding strong on two momentous fourth-and-short situations.
Before Navy’s game-winning 18-yard field goal as time expired, SMU had scored 15-straight points to deadlock the game at 40-40.
Junior Courtland Sutton played a big role in the comeback effort, grabbing seven passes for 123 yards and two second-half touchdowns. Fellow junior receiver Trey Quinn moved pass the 1,000-yard mark on the season with six catches for 87 yards.
Quarterback Ben Hicks tied his career-high by tossing four touchdown passes. Sophomore Xavier Jones eclipsed the 100-yard mark on the ground for the second time this year, averaging 5.9 yards per carry.
The Mustangs were only the second team this season to score at least 40 points against Navy.
Senior linebacker Anthony Rhone was very active in the middle of the Mustang defense against Navy’s triple option, recording a career-high 14 tackles, including 10 solos. Cedric Lancaster (11 tackles) and Justin Lawler (10 tackles) also tallied career-high tackle numbers.
Coming into the game, Navy had converted on 8-of-9 occasions of 4th-and-3 or fewer yards. The Mustangs were able to stop Navy twice to give the offense a chance to cut away the deficit.
The Mustangs are on the road again next week, visiting No. 19 Memphis at 11 a.m.