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Houston 17, SMU 15

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Houston 17, SMU 15

Postby PonyPride » Mon Oct 02, 2000 1:36 pm

Mustangs show improvement, but fall to Houston, 17-15

For weeks, SMU head coach Mike Cavan has been saying his team needs to improve in order to become a successful team. Although the Mustangs (1-4 overall, 0-4 against Western Athletic Conference opponents) still fell to their fourth consecutive loss in a 17-15 loss at Houston, there were signs of improvement.

For one thing, the Ponies may have rediscovered the kicking game. Entering Saturday’s game, SMU placekicker Jacob Crowley had converted just 2-of-8 field goals this season. In the loss to the Cougars, Crowley raised his percentage by drilling 3-of-5 field goals. But the Ponies could have used one more, as Crowley’s 49-yard attempt with 1:34 sailed wide to the left, securing the win for the Cougars.

The Cougars took the game’s first lead when quarterback Jason McKinley flicked a 9-yard shovel pass to Kendall Williams that Williams carried into the end zone with 32 seconds left in the first quarter, to put Houston ahead, 7-0.

The Mustangs responded three minutes later, making their first mark on the scoreboard when Crowley drilled his first field goal from 39 yards out. But the Cougars extended their lead with 4:35 left in the half when McKinley hit Keykowa Bell -- who finished the game with 10 receptions for a game-high 157 yards -- with a 9-yard scoring pass to give the Cougars a 14-2 halftime lead.

The Mustangs’ cut into that lead in the third quarter with a pair of Crowley field goals. Then, with just over eight minutes left in the fourth quarter, SMU quarterback Josh McCown hit tight end John Hampton with a 2-yard touchdown pass to give the Mustangs a 15-14 lead. The two-point conversion attempt failed, which proved crucial in the end.

Just over three minutes later, Houston’s Mike Clark drilled a 35-yard field goal, putting his team back into the lead, 17-15.

Crowley’s attempted for the game-winner should have been shorter. McCown had completed all 11 of his fourth-quarter passes before that drive, but before he could get off his 12th, he was hauled down for a 12-yard loss by Houston’s Ronnie Braxton.

McCown again piled up the passing yards, completing 28-of-57 passes for 326 yards, although he did offset his touchdown pass to Hampton with four interceptions. He could have approached the 400-yard plateau for passing yards, but a would-be 72-yard pass to wide receiver Johnnie Freeman was nullified by an illegal formation penalty.

McCown’s primary offensive help came from tailback Kris Briggs, who rushed nine times for 46 yards and caught eight passes for 83.
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Re: Houston 17, SMU 15

Postby PonyGirl » Tue Oct 03, 2000 10:40 am

Great game story! Thanks, PonyFans.com -- keep up the great work!
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