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SMU Moves Up to #23 after Beating Navy

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Image by Paul W. Gillespie / Capital Gazette

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After a narrow 31-24 win against the Navy Midshipmen at the United States Naval Academy on Saturday, October 9th, the Southern Methodist University football team improved to #23 in both the Associated Press Top 25 and USA TODAY Sports AFCA Coaches Poll. Down 21-7 deficit with 7:42 left in the second quarter, the SMU Mustangs ended the game on a 24-3 run to improve to 6-0 overall and 2-0 in American Athletic Conference (AAC) play. The ranking is the highest of the year for SMU, which is now in possession of second place in the AAC.

Sophomore safety Bryan Massey was recognized as the AAC Special Teams Player of the Week for returning a ninety-five-yard kickoff to score a touchdown in the second quarter. It was Massey’s first touchdown with the Mustangs and came immediately after the Midshipmen pushed their lead to fourteen.

The Mustangs had 404 yards of total offense and held Navy to just 241 yards. Junior SMU quarterback Tanner Mordecai threw for 324 yards with 300 or more passing yards this season. Sophomore safety Roderick Roberson Jr. led SMU with 100 receiving yards, including a sixty-six-yard touchdown to put the Mustangs on the scoreboard first.

Senior fullback Isiah Ruoss, the leading rusher for the Midshipmen, was held to just twenty-two rushing yards on the day. Navy sophomore quarterback Xavier Arline, the second-leading rusher with 211 yards, did not play. His replacement, sophomore Tai Lavatai, had sixty-four passing yards and fifty-three rushing yards.

SMU is one of two AAC teams to be ranked at the moment, with the University of Cincinnati holding #3 in the Associated Press Top 25 and #4 in the USA TODAY Sports AFCA Coaches Poll. The #23 Mustangs will have this week off before hosting the Green Wave of Tulane University on Thursday, October 21st at 6:30 PM CST.

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