The SMU Mustangs posted 40 points on another opponent in a winning effort against Lamar University on Saturday. Southern Methodist University football eventually stomped to a 45-16 victory in their home opener.
SMU Head Coach Rhett Lashlee said the Cardinals came ready to play when they showed up at Gerald J. Ford Stadium, and though Lamar only posted 16 points in the loss, he said they did an excellent job of slowing the pace of the game against the Mustangs.
“They were ready to play,” he said during the Mustang Locker Room Show postgame, “and it was good. We needed to be tested… They did a good job of slowing the game down, and we turned the ball over too much on offense.”
SMU Mustangs led by just 14 at halftime but outscored the Cardinals 21-6 in the second half to win 45-16.
Seniors Tanner Mordecai and Rashee Rice connected on two-of-three touchdown passes. Mordecai collected in the win, and Rice, one of the Mustang captains for the contest, had 132 yards and was just two yards short of 300 on the season.
TJ McDaniel found paydirt twice in the win, the first score following McDaniel’s stiff-arming of a defender before a 56-yard endzone dash giving the Mustang’s lead to 24-7 late in the first half. McDaniel added a one-yard score in the win and finished with 96 yards rushing on 13 totes.
Velton Gardner had 11 carries on his way to 100 yards rushing, and Khalan Griffin had a one-yard touchdown run for Lamar.
In his first season as the head coach at SMU, Lashlee pushed his record to 2-0 as the Mustangs’ leader.
“We’re happy to be 2-0, and it’s hard to win college football, so we’re never gonna take that for granted,” Lashlee said of the second consecutive blowout.
Last week, the Mustangs’ well-balanced offensive attack carried them past the North Texas Mean Green in every quarter of their season-opening victory. SMU was in complete command on the road, cruising past North Texas 48-10. The game was effectively over by halftime when the score had reached 31-10. Mordecai completed 32 passes for 432 yards and four touchdowns against North Texas.
Up next for the Mustangs is a Saturday tilt with the Terrapins in Maryland after they beat Charlotte 56-21 last week.
Quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa’s and the Terps scored five touchdowns on their first five drives and rolled to victory over Charlotte.
QB Tagovailoa finished with four touchdown passes and one rushing touchdown. He threw for 391 yards on 27-31 passing for the highest completion percentage in program history and left in the middle of the third quarter.
Maryland is a step up from the competition the SMU Mustangs have rolled over in the first two outings, but Lashlee said the weeks’ worth of practice for the match-up will be the same as last week.
“I don’t think it changes anything,” he said. “We’re going to have a normal week. We know Maryland is really good… going to be a big challenge. We are beat up. Hopefully, we didn’t lose anybody too bad… we’ll get healthy and have a good week of prep.”
Kick-off against Maryland is slated for 7:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, September 17, at Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium.