SMU outlasts Temple in barnburner, 59-49

Garrett Gilbert accounted for six touchdowns to lead SMU back

from a 21-point deficit to outscore Temple 59-49 Saturday.

Gilbert finished the game with a Mustangs-record 538 passing

yards, four touchdown passes and 97 yards and two TDs rushing.

The Owls (1-7, 0-4 American Athletic Conference) led 28-7 in the

second quarter. Freshman P.J. Walker completed his first 16 passes,

including three for touchdowns.

SMU (3-4, 2-1) took the lead for good with 9:49 remaining. After

Deion Sanders Jr. returned a kickoff 87 yards to the Temple 8-yard

line, Chase Hover kicked a 21-yard field goal for a 45-42 lead.

The Mustangs’ Keenan Holman caught 10 passes for 209 yards and

three touchdowns. Teammate Der’rikk Thompson added nine receptions

for 158 yards and one score.

For Temple, Robby Anderson had a career day with nine catches

for 239 yards and his first two collegiate touchdowns. Walker

finished 26 for 37 for 293 yards and four TDs, plus 92 yards and a

touchdown rushing.

After the Mustangs scored on Traylon Shead’s 11-yard run, the

Owls took a 14-7 lead on Anderson’s scoring catches. Walker hit

Anderson on a screen pass, and the sophomore raced behind blockers

for a 42-yard touchdown. On the next possession, Anderson got

behind SMU’s defense to catch an end-around pass from wide receiver

Jalen Fitzpatrick for an 83-yard TD.

Walker’s 16 consecutive completions included 18-yard touchdown

passes to John Christopher and Ryan Alderman.

Gilbert passed for 180 yards in the second quarter but just one

touchdown. It was from 19 yards out to Holman 46 seconds before

halftime to pull the Mustangs within 28-14.

Three lost fumbles reduced the effectiveness of an SMU offense

that gained 338 yards in the first half.

The outlook brightened for the Mustangs in the second half. They

stopped Temple on its first possession, and then drove to a

touchdown. Gilbert’s pass bounced off of Holman and into the hands

of Thompson, who ran in for a 17-yard score.

The Owls came back with a four-play, 67 yard drive which

culminated in a 6-yard touchdown run by Walker.

Gilbert brought SMU back again, mostly with his legs. A 53-yard

quarterback draw moved the ball in to Temple’s 11. One play later,

Gilbert rolled to his right into the end zone from 10 yards

out.

The Mustangs came right back, with Gilbert hitting Holman in

stride with a deep pass for a 64-yard touchdown. Chase Hover’s

extra point tied the game 35-35.

Temple tried a fake punt that failed. The Mustangs took over at

the Temple 28 and drove in for Prescott Line’s 2-yard touchdown run

and a 42-35 lead.

Walker and the Owls then came back. His 49-yard pass to Anderson

set up a 4-yard scoring toss to Kenneth Harper before Sanders’ long

kickoff return.