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.