Mustangs crumble to C-USA champions
Published: Monday, December 6, 2010
Updated: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 17:11
The SMU Mustangs attempted to win their first conference title since 1984 but came up short after a 17-7 loss to Central Florida Saturday morning in Orlando, Fla.
"I am proud of the kids. They played real hard. We had a lot of injuries during the game. They showed a lot of character to play as they did," SMU head Coach June Jones said.
"I thought the defense really played well, enough to win. We knew we had a real challenge going against them, our offense against their defense. We just were not good enough today," he said.
With the loss, the Mustangs finished as the runner-up in Conference USA after playing in their first ever conference championship game within C-USA.
"It was something we talked about at the beginning of the season in training camp," SMU quarterback Kyle Padron said.
"Obviously we came up short, but we did reach our goal. [We] did not maximize the opportunity, but I think we will be back next year and will set that goal again."
SMU fell behind early as the Knights scored on their opening possession. UCF marched 73 yards down the field behind freshman quarterback Jeff Godfrey, who completed a 5- yard touchdown pass to running back Latavius Murray, giving the Knights a 7-0 lead.
SMU's first opportunity to put points on the board came early in the second quarter when kicker Matt Szymanski missed a 47-yard field goal wide right.
With less than two minutes remaining before halftime, Godfrey engineered a perfect quick drive down the field that allowed UCF kicker Nick Cattoi to tack on three points as time expired.
On the Knights opening second half possession, Murray scored his second touchdown of the day, this time on a 36 yard run up the middle, giving the Knights a commanding 17-0 lead.
SMU responded with a big drive down to the UCF 27-yard line, but Padron was intercepted by UCF defensive back Josh Robinson.
A 22 yard touchdown pass from