Tulane defeated 45-24 , SMU gains bowl eligibility
Published: Sunday, November 6, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 17:11
This Saturday marked SMU's centennial homecoming, and the Mustang's celebrated a 45-24 conference win over the Tulane Green Wave at Gerald J. Ford Stadium.
The Mustangs (6-3, 4-2 in C-USA) snapped a two game losing streak and became bowl eligible with their sixth win of the season.
Tulane began the game with the ball and after driving down the field to the SMU 39-yard line SMU's Taylor Thompson forced a fumble upon sacking quarterback Ryan Griffin.
SMU recovered the fumble and changed the turnover into points when Zach Line rushed for a four-yard touchdown.
SMU's offense continued to put pressure on Tulane's defense throughout the first half.
Der'rikk Thompson and Darius Johnson both caught touchdown passes from J.J. McDermott in the first half. Before halftime Zach Line was able to punch in another touchdown from inside the five yard line.
The Mustangs defense had Tulane on their heels.
SMU's defense had three total sacks and forced four punts going into the break.
Coming out of halftime, SMU's defense started to look a little complacent.
The Mustangs gave up 17 consecutive points to the Green Wave before the team was able to respond with yet another score from Zach Line, this time from seven yards out.
Tulane answered right back with their biggest play of the game when quarterback Ryan Griffin threw a 49-yard pass to wide receiver Justyn Shackleford.
That was the last time Tulane would score in the game.
The defense finally started to settle down, and the victory was sealed when J.J. McDermott threw his third touchdown of the day to Terrance Wilkerson from two yards out.
J.J. McDermott completed 29 of 40 passes for 322 yards and three touchdowns, a major statistical improvement from both of his games at Southern Miss and Tulsa. It seems that when McDermott plays well the team seems to follow.
Running back Zach Line also had a big game, rushing for 143 yards on 25 carries for three touchdowns.
Zach has now rushed for 17 touchdowns on the season and went over the 1,000 yard rushing mark for the second straight season.
After the game when commenting about Zach Line's play this season, safety Chris Banjo said, "He is definitely one of the toughest guys I know, and he is a big team player and that is one thing I have to give him credit for. It has been an honor to have him on the team."
SMU will host Navy next Saturday at 2:30 p.m. The game will be televised on Fox Sports Southwest.