Courtland Sutton powers SMU past UNT

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Courtland Sutton
SMU wide receiver Courtland Sutton runs in one of his four touchdowns. Photo credit: Getty Images

It’s Courtland Sutton’s world and we’re all just living in it.

The star receiver put on a show Saturday night against North Texas, catching four touchdowns and carrying the Mustangs to a 54-32 win.

Sutton caught just two balls for 22 yards and one touchdown last week against Stephen F. Austin, but he proved that there was no reason for SMU fans to worry with his video game numbers today. Sutton finished the game with eight catches and 164 yards to go along with his four scores.

“He showed why he’s an All-American,” Chad Morris said of Sutton. “He showed why he’s one of the best wide receivers in all of college football.”

It did not look good early for SMU, as UNT quarterback Mason Fine marched the Mean Green down the field for a score on the game’s opening possession. After an SMU punt and a UNT field goal, the Mustangs found themselves down 10-0.

After that, Sutton asserted his dominance. He scored his first touchdown by catching a ball over the middle, slipping a tackle and running free for the 62-yard score. SMU kicked a field goal to tie the game at 10 on its next possession. He scored two more times before halftime to give SMU a 24-10 lead.

Sutton managed to one-up his performance against North Texas last year, in which he gained 162 yards and scored three touchdowns. He now has a whopping eight scores in three games in his career against UNT. Sutton also broke into the record books by tying the SMU mark for receiving touchdowns in a game, and passing Hilltop legend Jerry LeVias on the school’s all-time receiving touchdown list.

Ben Hicks started the game at quarterback again for SMU, and finished with 319 yards, four touchdowns and an interception. Hicks missed a few throws, but his main target was pleased with his performance overall.

“He went out and he did what we knew he could do,” Sutton said of Hicks. “That’s the thing I like for everybody else to be able see, is him going out and having success.”

With Braeden West dinged up, Ke’Mon Freeman and Xavier Jones split the workload in the backfield. Jones had a productive game, gaining 74 yards on 13 carries and scoring two touchdowns.

SMU’s defense also bottled up a UNT offense that scored 59 points in its opening game. Elijah McQueen and Demerick Gary both recorded their first career interceptions, and Justin Lawler had two sacks. Most impressively, the Mustangs held UNT’s rushing attack to 69 yards on 27 carries after the Mean Green gained 436 yards on the ground last week.

Cornerback Cedric Lancaster left with an arm injury in the fourth quarter. Morris lamented the loss of the frequently injured senior.

“There’s not a young man that works any harder in this program than Ced Lancaster,” Morris said. “To see him coming out with an injury like that, I know our players are really upset about it.”

Next week, SMU has its biggest test of the young season. The Mustangs will take on rival #23 TCU who is 2-0 after beating Arkansas Saturday.

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