With 12 seconds to go in the game, down by five, wide receiver Darius Joseph hauled in his 12th catch of the game in the end zone to give the SMU Mustangs (1-1) a 31-30 victory over the Montana State Bobcats (1-1).
SMU entered the fourth quarter down by eight, but would score nine unanswered points, including Joseph’s game-winner. The sophomore from Abilene had a career night, earning 113 yards from senior quarterback Garrett Gilbert, who threw for 317 yards and the one score.
Montana State did not make it easy for SMU, forcing two turnovers inside of their own 20-yard line and benefitting from a total of 11 Mustang penalties for 85 yards.
Even with the mistakes, SMU had the last laugh with an 81-yard drive with 3:46 to go. Gilbert led the charge, running and passing for a combined 65 yards before finding a covered Joseph in the middle of the end zone.
SMU struggled to get its momentum going in the first half, getting outscored by the Bobcats 22-19.
After scoring the game’s first points of the game on a safety, the Mustangs quickly fell behind as a result of a Garrett Gilbert fumble inside the 5-yard line.
Montana State running back Cody Kirk plowed in from one yard away after the gift, and, following a successful 2-point conversion, put the Bobcats up 8-2.
Both teams would score twice more before freshman receiver JaBryce Taylor electrified the crowd with a 55-yard punt return as time expired in the first half.
The touchdown cut the Montana State lead to three and SMU would return for the second half with momentum in hand.
Head coach June Jones will be excited to have the team’s first win of the season, but much will need to be addressed before the Mustangs go on the road to visit Texas A&M; on Sept. 21.