SMU falls to East Carolina, 49-23

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SMU jumped out to an early 23-7 lead over East Carolina, but James Summers entered the game in the second quarter and led the Pirates to six unanswered touchdowns en route to a 49-23 win. Summers rushed for 85 yards and two touchdowns and threw for two more as the ECU shut out SMU for the final 37 minutes of the game.

Summers entered the game with 6:58 left in the first half, replacing Blake Kemp at quarterback. He sparked ECU to touchdowns on his first two drives to narrow the deficit to 23-21 at halftime. The Pirates ran for 133 yards in the second half as SMU’s offense sputtered, converting two of 14 third downs on the day, rushing for 40 yards on 30 carries and allowing eight sacks.

“We’ve got to get better in the trenches, both offensively and defensively,” SMU Head Coach Chad Morris said. “We’ve always hung our hat on running the football, and to only have 40 yards rushing tonight, you can’t beat a team like (ECU) with 40 yards rushing.”

ECU kept SMU wide receiver Courtland Sutton out of the end zone, the first team to do so this season. He saw consistent double coverage and has just three catches for 29 yards at the end of the third quarter.

“They were going play coverage behind Courtland and force somebody else to have to beat them if it wasn’t going to be Courtland,” Morris said.

SMU fell to 1-4 on the season and 0-1 in American Athletic Conference play, while ECU moved to 3-2 and 2-0 in conference. The Mustangs will play Houston on the road on Thursday at 7 p.m. CT.

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