With five straight wins to open the 2019 campaign, including one over then-No. 25 TCU, SMU made its first appearance this season in the Associated Press Top 25 last Sunday. Not only was it the first appearance this season, it was the Mustangs’ first ranking since 1986 — one year before the death penalty sledgehammer was dropped on the football program.
Earlier tonight, we noted a wild special teams gaffe that helped contribute to SMU digging itself a 23-9 halftime hole against visiting Tulsa; after three quarters of play, that hole deepened to 30-9.
That ranking was fun while it lasted, right? Wrong. Improbably wrong, as it turned out.
Over the next quarter, plus three overtimes, the Mustangs staged a furious rally that culminated in an improbable 43-37 win over the Golden Hurricane. Three SMU touchdowns in the fourth quarter knotted the score at 30-all; three missed field goals, including two in overtime, helped seal the loss for Tulsa.
Immediately after the third of the three missed field goals, Shane Buechele connected with James Proche on a 25-yard touchdown pass that wasn’t only the game-winning score but was one of the prettiest plays you’ll see all weekend.