Greetings and salutations to all in Mustang Nation who have been coming to this blog everyday for three weeks and pining for new content. We have a lot of ground to cover with this post, so let's get to it, shall we?
The month of October has been no kinder to Mustang football than was the month of September. In fact, with heartbreaking losses to undefeated Tulsa and underachieving Houston, this month has been decidedly harsh to Pony fans. The Mustangs, in the words of Tulsa coach Todd Graham, "smacked us [Tulsa] in the mouth". If not for a dropped pass in the endzone by freshman Cole Beasley, the Mustangs would have recaptured the lead late. Shortly thereafter, Mitchell underthrew a 4th and 2 pass to Emmanuel Sanders that would have given the Ponies a new set of downs inside the Tulsa red zone. The defense, which has undoubtedly struggled all season, managed to hold the number 2 offense in the country down for most of the game, but simply could not close the deal and the Mustangs fell 37-31.
The following week, the Ponies hosted UH at Ford Stadium. The Cougars were actually making their second trip of the year to Dallas, having their home game against Air Force relocated to Ford Stadium on campus in September when Hurricane Ike pounded the city of Houston and the Gulf Coast. From the beginning, the Cougars displayed signs of sloppiness, by committing two personal foul penalties on the opening drive, which allowed Bo Levi Mitchell and the Mustang Offense to get on the board first. The Cougars would respond as SMU's defense was simply unable to stop Case Keenum and the Cougar Offense. This inability to halt UH on 3rd down would manifest itself again on the game's final drive, where the Cougars--without timeouts--managed to drive from their own 40 into SMU's red zone--after a kickoff by the normally reliable Kellis Cunningham that went out of bounds.
The truth of the matter is that everytime a lead was built by Bo Levi and the offense, the defense would allow the Cougars back into the game. No lead seemed to be safe. I remarked to Ty that I would not feel comfortable until the Mustangs were up by at least 3 TD and preferably 4. This was, of course, not to be. For every mental mistake UH made, SMU was there to match; including an inexcusable roughing the passer penalty on 3rd and long in the late 3rd quarter. Not even a heroic goal line stand by the defense--UH would still kick a field goal to chip further into the lead--could provide sufficient fire to the front line. Serge Elizee was injured in the 3rd quarter and never returned. Youri Yenga was also injured in the 3rd and returned, only to reinjure himself during UH's last drive with 1:17 left in the game which in turn forced an official time out so that Yenga could be helped off the field.
It is a difficult thing to describe what it is like to be an SMU fan. It is close to impossible for those who have not experienced it, to realize the simultaneous feelings of disbelief, yet expectation. The best way I can think of to describe it is re-watching a war movie where we know the main character is going to die in a gruesome and/or heartbreaking manner, but watching it happen still inspires utter shock and yet just as immediate acceptance.
Looking to the future, the Mustangs will attempt to salvage this season with a few wins to close out and build momentum for next year. Homecoming next Saturday (11/8) against a streaky Memphis team provides an opportunity to get back on track. Following this are enigmatic UTEP (which dropped 50+ points on UCF, but also surrendered 77 to Tulsa) and finally a rebuilding Southern Miss team. It is not impossible to end the season on a 3 game winning streak, particularly since the offense appears more and more to be on the same page (the Navy game and its abominable weather excluded).
This is a pretty long post, so I will wrap it up and write about other subjects which I had intended to write about this evening, on another day. Since I will be at a Halloween party tonight--getting thoroughly drunk--I doubt I will be posting again until Sunday or Monday. I may convince Ty to throw something out there, but I am not even sure he exists anymore since he has not written anything since late August. Hey, maybe he is in another country and has not seen the Ponies's season. Perhaps he is still thinking we partially fulfilled his season predictions....8 wins? Really Ty?
I will have posts on new beer and politics coming up in the next couple of days. No I will not be dogmatically reciting my personal beliefs (you're disappointed I can tell), rather I will be previewing the upcoming election. I encourage everyone, regardless of your political beliefs or preferences, to go out and vote next Tuesday (11/4). Afterall, if you do not vote, you are not allowed to complain.
Until next time, go Mustangs and vote for Kodos. Kang is too inexperienced for me....
Tap the Boulevard is an SMU Football Blog, A Beer Blog, A Baseball Blog, A Music Blog, basically a blog about everything that makes life worth living. So sit back, relax, crack a cold one and enjoy our incoherent ramblings and gratuitous movie quotes.