D1SportsNet


COLLEGE FOOTBALL

American Athletic Championship: Southern Methodist 26, Tulane 14

College Football

BY BRETT MARTEL
AP Sports Writer

NEW ORLEANS - Kevin Jennings threw a touchdown pass and accounted for 266 yards from scrimmage in his first career start, Collin Rogers kicked four second-half field goals and No. 25 SMU beat No. 17 Tulane 26-14 in the American Athletic Conference championship game.

The Mustangs (11-2) also turned in a stifling defensive performance, limiting Tulane (11-2, No. 22 CFP) to a touchdown during the final 59 minutes to snap the Green Wave’s 10-game winning streak and dethrone the defending league champs.

SMU sacked Michael Pratt seven times. Defensive back Isaiah Nwokobia’s interception in the fourth quarter all but sealed it, sending numerous fans to the exits of Yulman Stadium, where the Wave had celebrated their first AAC title a year ago.

Had Tulane won, it could have returned to a major New Year’s Day bowl game for a second straight year, having defeated USC last season in the Cotton Bowl. Now either Conference USA champion Liberty or SMU — which ever team winds up higher in the final College Football Playoff rankings — will play in a New Year’s Six bowl.

Liberty entered the weekend at No. 24 in the CFP and SMU was not in the CFP’s top 25, but could potentially move past Liberty after topping Tulane on the road.

Tulane led 7-0 just two plays after SMU received the opening kickoff.

Playing in place of injured Mustangs starter Preston Stone, Jennings was stripped from behind on SMU’s first offensive play by edge rusher Devean Deal, who also recovered and returned the ball to the 1. Pratt scored on a keeper on the next play.

SMU tied it on Jaylan Knighton’s 6-yard run in the first quarter.

The Mustangs punted only once in the first half, but a missed a field goal and turned the ball over twice more before finally taking at 14-7 lead on Jennings’ 17-yard pass to Key’Shawn Smith with 1:32 left in the first half.

Tulane tied it at 14 when SMU bit on Pratt’s play-action fake on third-and-1, leaving Yulkeith Brown wide open for a 42-yard touchdown pass.

Rogers’ 48-yard field goal gave SMU the lead for good at 17-14.

THE TAKEAWAY

SMU: Jennings’ inexperience showed on his turnovers, but his potential to be the Mustangs’ QB of the future was evident in the way he escaped pressure to extend plays and made clutch throws on third and fourth downs, highlighted by his third-down scoring pass to Smith, who was covered by top Tulane cornerback Jarius Monroe, on a well executed back-sholder throw.

Tulane: Tulane was fortunate to be down by only one TD at halftime, having been outgained 249 yards to 82. Interceptions by Cam Pedescleaux and Monroe — both in Tulane territory and one near the goal line — kept Tulane in the game. SMU also missed an early field goal. That allowed the Wave to stay within one score into the fourth quarter. But the offense — hampered by injuires that sidelined starting receiver Lawrence Keys and reduced the role of fellow starter Jha’Quan Jackson — struggled most of the game.

Southern Methodist athletics press release

December 2, 2023


Scoring Summary
First Quarter SMUTulane
Tulane TD 14:50 Michael Pratt 1 yard TD run (Valentino Ambrosio Extra Point) 0 7
SMU TD 7:37 Jaylan Knighton 6 yard TD run (Collin Rogers Extra Point) 7 7
Second Quarter SMUTulane
SMU TD 1:32 Key'Shawn Smith 17 yard TD pass from Kevin Jennings (Collin Rogers Extra Point) 14 7
Third Quarter SMUTulane
Tulane TD 8:46 Yulkeith Brown 42 yard TD pass from Michael Pratt (Valentino Ambrosio Extra Point) 14 14
SMU FG 5:35 Collin Rogers 48 yard field goal 17 14
Fourth Quarter SMUTulane
SMU FG 12:38 Collin Rogers 32 yard field goal 20 14
SMU FG 8:58 Collin Rogers 32 yard field goal 23 14
SMU FG 3:15 Collin Rogers 45 yard field goal 26 14
Team Stats
  SMU Tulane
First downs 21 12
  Rushing 9 1
  Passing 10 11
  Penalty 2 0
3rd Down Efficiency 6-16, 38% 2-15, 13%
4th down efficiency 1-1, 100% 1-4, 25%
Rushes-Yards 45-175 26-31
Passing Yards 203 238
Return Yards 93 87
Completions-Attempts-Int 19-33-2 21-36-1
Sacks-Yards Lost 1-10 7-43
Punts 3 9
Fumbles Lost 1-1 2-0
Penalties - Yards 6-50 6-51
SMU Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TDs Int
K. Jennings 19 33 203 1 2
Tulane Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TDs Int
M. Pratt 21 36 238 1 1
SMU Rushing
Player Carries Yds Avg TDs
J. Knighton 15 75 5.0 1
K. Jennings 15 63 4.2 0
T. Lavine 5 25 5.0 0
C. Wheaton 6 17 2.8 0
R. Daniels Jr. 1 2 2.0 0
L. Johnson Jr. 2 2 1.0 0
Tulane Rushing
Player Carries Yds Avg TDs
M. Hughes 11 44 4.0 0
S. Clayton-Johnson 4 17 4.3 0
A. Barnes III 1 5 5.0 0
M. Pratt 10 -35 -3.5 1
SMU Receiving
Player Rec Yds Avg TDs
R. Maryland 5 56 11.2 0
R. Daniels Jr. 4 43 10.8 0
T. Lavine 2 34 17.0 0
J. Bailey 2 24 12.0 0
M. Dixon 3 19 6.3 0
K. Smith 1 17 17.0 1
J. Hudson 1 9 9.0 0
J. Knighton 1 1 1.0 0
Tulane Receiving
Player Rec Yds Avg TDs
Y. Brown 5 90 18.0 1
C. Brazzell II 3 41 13.7 0
A. Bauman 4 36 9.0 0
J. Jackson 2 18 9.0 0
B. Bohanon 2 17 8.5 0
S. Clayton-Johnson 3 16 5.3 0
C. Carter 1 12 12.0 0
M. Hughes 1 8 8.0 0
SMU Interceptions
Player Int Yards
I. Nwokobia 1 8
Tulane Interceptions
Player Int Yards
J. Monroe 1 0
K. Pedescleaux 1 0
SMU Punting
Player Punts Yards Avg
R. Bujcevski 3 140 46.7
Tulane Punting
Player Punts Yards Avg
W. Karoll 8 356 44.5
SMU Punt Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
R. Daniels Jr. 3 44 14.7
Tulane Punt Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
J. Jackson 1 0 0
SMU Kick Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
R. Daniels Jr. 1 19 19.0
M. Dixon 1 22 22.0
Tulane Kick Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
S. Louis 4 80 20.0
B. Bohanon 1 7 7.0
SMU Missed FG
Player Length
C. Rogers 40
Tulane Missed FG
Player Length




nordvpn


ADVERTISEMENT
25home

D1SportsNet





D1SportsNet