SMU tops Tulane in OT, 37-34
SMU improved to 5-0 on the season with an overtime victory over Tulane.
NEW ORLEANS -- It was far from pretty, but it'll go in the books as a win for No. 17 SMU.
The Mustangs had to play an extra period on the road, but they managed to leave Yulman Stadium with a 37-34 victory over Tulane Friday night. Kicker Chris Naggar, the hero in SMU's win over Memphis, drilled a 35-yard field goal in overtime to keep the Mustangs undefeated and make them college football's first 5-0 program of the 2020 season.
Tulane fell to 2-3 on the season.
SMU's defense held serve in the first possession of overtime. Tulane quarterback Michael Pratt was sacked by SMU linebacker Delano Robinson, and on the next play, Pratt threw an interception to cornerback Brandon Crossley.
From there, SMU ran the ball three times to set up the game-winning field goal.
"We had our hands full," SMU coach Sonny Dykes said. "It was one of those games we were really fortunate to win. We didn't play particularly well, but we showed a lot of fight, a lot of grit."
On paper, this was a game SMU appeared to have dominated. The Mustangs had 581 total yards, compared to Tulane's 387. SMU threw for 439 yards, while Tulane only had 192 passing yards.
But the Green Wave managed to stay close throughout the contest and nearly pulled off its first win against a ranked opponent since 1984, when it went on the road to top Vanderbilt. Tulane statistically has one of the nation's best rushing offense, and it finished with 195 yards on the ground.
SMU quarterback Shane Buechele finished with 384 passing yards and two touchdowns, and the Mustangs had three wide receivers with 100-yard games. Rashee Rice caught seven passes for 139 yards and a touchdown. Danny Gray had five catches for 133 yards and a receiving touchdown, and he also rushed for a score. Tyler Page added four catches for 101 yards.
The win sets up a battle of unbeatens for next week. SMU is scheduled to face Cincinnati at Gerald J. Ford Stadium.