FORT WORTH, Texas (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Shane Buechele threw for 288 yards with two touchdowns and ran for another score as SMU held on to beat No. 25 TCU 41-38, ending a seven-game losing streak in the rivalry and improve to 4-0 for the first time since 1984.
The Mustangs went ahead to stay after jumping ahead 15-0 in less than 10 minutes. Their last 4-0 start came when TCU and SMU were Southwest Conference rivals, and not long before crippling sanctions led to the NCAA’s so-called death penalty when the Mustangs didn’t even field a team in 1987 and 1988.
TCU true freshman quarterback Max Duggan’s third touchdown pass of the second half came with 3:37 left. The Frogs got the ball back a minute later after a three-and-out by SMU, including a snap that Buechele wasn’t ready for that resulted in a 23-yard loss.
But after TCU coach Gary Patterson opted against trying a 51-yard field goal attempt, Duggan’s fourth-down pass never had a chance and SMU ran out the clock.
Xavier Jones ran for 79 yards with a touchdown, and caught a 3-yard TD early in the fourth quarter for a 38-24 lead. That ended an 84-yard drive that started when TCU running back Sewo Olonilua lined up in wildcat formation on fourth-and-1 and was sacked for a 6-yard loss when he looked to pass.
Olonilua fumbled at TCU’s 4 in the first quarter, giving SMU the ball back right after Buechele was stuffed for no gain on fourth-and-goal from the 1. That set up a 1-yard TD run by Jones.
Buechele, the former Texas quarterback who is one of seven graduate transfers for SMU, was 22-of-34 passing. He had gone 0-2 against TCU while with the Longhorns.
On the same play Buechele had a pass intercepted in the end zone in the second quarter, the helmet of an SMU offensive lineman was apparently ripped off his head by a defender and heaved about 20 yards down the field. Second-year Mustangs coach Sonny Dykes, an offensive analyst for Patterson, was livid that no penalty was called.
Darius Anderson broke free for a 77-yard run on the next play, setting up his 3-yard TD to get TCU within 18-14. Anderson finished with 19 carries for 161 yards and two scores.
TCU is currently 2-2 and will take on Kansas next Saturday at 11 a.m., meanwhile SMU is continues its winning streak with a 4-0 record, and will play against South Florida next Saturday at 3 p.m.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)