Game winning catch with twelve seconds remaining gives the SMU Mustangs a much-needed victory
Dallas, Tx SMU’s Darius Joseph snagged a 4 yard touchdown pass from quarterback Garret Gilbert with twelve seconds left on the clock to give the Mustangs (1-1) a 31-30 win over a very game Montana State Bobcats squad. Montana State (1-1) came into Ford Stadium 3rd in the FCS rankings. The game winning play capped off a 13 play 81 yard drive giving the Ponies the nine points needed heading into the fourth quarter to complete an eight point comeback SMU needed to avoid starting the season 0-2 as they head into their bye week.
Watch the game winning pass from Gilbert to Joseph
Things did not look good for the Mustangs mid way through the second quarter when they fell behind 22-5 to the Bobcats following a Shawn Johnson two yard touchdown run. However, Gilbert and the SMU offense answered the bell on their following drive going 76 yards on 10 plays in just 2:55. K.C. Nlemchi brought SMU to within 10 with a two yard run of his own to finish the drive.
The key play of the game came with just 14 seconds left in the first half, when SMU freshman JaBryce Taylor took a Montana State punt back 55 yards to the house cutting the Bobcat lead to 22-19 as time expired in the second quarter. The explosive play seemed to set the tone for the second half. When asked about the significance of the play SMU Head Coach, June Jones said, “You have to have players make plays and he, as a true freshman, got in there, caught the ball under pressure. He did some good things and he is a great kid. A really really good football player.”
That play set the tone for the second half. The Mustang defense began to shut down the Bobcat offense allowing only eight points early in the third quarter. Cody Kirk scored on a 12 yard touchdown run and Tanner Roderick converted a 2-point conversion try putting Montana State up 30-19 with 9:28 left to play in the quarter.
Two Chase Hover field goals cut the Bobcat lead to five 30-25 early in the fourth quarter. The Mustangs would complete the third largest comeback in school history when Gilbert found Joseph for the winning score erasing a one time 17 point deficit. “D.J.did a great job of reading the coverage there and making the second break,” said Gilbert about the final touchdown. “That whole entire last drive was a team effort and I am very proud of the guys for that.”
With the comeback win to savor, SMU will take the week off before playing two tough road games. The Ponies face Johnny Football and Texas A&M Septembe 21st followed by TCU in the annual Battle for the Iron Skillet September 28th in Ft. Worth.