SMU and host Tulsa will meet in an American Athletic Conference game on Saturday in Oklahoma in which both teams are seeking a much-needed win if they are to become bowl-eligible.
The Mustangs (3-4, 1-2 AAC) have dropped four of their past five games after a 29-27 loss to then-No. 21 Cincinnati on Saturday. The Golden Hurricane (3-4, 1-2) ended a three-game losing streak with a 27-16 win at Temple on Friday.
The biggest question facing the Mustangs is at quarterback. Tanner Mordecai suffered a concussion late in the third quarter against Cincinnati and was replaced by Preston Stone. Mordecai is in concussion protocol and his status is unclear for Saturday.
“Tanner’s in a day-to-day world,” SMU offensive coordinator Casey Woods said. “We’ve got confidence in Preston. He’s done a good job, so seeing him operate within the entirety of the offense has been fun and I know he’ll be ready if called upon.”
Stone almost rallied SMU from a 15-point, fourth-quarter deficit. But his two-point conversion pass was incomplete following Tyler Lavine’s 1-yard touchdown dive that pulled the Mustangs to within 29-27 with 1:57 remaining.
Mordecai — a transfer from Oklahoma — has completed 60.8 percent of his passes for 2,121 yards with 16 touchdowns and seven interceptions, while Stone has gone 17 for 31 for 169 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
Rashee Rice, the team’s top receiver with 53 catches for 802 yards and four touchdowns, has been slowed by a toe injury.
Tulsa also has one of the conference’s top receivers. Keylon Stokes became the school’s all-time leading pass-catcher after posting 37 yards on four catches against Temple, giving him 3,352 receiving yards for his career. Stokes has 48 receptions for 802 yards and four scores this season.
Deneric Price rushed for 231 yards, including an 84-yard touchdown run, on 20 carries against the Owls. He also scored on an 18-yard reception.
“Obviously, Deneric had a couple of big, explosive runs,” Tulsa coach Philip Montgomery said. “The one late — man, what a huge play that we needed right there to really extend the lead.”
Tulsa is 13-15 all-time against SMU but has won two straight in the series.
–Field Level Media