SMU escaped Cincinnati with a 31-28 overtime victory in a game that had one of the weirdest endings of the season so far.
Cincy forced overtime with a Hayden Moore touchdown pass to Devin Gray, plus a two-point conversion to Gray, with 2:22 left in regulation. SMU opened the extra frame with the ball and quickly went backwards.
The Mustangs lost nine yards on first down, threw an incomplete pass on second down and lost seven more yards on a sack on third down. That set up fourth-and-26 from the 41-yard line. Out of field goal range, SMU went for it and Ben Hicks and Trey Quinn channeled Donovan McNabb and Freddie Mitchell for a 28-yard gain.
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SMU couldn’t punch it in the end zone after the fourth-down conversion, but a 27-yard Josh Williams field goal gave the Mustangs a 31-28 edge.
Unlike SMU, Cincinnati actually gained yardage on its first two plays of the ensuing possession, but still faced a third-and-four. That’s when Moore made an incredibly silly play to seal the victory for SMU. You have to see it to believe it.
Yes, Moore was about to be sacked but attempted an ill-advised pitch to running back Mike Boone. The ball hit him in the helmet, bounced in the air, deflected off an SMU defensive lineman and into the arms of linebacker Kyran Mitchell.
Moore’s gaffe was especially inexcusable when you remember Cincy was in field goal range and could have forced double overtime. Instead, the Bearcats dropped to 2-6 on the year and 0-4 in AAC play.
SMU improved to 5-2 (2-1 AAC) and is one win away from its first bowl appearance since 2012.
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