Oct 24, 2020; Dallas, Texas, USA; Southern Methodist Mustangs quarterback Shane Buechele (7) looks down field against the Cincinnati Bearcats during the second half at Gerald J. Ford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Flores-USA TODAY Sports

News Articles

No. 22 SMU, Navy look to bounce back after losses

Surviving the wide-open American Athletic Conference race is a tricky task.

One loss is survivable. Two can spoil the season.

That’s the perch Navy and SMU sit on as they match up this week in what has become a competitive AAC rivalry. The Midshipmen visit the 22nd-ranked Mustangs on Saturday evening.

Both teams lost last week, wrecking any plans for a smooth path to the AAC championship game. Getting back on the right track is on top of the to-do list for both.

For the Mustangs (5-1, 2-1 AAC), that means continuing to evolve with a reshuffled deck on offense. They are expected to again be without receiver Reggie Roberson Jr. and tailback TJ McDaniel, both of whom were hurt in a win against Memphis on Oct. 3.

Without those two and against a Cincinnati defense that is as stingy as any in the AAC, SMU managed only 290 yards last week — its lowest total since the second game of 2018 — during a 42-13 defeat.

SMU coach Sonny Dykes didn’t mince words about his team’s performance and what the Mustangs must do to avoid a repeat.

“I was disappointed with the way that we played,” Dykes said. “We just didn’t do the routine things that we typically do that would’ve given us a chance to be at least in the game.

“I think we have to regroup, and we’re going to have to play better against Navy or the same thing will happen.”

The Midshipmen (3-3, 3-1) can relate.

In a 37-21 loss to Houston, the Cougars’ fast-paced offense exposed some defensive problems for Navy. Houston junior quarterback Clayton Tune peppered the Midshipmen defense for 316 yards and three touchdowns through the air. Now the Midshipmen have to brace for a better passing attack engineered by a veteran quarterback who has been with his coaching staff longer.

SMU senior Shane Buechele, the 2019 All-AAC quarterback, has thrown for 1,926 yards and 13 touchdowns this season despite playing without Roberson the past two games.

Their struggles against Cincinnati notwithstanding, the Mustangs rank 11th nationally in total offense (517.7 yards per game) and are churning out 37.7 points a game.

“It helps when you have a veteran quarterback that is very steady and knows what’s going on,” Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo said. “He’s very accurate and as good as any quarterback we’ve seen in years.”

As much as the Midshipmen have their hands full with Buechele and company, there remains a pressing need for them to get their offense going.

Navy has generated only 288.2 total yards a game and its flexbone running game ranks just 31st nationally. Houston limited the Midshipmen to 166 yards on the ground, the fourth game this season in which Navy failed to top 204.

“We have to continue to get better offensively,” Niumatalolo said. “We have to find a way to get better quickly.”

If Navy can do that and manage to keep the game close, that bodes well. The Midshipmen’s three victories this season have come by a total of nine points.

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
Sport Writer & Editor
FLM has a North American focus while tying into regional and hyper-local resources – providing the ability to distribute compelling content through the writing of professional journalists. As the U.S. sports content provider to dozens of digital and print media publishers through strategic partnerships with the likes of Reuters and Nielsen Sports, FLM covers the nuts and bolts with a breaking news desk and game event coverage.

Upcoming Games

Aug 28th, 1:00 PM

Nebraska -9.5 -107

Illinois +9.5 -107

@

Aug 28th, 2:00 PM

UCONN +25.5 -110

Fresno State -25.5 -110

@

Aug 28th, 3:30 PM

Hawaii +9.5 -110

UCLA -9.5 -110

@

Aug 28th, 9:30 PM

UTEP -9 -107

New Mexico State +9 -107

@

Aug 28th, 10:00 PM

Southern Utah

San Jose State (24)

@

Sep 1st, 7:30 PM

UAB

Jacksonville State

@

Sep 2nd, 6:30 PM

Temple +13 -110

Rutgers -13 -110

@

Sep 2nd, 7:00 PM

LIU

Florida International (FIU)

@

Sep 2nd, 7:00 PM

Western Illinois

Ball State (23)

@

Sep 2nd, 7:00 PM

The Citadel

Coastal Carolina (14)

@

Sep 2nd, 7:00 PM

Wagner

Buffalo (25)

@

Sep 2nd, 7:00 PM

Boise State +3.5 -110

UCF -3.5 -110

@

Sep 2nd, 7:30 PM

Weber State

Utah

@

Sep 2nd, 7:30 PM

USF +16.5 -110

NC State -16.5 -110

@

Sep 2nd, 7:30 PM

UC Davis

Tulsa

@

Sep 2nd, 7:30 PM

East Carolina +13.5 -110

Appalachian State -13.5 -110

@

Sep 2nd, 8:00 PM

Ohio State (2) -14 -110

Minnesota +14 -110

@

Sep 2nd, 8:00 PM

Houston Baptist

New Mexico

@

Sep 2nd, 8:00 PM

Bowling Green +27 -110

Tennessee -27 -110

@

Sep 2nd, 8:00 PM

Tennessee-Martin

WKU

@

Sep 2nd, 10:00 PM

Eastern Washington

UNLV

@

Sep 2nd, 10:30 PM

Southern Utah

Arizona State

@

Sep 3rd, 6:00 PM

North Carolina (18) -6 -107

Virginia Tech +6 -107

@

Sep 3rd, 7:00 PM

St. Francis-PA

Eastern Michigan

@

Sep 3rd, 7:00 PM

Old Dominion +35 -110

Wake Forest -35 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 7:00 PM

Duke -7.5 -110

Charlotte +7.5 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 8:00 PM

South Dakota

Kansas

@

Sep 3rd, 9:00 PM

Northern Colorado

Colorado

@

Sep 3rd, 9:00 PM

Michigan State +7.5 -107

Northwestern (10) -7.5 -107

@

Sep 3rd, 9:00 PM

South Dakota State

Colorado State

@

Sep 4th, 12:00 PM

Colgate

Boston College

@

Sep 4th, 12:00 PM

Louisiana-Monroe +27.5 -110

Kentucky -27.5 -110

@

Sep 4th, 12:00 PM

Army +4 -110

Georgia State -4 -110

@

Sep 4th, 12:00 PM

Stanford +2 -105

Kansas State -2 -105

@

Sep 4th, 12:00 PM

Holy Cross

UCONN

@

Sep 4th, 12:00 PM

Oklahoma (6) -21 -110

Tulane +21 -110

@

Sep 4th, 12:00 PM

Western Michigan +17 -110

Michigan -17 -110

@

Sep 4th, 12:00 PM

Penn State +4.5 -110

Wisconsin -4.5 -110

@

Sep 4th, 12:00 PM

Fordham

Nebraska

@

Sep 4th, 2:00 PM

Fresno State +20.5 -110

Oregon -20.5 -110

@

Sep 4th, 2:00 PM

Rice +24.5 -110

Arkansas -24.5 -110

@

Sep 4th, 2:00 PM

Lafayette

Air Force

@

Sep 4th, 3:30 PM

Alabama (1) -19 -107

Miami-FL (22) +19 -107

@

Sep 4th, 3:30 PM

Miami-OH +19 -110

Cincinnati (8) -19 -110

@

Sep 4th, 3:30 PM

Marshall -3.5 -110

Navy +3.5 -110

@

Sep 4th, 3:30 PM

Indiana (12) +6.5 -110

Iowa (16) -6.5 -110

@

Sep 4th, 3:30 PM

West Virginia -4.5 -110

Maryland +4.5 -110

@

Sep 4th, 4:00 PM

Central Michigan +11 -110

Missouri -11 -110

@

Sep 4th, 4:00 PM

LA Tech +30.5 -110

Mississippi State -30.5 -110

@

Sep 4th, 4:00 PM

Massachusetts +36 -110

Pittsburgh -36 -110

@

Sep 4th, 4:00 PM

Montana State

Wyoming

@

Sep 4th, 4:30 PM

Northern Iowa

Iowa State (9)

@

Sep 4th, 4:30 PM

Louisiana-Lafayette (15) +14.5 -115

Texas (19) -14.5 -115

@

Sep 4th, 5:00 PM

San Jose State (24) +17 -110

USC (21) -17 -110

@

Sep 4th, 6:00 PM

Campbell

Liberty (17)

@

Sep 4th, 6:00 PM

Gardner-Webb

Georgia Southern

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Eastern Illinois

South Carolina

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Akron +34.5 -110

Auburn -34.5 -110

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Southern University

Troy

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Missouri State

Oklahoma State (20)

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Monmouth-New Jersey

Middle Tennessee

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Baylor -10 -110

Texas State +10 -110

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Syracuse -1 -110

Ohio +1 -110

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Central Arkansas

Arkansas State

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Norfolk State

Toledo

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Texas Tech -7.5 -110

Houston +7.5 -110

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Nicholls State

Memphis

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Abilene Christian

SMU

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Oregon State +6 -107

Purdue -6 -107

@

Sep 4th, 7:30 PM

Georgia (7) +3.5 -107

Clemson (3) -3.5 -107

@

Sep 4th, 7:30 PM

Florida Atlantic +24 -110

Florida (13) -24 -110

@

Sep 4th, 7:30 PM

NIU +13.5 -110

Georgia Tech -13.5 -110

@

Sep 4th, 7:30 PM

Northwestern State

North Texas

@

Sep 4th, 7:30 PM

William & Mary

Virginia

@

Sep 4th, 7:30 PM

UTSA +7.5 -107

Illinois -7.5 -107

@

Sep 4th, 8:00 PM

Montana

Washington

@

Sep 4th, 8:00 PM

East Tennessee State

Vanderbilt

@

Sep 4th, 8:00 PM

Kent State +29 -110

Texas A&M (4) -29 -110

@

Sep 4th, 8:00 PM

Southern Miss -1.5 -105

South Alabama +1.5 -105

@

Sep 4th, 8:00 PM

Duquesne

TCU

@

Sep 4th, 8:30 PM

LSU -3.5 -115

UCLA +3.5 -115

@

Sep 4th, 9:00 PM

Bethune-Cookman

UTEP

@

Sep 4th, 10:30 PM

Nevada +2 -110

California -2 -110

@

Sep 4th, 10:30 PM

BYU (11) -10 -105

Arizona +10 -105

@

Sep 4th, 10:30 PM

New Mexico State +28.5 -110

San Diego State -28.5 -110

@

Sep 4th, 11:00 PM

Utah State +11.5 -110

Washington State -11.5 -110

@