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  SMU coach Sonny Dykes saw the best first half of the season from his team, which made it easier to excuse a drop-off after halftime. Tanner Mordecai threw three touchdown passes to push his nation-leading total to 29, ran for another score and No. 21 SMU dominated the opening half in a 55-26 victory over Tulane on Thursday night. The Mustangs (7-0, 3-0 American Athletic) are a victory away from their second 8-0 start in the past three seasons as they get ready to play three of the next four games on the road in a stretch that ends with a trip to No. 2 Cincinnati. "You've got to go play well when you have the national stage," Dykes said. "We don't get it very often. I thought our guys were excited about the opportunity and took advantage of it certainly in the first half. Second half wasn't as good." Mordecai had 300 of his career-high 427 yards at halftime, capped by a 22-yard toss to Reggie Roberson Jr. for a 31-7 lead 53 seconds before the break.

The Oklahoma transfer's 3-yard scoring run on a bootleg off a fake pitch fooled the entire Tulane defense early. "Overall just poor execution on the defensive side of the ball," Tulane linebacker Nick Anderson said. "Many times we had them third-and-long and just didn't execute the right calls to get off the field." Second-year freshman Michael Pratt tied a career high with three touchdown passes to give him at least one in all 17 of his games, but the early deficit was too big in a fifth consecutive loss for the Green Wave (1-6, 0-3), which was displayed by Hurricane Ida early in the season. - SMU/AP College Football


rSr/2023 QB Tanner MordecaiSouthern Methodist
News Source: SMU/AP College Football



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