SMU seeking third straight win over rival North Texas

Sports

Some new offensive talent has SMU off to a strong start.

And, seemingly in good position to continue its home success over local foe North Texas, which visits Dallas on Saturday night.

With Oklahoma transfer Tanner Mordecai, fellow former Sooner Grant Calcaterra and ex-Arizona State tight end Nolan Matthews leading the way, SMU (1-0, 0-0 in American) rolled to a 56-9 home rout of Abilene Christian last weekend.

Mordecai, who toiled behind Kyler Murray, Jalen Hurts and Spencer Rattler for three seasons at Oklahoma, made a strong first impression for the Mustangs. He completed 24 of 30 passes for 317 yards and a school single-game record seven touchdown passes without an interception.

“He kind of just came, put his head down and worked,” SMU coach Sonny Dykes said of Mordecai, who threw four touchdowns in 12 games over those three seasons with the Sooners.

“It’s good to see Tanner play as well as he did (against Abilene), and hopefully continue to play well.”

Mordecai threw two touchdowns each to Calcaterra, Matthews and Danny Gray as the Mustangs amassed 490 total yards, did not commit a turnover and were whistled for only two penalties.

The task likely will get a little tougher this weekend, but SMU is 4-0 at home versus North Texas (1-0, 0-0 Conference USA), since the Mean Green became part of the FBS in 1995. SMU eyes a third consecutive overall victory against the Mean Green following last season’s 65-35 road rout.

The Mustangs’ Ulysses Bentley IV, who rushed 10 times for 48 yards last weekend, ran for a career-high 227 and three touchdowns at North Texas in 2020. Teammates Reggie Roberson Jr. and Rashee Rice, who caught a touchdown against Abilene, combined for 14 receptions and 205 yards in last year’s meeting with the Mean Green.

SMU held Abilene Christian to 119 rushing yards in its opener, but now must contain North Texas’ DeAndre Torrey, who ran for a career-high 244 yards on 25 carries with three touchdowns in last Saturday’s 44-14 victory over Northwestern State.

“He’s a stud,” Mean Green coach Seth Littrell said of the fifth-year senior. “The work he’s put in — he’s done a lot for his team.”

Torrey, who stepped up following Oscar Adaway’s season-ending ACL injury, has rushed for 82 yards and one TD on 22 carries in three games versus SMU.

–Field Level Media

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