The SMU Mustangs football team will host the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks at Gerald J. Ford Stadium in Dallas on Saturday.
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The game (7 p.m. ET start time) won’t be on regular TV anywhere, but anyone in the US can watch Stephen F. Austin vs SMU live on ESPN+:
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Stephen F. Austin vs SMU Preview
The Mustangs opened their 2020 campaign with a visit to the Texas State Bobcats, securing a 31-24 victory. Last week, they traveled to Denton, where they throttled the North Texas Mean Green 65-35 to improve to 2-0.
Though SMU outgained North Texas 710-517 and won the turnover battle 2-0, head coach Sonny Dykes said his Mustangs haven’t yet “put a full game together by any stretch of the imagination,” according to The Dallas Morning News.
“One of things that we talk to our players a lot about is that if you want to be a great football team, then you have to learn how to play great no matter what the score is,” Dykes said Monday, per the paper. “Whether you’re behind or whether you’re ahead, the expectation is still to go out there and perform at a very high level. We’re still learning how to do that as a football program.”
Quarterback Shane Buechele, a fifth-year senior, completed 24 of 33 passes for 344 yards and 4 touchdowns against the Mean Green, adding 29 yards and a score with his legs.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, only 8,000 spectators will be permitted on Saturday at Ford Stadium, which holds 32,000.
“It will be nice to hear from our fans. It’ll be nice to have our band,” Dykes said, per The Dallas Morning News. “The atmosphere is so different now than what we’re accustomed to, but it’ll definitely be nice to hear some people rooting for us.”
While the Southland Conference has postponed its conference schedule until the spring due to the pandemic, SFA has committed to playing something resembling a full fall schedule.
The Lumberjacks have also visited a pair of in-state opponents — losing to the UTEP Miners 24-14 and the UTSA Roadrunners 24-10 — and they have seven more games scheduled, all nonconference, with the potential for more.
“We’re 0-2 (this season), but we’re fighting up a weight class playing FBS opponents,” SFA head coach Colby Carthel said, according to the Houston Chronicle. “We have been very competitive. We’ve had a chance to win both games in the fourth quarter, just hadn’t gotten it done, and that’s the next step is to learn how to win those tough, hard-fought games.”
Through two games in his second season starting under center for the Lumberjacks, junior quarterback Trae Self has completed 35 of 54 passes for 418 yards, 2 touchdowns and a pick.
“He’s got some quality tools. He has a big arm,” Covington said of Self after the quarterback transferred from Butler Community College in Kansas in 2019, according to the Tyler Morning Telegraph. “He can make plays with his legs, and he’s a natural leader.”