This item originally appeared in the October 21, 2004 issue of The Tech Talk.
By KYLE ROBERTS
Associate Sports Editor
The Bulldog football team's dominating offensive and defensive performances blasted the Southern Methodist University Mustangs 41-10 on Saturday in Gerald J. Ford Stadium in Dallas, Texas.
The win improved Tech's overall record to 4-3 with a perfect 3-0 Western Athletic Conference record.
"I was extremely pleased that we were able to go into SMU and win the ball game," head coach Jack Bicknell III said. "To me, they are a much improved team from last year with a good quarterback that we were able to put a lot of pressure on."
Tech wasted no time putting points on the board as junior quarterback Matt Kubik hit senior wide receiver Tramissian Davis for a 93-yard touchdown pass with 9:48 left in the first quarter. Kubik finished 18-of-26 for 303 yards and two touchdowns.
"I think with having a great running back like (Ryan) Moats we need good plays like that from Kubik and the receivers," Bicknell said. "I felt like that would be one of the keys to our offense from the very beginning of the season. It was very good to see that against SMU, and we mainly hope to continue that for the rest of the year."
SMU's offense was stopped on the ensuing drive when junior linebacker Jeremy Hamilton forced a fumble that senior safety Michael Johnson recovered to set up Moats' first of three touchdown runs -- this one from nine yards out. Tech's defense caught four interceptions for a turnover margin of 5-1.
"I was very happy with the fact that we were able to win the turnover margin," Bicknell said. "I feel like our defense played hard and played well. It feels like a long time since we've had four interceptions, and that's how you win football games."
Moats finished the game with 186 yards on 22 carries and remains third in the nation in rushing with 159.1 per game after seven games.
The Mustangs responded with a 23-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Tony Eckert to sophomore wide receiver Reynaldo Pellerin. After the made extra-point, SMU narrowed the gap to 14-7 with 5:23 in the first quarter.
Moats responded four plays later with a 72-yard touchdown run down the sidelines. Freshman kicker Danny Horwedel's point-after was good to give Tech a 21-7 lead. Horwedel kicked 5-of-5 extra-points for the game and followed with his first of two field goals on the day from 25 and 37 yards, respectively.
"Compared to what we've been doing, that was a great effort," Bicknell said. "Horwedel's still a young guy that we've put in some tough situations, but I felt like for the most part that he did a great job. Right now, it's all a learning process by getting out there and doing it. Hopefully he'll get some confidence and continue to kick well."
Moats ran his third touchdown in from 20 yards on a fourth-and-one play that led to a 31-7 score with 4:03 in the first half.
"Ryan just had another great day," Bicknell said. "At the beginning of the second half, things looked like they were in great shape. So we took him out and tried some other things. While he was in there, he obviously did a fantastic job, and we believe he is one of the better backs in the country."
SMU tacked on another field goal with 4:40 left in the first half, but a 14-yard touchdown pass from Kubik to senior wide receiver Erick Franklin with 0:15 remaining before halftime put the game out of reach for the Mustangs at 38-10.
Horwedel tacked on another field goal in the second half to end the game at 41-10.