Scores

Final

Montana State 30

(1-1, 0-1 away)

SMU 31

(1-1, 1-1 home)

8:00 PM ET, September 7, 2013

Gerald J. Ford Stadium, Dallas, TX

1 2 3 4 T
MTST 8 14 8 030
SMU 5 14 3 931

Top Performers

Passing: G. Gilbert (SMU) - 317 YDS, 1 TD

Rushing: C. Kirk (MTST) - 29 CAR, 107 YDS, 2 TD

Receiving: D. Joseph (SMU) - 12 REC, 113 YDS, 1 TD

Garrett Gilbert TD pass with 12 seconds left lifts SMU

Associated Press

DALLAS -- Garrett Gilbert threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Darius Joseph with 12 seconds left to give SMU a 31-30 victory over Montana State on Saturday night, stunning the No. 3 team in FCS.

After forcing a Montana State punt, SMU (1-1) took over with 3:46 remaining on its own 19. Led by Gilbert, who finished 35 of 48 passing with 317 yards, the Mustangs took 14 plays to drive the remaining 81 yards for the win.

Joseph caught three passes on the game-winning march, finishing with 12 grabs for 113 yards.

Montana State raced out to a 22-5 lead before taking a 22-19 advantage into halftime. Cody Kirk and the Bobcats offense ate up the clock in the second half and, for the most part, kept the pass-happy SMU offense off the field.

Kirk finished with 107 yards and two touchdowns; including a 13-yard run that gave Montana State a 30-19 lead with 9:28 left in the third quarter.

SMU scored just one offensive touchdown before the game-winning drive, as the Mustangs settled for three field goals and turned the ball over twice inside the red zone. The Mustangs notched a safety in the first quarter to open the scoring, but it was their only lead until the final 12 seconds.

Montana State (1-1) was looking to become the ninth FCS team to beat a FBS team this season.

SMU, on the other hand, was licking its wounds after a 41-23 loss to Texas Tech, entering its most winnable non-conference game of the season.

The Mustangs, playing in the newly formed American Athletic Conference, have non-conference games at No. 7 Texas A&M and No. 24 TCU.

The top-two FCS teams, North Dakota State and Eastern Washington, both won games against the top tier of college football last weekend. Early on, Montana State looked like it would join them.

The Mustangs were trying to avoid their first 0-2 start since 1996 and first loss to a lower-tiered opponent since 1990. North Texas, which was Division I-AA at the time, topped the Ponies 14-7.

SMU was hampered by penalties (11 for 85 yards) and the inability to move the ball in large chunks until the waning stages of the game.

However, the Ponies' special teams came up with a big score just before halftime to put SMU back in the game.

JaBryce Taylor returned a punt 55 yards for a touchdown as time expired in the first half to give SMU the momentum heading into halftime, but behind Kirk's steady running, Montana State retook a double-digit lead on its opening drive of the second half.

The Bobcats built a three-score lead early by controlling the line of scrimmage on offense and preventing the Mustangs from stretching the field on defense.

While Gilbert was 17 of 26 in the first half, he only had 113 yards passing with a long of 18.

One of Gilbert's best plays of the opening 30 minutes was a pooch punt on fourth and 10 near midfield, which downed Montana State at its own 1. On the next snap, Cody Kirk was tackled in the end zone by Stephon Sanders to give the Mustangs a brief, 2-0 lead, before Kirk put Montana State up 8-2 with 2:23 remaining in the first quarter.

The Bobcats converted a pair of 2-point conversions in the swinging-gate formation.

Montana State quarterback DeNarius McGhee, who grew up less than 25 minutes from Gerald J. Ford Stadium in nearby Euless, finished 17 for 27 passing with 218 yards and a touchdown.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

ESPNDallas.com 

Team Stat Comparison

 
MTST
SMU
1st Downs2522
Total Yards378461
Passing218317
Rushing160144
Penalties6-7011-85
3rd Down Conversions4-119-18
4th Down Conversions1-10-0
Turnovers02
Possession33:2926:31

Passing Leaders

Montana StateC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
McGhee17/272188.110
Southern MethodistC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Gilbert35/483176.610

Rushing Leaders

Montana StateCARYDSAVGTDLG
Kirk291073.7212
Johnson9404.4117
Southern MethodistCARYDSAVGTDLG
Nlemchi8546.8128
Line6345.7013

Receiving Leaders

Montana StateRECYDSAVGTDLG
Bleskin57314.6023
Flotkoetter35618.7040
Southern MethodistRECYDSAVGTDLG
Joseph121139.4127
Johnson711216.0066

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERMTSTSMU
SF12:52Cody Kirk Tackled By Stephon Sanders In End Zone 02
TD02:23Cody Kirk 1 Yd Run (Tanner Roderick Pass To Tiai Salanoa For Two-Point Conversion) 82
FG00:15Chase Hover 45 Yd 85
SECOND QUARTERMTSTSMU
TD12:16Jon Ellis 13 Yd Pass From DeNarius McGhee (Rory Perez Kick) 155
TD08:13Shawn Johnson 2 Yd Run (Rory Perez Kick) 225
TD05:12K.C. Nlemchi 2 Yd Run (Chase Hover Kick) 2212
TD00:00JaBryce Taylor 55 Yd Punt Return (Chase Hover Kick) 2219
THIRD QUARTERMTSTSMU
TD09:28Cody Kirk 12 Yd Run (Tanner Roderick Run For Two-Point Conversion) 3019
FG07:02Chase Hover 42 Yd 3022
FOURTH QUARTERMTSTSMU
FG09:53Chase Hover 39 Yd 3025
TD00:12Darius Joseph 4 Yd Pass From Garrett Gilbert (Two-Point Conversion Failed) 3031