DALLAS — Jaylan Knighton broke the game open with a 95-yard touchdown run in the third quarter and SMU went on to defeat Charlotte 34-16 on Saturday night in an American Athletic Conference opener for both teams.
SMU (3-2) jumped out to a two-score lead after one quarter. Preston Stone gave the Mustangs the lead with a 12-yard touchdown pass to Roderick Daniels Jr. Knighton scored on a 1-yard plunge for a 14-0 lead.
Charlotte’s Jake Larson and SMU’s Collin Rogers traded short field goals in the second quarter and the Mustangs took a 17-3 lead into halftime.
Knighton’s long touchdown run came on the first play after a 59-yard punt by Charlotte’s Grant Gonya pinned the Mustangs at the 5-yard line. Rogers’ 33-yard field goal pushed SMU’s lead to 27-3 midway through the third quarter.
Trexler Ivey had a 3-yard touchdown toss to Jack Hestera but the two-point try failed and the 49ers (1-4) trailed 27-9 after three quarters.
Ivey scored on a 1-yard run midway through the final quarter, but Stone answered two minutes later with a 23-yard touchdown pass to RJ Maryland to wrap up the victory.
Stone completed 14 of 23 passes for 135 yards with one interception for SMU. Knighton piled up 150 yards on 11 carries.
Ivey completed 10 of 17 passes for 107 yards with one interception for Charlotte. Hestera had seven catches for 81 yards.