SMU and Rutgers had an absolutely wild opening game of AAC play, but the visiting Scarlet Knights held on for a 55-52 win in triple overtime.
Rutgers started out strong in Dallas, opening the game with three touchdowns -- one a rush, one an offensive fumble recovery, and one a long touchdown pass from Gary Nova. Garrett Gilbert pulled it within two scores before the half, finding Jeremy Johnson for a 21-yard score.
Gilbert opened the second half with a 55-yard touchdown pass to Keenan Holman. Rutgers responded strong, however, seemingly putting the game out of reach with back-to-back touchdowns to make it 35-14 with one quarter to play.
Garrett Gilbert never says die, however, throwing three touchdown passes in the fourth quarter to tie the game. SMU failed an extra point attempt on the first score, though, forcing the Mustangs to attempt a two-point conversion on the last one to tie it. What happened next was absolutely bonkers.
Gilbert ran for a three-yard touchdown in overtime to give SMU the lead, but Rutgers responded with a four-yard touchdown pass from Gary Nova to Leonte Caroo to the the game again.
The Knights got the ball first in the second overtime. After struggling to move the ball, Nova found Caroo on third-and-long for a 29-yard touchdown pass.
Gilbert responded yet again, running for a one-yard score to tie it at 49 and force triple overtime. The Mustangs had the ball first in triple overtime, but the Scarlet Knights came through and forced a field goal, making it 52-49 SMU.
Rutgers responded with a 17-yard touchdown run from Justin Goodwin, taking the game 55-52.
Box Score Hero: Garrett Gilbert. The former Texas quarterback was 45-for-70 for 484 yards and five touchdown passes. He also ran for two overtime scores in the loss.
Rankings Ramifications: Rutgers received a few votes last week, but are not likely to receive any in the next polls.
But Did They Cover? Rutgers was a four-point favorite, so no.
For More On This Game: For the Rutgers reaction, head to On the Banks.
Next Week's Schedule: The Scarlet Knights have a tough AAC road game next when they travel to Louisville Thursday night. SMU has a bye week before traveling to Memphis.