Preston Stone Injury Update: What This Means For SMU in the AAC Championship Game

Preston Stone was dicing the Navy defense, but an untimely injury jeopardizes his ability to play in the AAC Conference Championship next week.

SMU Mustangs quarterback Preston Stone has been fantastic in 2023. But the sophomore quarterback suffered a gruesome-looking leg injury in the second quarter of the Mustang’s season finale.

If the injury is as serious as it looked in real-time, what does it mean for SMU as they play Tulane in the American Conference Championship a week from now?

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Preston Stone Injury Update

On a second-and-4 from the Navy 33, Stone tried creating something out of nothing as the Navy defense pursued him in the backfield.

He was eventually wrangled by multiple Navy defenders, and he bent awkwardly on the way down.

Although the Mustangs were already up by 35 points, nobody is taking out the starting quarterback in the second quarter of a game your team absolutely must win to play for the conference championship next week.

Stone hobbled to the sideline with help, but he could put no pressure on his left leg. When he got to the sideline, he was carted to the locker room.

Stone was absolutely dealing before the injury.

He’d already thrown for 322 yards and 3 TDs on 14 of 19 passing. His performance in 2023 has played a significant role in the Mustang’s success. So, what is next if he cannot play next week?

The SMU QB was a four-star recruit from Parish Episcopal High School in the 2021 class. According to 247 Sports, he was the 148th-ranked player nationally, the No. 18 QB, and the 26th-ranked player in Texas.

Kevin Jennings Relieves Stone

South Oak Cliff’s own Kevin Jennings relieved Stone after the injury. If the Mustang’s starter is unable to return against Tulane, he is the likely option against the 18th-ranked team in the nation.

The AAC Conference Championship game is critical for both teams. There is New Year’s Six implications riding on that game.

Jennings was a three-star recruit coming out of high school. The 6′, 190-pound QB was ranked as the No. 88 QB in 247Sports composite rankings. He also led his high school team to the 2021 5A Division II State Championship. He was the district’s MVP.

Jennings hasn’t played a ton over the past two seasons, but he’s been incredibly efficient when he’s been inserted. Over the two years, he’s completed 33 of 42 passes for 403 yards and 4 TDs.

The Mustang’s two losses came against Oklahoma and TCU. Rice and Memphis gave them games, but SMU is undefeated in the AAC this season.

Tulane’s only loss of the season came against Ole Miss. However, Michael Pratt did not play in that game. While Tulane has been dominant this season, they’ve had their share of close calls during their undefeated conference run.

SMU’s offense likely takes a step back with the less experienced Jennings, and it could be the difference in the result.

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