SMU beats Pittsburgh in Compass Bowl

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — J.J. McDermott ran and threw for first quarter touchdowns and Southern Methodist University beat Pittsburgh 28-6 on Saturday in the BBVA Compass Bowl.

Rishaad Wimbley ran for two scores for SMU (8-5), which tied a school record by playing in its third consecutive bowl under coach June Jones.

Pittsburgh (6-7) was held without a first down and fell behind 21-0 in the first quarter. Kevin Harper kicked field goals of 32 and 34 yards.

FCS CHAMPIONSHIP

NORTH DAKOTA STATE 17, SAM HOUSTON STATE 6

In Frisco, Texas, Brock Jensen threw a touchdown pass right after a fake punt, then had a 1-yard keeper for another score set up by a long interception return and North Dakota State won its first FCS championship.

Sam Houston (14-1) had its lowest-scoring game of the season, 33 points below its FCS-best average, and was denied an undefeated season and its first Football Championship Subdivision title. The Bearkats had only 210 total yards.

NORTH CAROLINA: The NCAA has granted fullback Devon Ramsay a hardship waiver, giving him an extra year of eligibility in 2012.

Ramsay tore several ligaments in his left knee in the 2011 season opener against James Madison. He had surgery in mid-September and missed the rest of the season.

GODADDY.COM BOWL

NORTHERN ILLINOIS (10-3) VS. ARKANSAS STATE (10-2)

TIME: 9 p.m. (ESPN)

LINE: Arkansas State by 1

SERIES RECORD: Northern Illinois leads 6-1

WHAT’S AT STAKE: Arkansas State is trying to extend its nine-game winning streak and get a victory in its first bowl appearance since 2005; Northern Illinois has an eight-game winning streak.

KEY MATCHUP: Arkansas State’s defense vs. Northern Illinois QB Chandler Harnish.

PLAYERS TO WATCH:

Arkansas State–QB Ryan Aplin has thrown for 3,235 yards, 18 TDs and 13 INTs while also leading the Red Wolves with 605 rushing yards and nine touchdowns.

Northern Illinois–Linebacker Pat Schiller has been dominant this season, leading the team with 108 tackles.

– Associated Press


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