SMU to face Pitt in the BBVA Compass Bowl
Published: Sunday, December 4, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 17:11
The Mustangs are going to a bowl game for the third straight year.
SMU has accepted a bid to play in The the BBVA Compass Bowl against the University of Pittsburgh Panthers in Birmingham, Ala. The game will be played at Legion Field, home of Conference USA rival UAB.
The BBVA Compass Bowl was first played in 2006, and normally features a match up between the Big East and the SEC.
The Big East has won the game every year, including a Pitt win last year over Kentucky.
The Mustangs and Panthers have not met since the 1983 Cotton Bowl. SMU won that game 7-3. The all-time series between the two teams is tied with both sporting a 2-2-1 record.
SMU finished the 2011 regular season 7-5, with a 5-3 record in Conference USA play. This is the first time since 1982 to 1984 that SMU has gone to three consecutive bowl games. Last year, the Mustangs lost to the Black Knights of the United States Military Academy in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl. In 2009 the Mustangs won the Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl over the Nevada Wolf Pack.
The Mustangs began the season with a tough loss at Texas A&M. SMU responded with a five game win streak, including a 40-33 overtime win over rival TCU. That would be the only win on the season against a team with a winning record.
Senior quarterback J.J. McDermott threw for 3182 yards and 16 touchdowns. Junior running back Zach Line ran for 1256 yards, and scored 17 touchdowns in 10 games. Defensively, the Mustangs allow 24.5 points a game. Junior linebacker Taylor Reed led the team with 51 solo tackles.
The Pittsburgh Panthers finished the season with an 6-6 record, going 4-3 in the Big East Conference. The Panthers were led by quarterback Tino Sunseri, who threw for 2,433 yards and 10 touchdowns. Defensively, Pitt gives up an average of 22.3 points a game, good for 33rd in the nation.
This will mark the first time that the Mustangs and Panthers have met since the 1983 Cotton Bowl. SMU won that game 7-3. The all-time series between the two teams is tied with both sporting a 2-2-1 record.
The BBVA Compass Bowl will be played on Saturday, Jan. 7 at noon and will be covered nationally by ESPN.