SMU 34, Tulsa 24

Saturday, November 18th 2006, 5:38 pm
By: News On 6

DALLAS (AP) Justin Willis threw for 2 touchdowns and ran for another to lead SMU to a 34-24 win over Tulsa on Saturday afternoon.

The Mustangs scored 27 consecutive 2nd half points to erase a 17-point halftime deficit, tying for the third-largest comeback in school history.

SMU took its first lead at 27-24 with 12:46 left in the game after Willis scored on a 6-yard touchdown run and ran in the 2-point conversion. With the touchdown, Willis set a school record for touchdowns accounted for in a season with 28, the previous record had been set by Chuck Hixson in 1968.

Wide receiver Blake Warren scored on a 14-yard run with 4:31 left in the game to extend the SMU lead to 10 points. Willis threw a lateral to Warren, who broke two tackles on the way to the end zone.

The Mustangs (6-5, 4-3) became bowl eligible with the win and won at least 6 games for only the second time since the school received the death penalty in 1987.

Tulsa (7-4, 4-3) lost its third consecutive game.

Willis completed 11 of 18 passes for 190 yards with scoring tosses of 8 and 10 yards and led SMU with 93 yards rushing on 17 attempts. His 8-yard touchdown pass with 1:25 left in the 3rd quarter to Reynaldo Pellerin came five plays after the Mustangs' Andrew McKinney recovered Nick Graham's fumbled kickoff return at the Tulsa 24-yard line.

Tulsa scored on all four of its 1st-half possessions for a 24-7 halftime lead. Paul Smith completed 9 consecutive passes for 132 yards to start the game including a 12-yard touchdown pass to Idris Moss with 6:14 left in the 2nd quarter for a 17-7 Tulsa lead. Moss led all receivers with 13 receptions for 120 yards. Smith also scored on a 1-yard quarterback sneak with 36 seconds left in the 1st half.

Smith completed 22 of 30 passes for 230 yards and 1 touchdown.