Frisco, Texas — J’mar Smith threw three touchdown passes and ran for a score, Louisiana Tech’s defense scored twice and the Bulldogs rolled to a 51-10 victory over sloppy SMU on Wednesday night in the Frisco Bowl.
Smith completed 15 of 23 passes for 216 yards, and Teddy Veal caught four passes for 84 yards for Louisiana Tech (7-6). The Bulldogs led 42-10 at the half.
SMU (7-6) fumbled on its first offensive snap and turned it over on its first three drives and six times overall.
It was a disappointing debut for SMU coach Sonny Dykes against his former school. Dykes was 22-15 at Louisiana Tech from 2010 to 2012 before leaving for California in 2013. Dykes was fired by Cal a year ago, and spent this season as an offensive analyst at TCU before SMU hired him to replace Chad Morris on Dec. 11.
With most of the staff joining Morris at Arkansas, Dykes elected to coach the bowl game and installed graduate assistant G.J. Kinne as offensive coordinator for the bowl game.
It didn’t have the desired effect.
Smith gave the Bulldogs a 7-0 lead on a 1-yard sneak with 7:43 remaining in the first quarter. Louisiana Tech had a short field to work with after Secdrick Cooper returned an interception 31 yards to the SMU 30.
Amik Robertson returned an interception 55 yards for a touchdown less than a minute later, pushing the lead to 14-0.
SMU held onto the ball on it’s fourth drive, but couldn’t reach the end zone and settled for a field goal after stalling at 8.
On the ensuing kickoff, Jaqwis Dancy had a 65-yard return, setting up a 6-yard touchdown pass from Smith to Veal for a 21-3 lead.
Louisiana Tech added returned another interception for a touchdown early in the second quarter. This time, Darryl Lewis had a 23-yard return down the sideline for a 28-3 lead.
Smith added touchdown passes to Veal and Kam McKnight, helping Louisiana set a school record for first-half points in a bowl game.
Trey Quinn scored SMU’s touchdown on a on a nine-yard pass late in the second quarter. SMU quarterback Ben Hicks completed 19 of 33 passes for 127 yards.
Kansas State coach Bill Snyder remains undecided about his future leading the Wildcats, preferring to focus on preparing to play UCLA in the Cactus Bowl.
There have been reports that have indicated Snyder has already decided to return for his 27th season, but he said Wednesday that “I’m in the process” of deciding on next season.
“It will be a little bit because of bowl preparation,” he said.
The 78-year-old Snyder has a contract that rolls over annually.
Florida International vs. Temple
Kickoff: 8 p.m. Thursday, St. Petersburg, Fla.
Line: Temple by 7
What’s at stake: Florida International is making its first bowl appearance in six years. It last appeared in the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl, which is the former name of the Gasparilla Bowl. Temple played in the Military Bowl last season, losing to Wake Forest, 34-26.