DALLAS (AP) -- Justin Willis threw four first-half touchdown
passes, including three to tight end Ryan Kennedy, to lead SMU past
Arkansas State 55-9 Saturday night.
The Mustangs (2-2) scored more than 40 points for the second
straight week, the first time that has happened since 1982. They
also won a second nonconference game for the first time in coach
Phil Bennett's five seasons.
The Indians (1-2) have been outscored 90-16 in consecutive
losses to Oklahoma State and SMU.
Willis, who was 15-of-24 for 151 yards with one interception,
had scoring tosses of 6, 4, 24 and 10 yards, giving him nine TD
throws in two games.
All three of Kennedy's receptions resulted in touchdowns as the
Mustangs scored touchdowns on four straight possessions in the
first half for a 38-6 halftime lead. SMU finished with 457 yards of
offense to 262 for the Indians.
SMU went ahead 28-6 early in the second quarter when Kennedy
caught a 24-yard scoring pass three plays after Bryan McCann
returned an interception 29 yards to the Arkansas State 27. Kennedy
scored again on the next possession, this time on a 10-yard toss
from Willis that capped a three-play, 25-yard drive to put the
Mustangs up 35-6 with 9:10 left before halftime.
Willis threw four of the team's five first-half touchdown
passes. The other was a career first for receiver Zach Sledge, who
took a lateral from Willis and threw 75 yards to Bobby Chase for a
21-6 SMU lead.
Sledge also scored the Mustangs' final touchdown when he
returned a fumble 2 yards off a muffed punt snap with 2:25 left in
Chase led SMU with 122 yards receiving on three receptions, and
the Mustangs' James Mapps led all rushers with 132 yards and a
touchdown on 14 carries.
Reggie Arnold led Arkansas State with 88 yards rushing on 16
The Indians pulled within 7-6 on a 69-yard touchdown pass from
Corey Leonard to Patrick Higgins with 8:49 left in the first
quarter, but SMU's Joe Sturdivant blocked the extra point attempt.
Higgins had 99 yards on two catches.