DALLAS (AP) -- Justin Willis threw for 148 yards and one
touchdown and linebacker Tony Hawkins returned an interception for
another score as SMU defeated UAB 22-9 Tuesday night.
Willis, who completed 18-of-23 passes, hit Vincent Chase on a
3-yard touchdown pass with 1:38 left in the first half for a 7-3
After UAB (3-6, 2-3 Conference USA) took a 9-7 lead on a 40-yard
field goal by Swayze Waters with 13:57 left in the game, James
Mapps scored on a 30-yard run with 7:37 left and Cedrick Dorsey
caught a Willis pass for the 2-point conversion for a 15-9 SMU
lead. Mapps led SMU with 48 yards on five attempts.
The drive almost didn't happen after punt returner Blake Warren
fumbled the ball after an 11-yard return, but Zack Sledge recovered
the fumble at the UAB 43-yard line.
Hawkins sealed the game after he intercepted a Chris Williams
pass and returned it 11 yards for a touchdown with 2:34 left in the
game. Williams was 18 of 36 for 133 yards, SMU entered the game
ranked 117th in the nation in pass defense allowing over 279 yards
The Mustangs (5-4 3-2) have won six straight home games dating
to last season, which is the most since a seven-game streak over
UAB failed to score a touchdown on four drives that reached
inside the SMU 25-yard line and had to settle for a 25 and 26 yard
field goal by Waters in the first half as well as a 37-yard attempt
that drifted wide left in the third quarter.
The Mustangs' first score was set up after an offside penalty on
UAB linebacker Mastaki Smith on Thomas Morstead's 31-yard field
goal attempt gave SMU a first down at the UAB 9-yard line. Three
plays later, Willis connected with Chase.
SMU had 258 yards of total offense in the game, UAB finished
with 222 yards.