Scores

Final

Tulane 21

(3-9, 1-7 American)

SMU 26

(7-5, 6-2 American)

3:00 PM ET, November 28, 2009

Gerald J. Ford Stadium, Dallas, TX

1 2 3 4 T
TULN 7 0 7 721
SMU 7 10 3 626

Top Performers

Passing: R. Griffin (TULN) - 216 YDS, 2 TD

Rushing: S. McNeal (SMU) - 26 CAR, 147 YDS, 2 TD

Receiving: E. Sanders (SMU) - 6 REC, 144 YDS

SMU 26, Tulane 21

Associated Press

DALLAS -- A long wait for SMU is officially over.

Shawnbrey McNeal rushed for 147 yards and two touchdowns, including the go-ahead score with 5:23 remaining, to lead SMU to a 26-21 win over Tulane on Saturday.

The Mustangs (7-5, 6-2) were already bowl eligible with six wins. With Saturday's victory, they are guaranteed to earn one of Conference USA's six automatic bowl bids. SMU, which went 1-11 the last two seasons, has not appeared in a bowl game since the 1984 Aloha Bowl.

Three years after that appearance, the NCAA imposed the death penalty on the football program for multiple rules violations. The Mustangs didn't play football for two seasons and have since struggled to regain respectability.

"I didn't see a player laugh or have fun until the second game this year," SMU coach June Jones said of the team?s attitude. "It's like they were browbeat worse than any players I?ve ever seen."

Jones, in his second season at SMU, was given a two-year contract extension on Friday, keeping him at the school through 2014. Jones came from Hawaii, and the Mustangs may be going to Hawaii for their bowl game next month.

"I told the players I didn?t really think it would really soak in yet," Jones said. "I told them they talk about the (early 1980s team) Pony Express; in 10 years they?re going to talk about you."

McNeal, who carried the ball 26 times, scored on a 4-yard run in the fourth quarter to put SMU ahead, and the Mustangs held on.

Tulane (3-9, 1-7) led 21-20 when Andre Anderson scored on a 1-yard run with 10:06 to play. Earlier, Ryan Griffin and Jeremy Williams connected for a pair of touchdown passes for the Green Wave.

After McNeal's touchdown put the Mustangs ahead, Tulane had two chances. On the first drive, the Green Wave was stopped on downs; on the second, as time was running out, Tulane fumbled and SMU recovered.

Kyle Padron completed 20 of 34 passes for 264 yards for SMU, and Emmanuel Sanders finished with six receptions for 144 yards. SMU led 17-7 at halftime.

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Team Stat Comparison

 
TULN
SMU
1st Downs1624
Total Yards345445
Passing216264
Rushing129181
Penalties5-542-10
3rd Down Conversions6-124-11
4th Down Conversions0-11-2
Turnovers10
Possession28:5431:06

Passing Leaders

TulaneC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Griffin18/262168.320
SMUC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Padron20/342647.800

Rushing Leaders

TulaneCARYDSAVGTDLG
Anderson271053.9123
Williams11010.0010
SMUCARYDSAVGTDLG
McNeal261475.7221
Line4276.8112

Receiving Leaders

TulaneRECYDSAVGTDLG
Williams57414.8246
Robottom55911.8019
SMURECYDSAVGTDLG
Sanders614424.0075
Wilkerson7669.4024

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERTULNSMU
TD09:04Shawnbrey McNeal 2 Yd Run (Matt Szymanski Kick) 07
TD02:07Jeremy Williams 5 Yd Pass From Ryan Griffin (Ross Thevenot Kick) 77
SECOND QUARTERTULNSMU
FG12:54Matt Szymanski 31 Yd 710
TD02:57Zach Line 3 Yd Run (Matt Szymanski Kick) 717
THIRD QUARTERTULNSMU
TD14:13Jeremy Williams 46 Yd Pass From Ryan Griffin (Ross Thevenot Kick) 1417
FG02:55Matt Szymanski 37 Yd 1420
FOURTH QUARTERTULNSMU
TD10:06Andre Anderson 1 Yd Run (Ross Thevenot Kick) 2120
TD05:23Shawnbrey McNeal 4 Yd Run (Two-Point Pass Conversion Failed) 2126