Arkansas State 9

(1-2, 0-1 away)

SMU 55

(2-2, 2-0 home)

8:00 PM ET, September 23, 2006

Gerald J. Ford Stadium, Dallas, TX

1 2 3 4 T
ARST 6 0 3 09
SMU 14 24 3 1455

Top Performers

Passing: J. Willis (SMU) - 151 YDS, 4 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: J. Mapps (SMU) - 14 CAR, 132 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: B. Chase (SMU) - 3 REC, 122 YDS, 1 TD

Southern Methodist 55, Arkansas State 9

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 the game.

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 carries.

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.