New Castle News

December 5, 2011

Pittsburgh, SMU to meet in BBVA Compass Bowl

By Staff
Associated Press

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Pittsburgh will face SMU in its second straight trip to the BBVA Compass Bowl with coaching issues again.

Bowl officials announced the matchup Sunday for the Jan. 7 game at Legion Field.

Pittsburgh beat Kentucky 27-10 last season in the first game after coach Dave Wannstedt was forced to resign. Now, his replacement, Todd Graham, must replace three assistants.

Graham said Sunday that co-offensive coordinator Calvin Magee, tight ends coach Tony Dews and secondary coach Tony Gibson have left the program to pursue other jobs.

A day earlier, the Panthers became bowl eligible with a 33-20 win over Syracuse.

"You play an entire season to earn the opportunity for one extra game — a bowl game," Graham said. "Our team is excited for the chance to put that Pitt helmet on one more time for the BBVA Compass Bowl. Birmingham is a great college football town. We're looking forward to our visit and playing SMU in front of a national ESPN television audience."

Pittsburgh is making its fourth straight postseason appearance out of the Big East while coach June Jones has led SMU to three bowls in a row.

The two teams have split their first five meetings, 2-2-1. SMU, out of Conference USA, won their only other postseason matchup 7-3 in the 1983 Cotton Bowl.

SMU had a five-game winning streak after an opening loss to Texas A&M.

"We are happy to be playing in the BBVA Compass Bowl and to get a chance for our eighth win," said Jones, who is seeking win No. 100. "Our kids have worked hard this season and will be excited to take on a quality program like Pitt on national TV."