2017 Inaugural Frisco Bowl Notes – Dec. 20, 2017 – Frisco, Texas – Toyota Stadium
Final Score: Louisiana Tech 51, SMU 10
Louisiana Tech is 605–451–39 (.571) all-time over 117 seasons.
SMU is now 478–523–54 (.478 winning percentage) all-time for 103 seasons.
Louisiana Tech leads the all-time series with SMU 4-1-0, and they both were members of the Western Athletic Conference from 2001-04. Their last meeting was a 41-10 win by the Bulldogs at SMU’s Ford Stadium in 2004.
Louisiana Tech is 6-3-1 in 10 bowl appearances, and SMU is 7-8-1 in 16 bowls. Tech was in NCAA Division II and NCAA Division I-AA (now NCAA FBS) until 1989 when it became a I-A (now NCAA FBS) independent team. The Bulldogs actually went to their first bowl game in 1977 as a member of the Southland Conference and downed Louisville 24-14 at the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, La. Tech also is credited with three national small college championships in 1972-74 under legendary head coach Maxie Lambright with a composite record of 35-2 for those three seasons. SMU is playing in its first bowl since the 2012 Hawai’i Bowl, which capped a school-record four consecutive postseason appearances for the Ponies.
The Bulldogs are 3-0-0 in bowl games played in Texas (all since 2014 and all with Skip Holtz as head coach) while SMU is 3-6-1 in 10 all-time bowl contests played in the Lone Star State.
Conference USA leads all FBS circuits with four team victories in its first six bowl berths this season.
American Athletic Conference schools now are 4-3 (.571) vs. Conference USA teams in 2017 and lead C-USA squads by current membership 463-369-8 all-time.
The AAC is now 25-20 (.556) against non-conference opponents (including bowls) while C-USA is 28-33 (.459) against outside foes through Dec. 20. Conference USA qualified 10 teams for 2017-18 bowls and sent a C-USA season-record nine squads into the postseason.
Only eight teams entered the 2017-18 bowl season with three consecutive bowl wins. Louisiana Tech now has four, and the other schools with three straight FBS postseason triumphs and still playing in bowls are Clemson, Georgia, Stanford, Georgia, Stanford, Utah, Virginia Tech, and Wisconsin. Utah is seeking to pass the .800 winning percentage mark in bowls as the Utes (16-4 all-time in postseason tilts) tangle with West Virginia Tuesday in the Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl at Cotton Bowl Stadium.
This is the sixth of nine bowl games for C-USA members and the first of seven postseason clashes for schools from the American.
SMU has been a member of the AAC since 2013 while Louisiana Tech also joined Conference USA in 2013. SMU was a member of Conference USA from 2005-12. The Mustangs also are the fourth different American Athletic Conference team to play in either the Miami Beach or Frisco Bowls. Louisiana Tech is the second Conference USA squad to compete in any of the four bowls, and C-USA teams are now 2-0 in the history of the Miami Beach/Frisco Bowls. AAC schools are 2-2 in four appearances in these bowls.
The three games of the Miami Beach Bowl (predecessor of the Frisco Bowl) had these results:
Dec. 22, 2014 – Memphis 55 BYU 48, 20,761 attendance
Dec. 21, 2015 – WKU 45 USF 35, 21,712
Dec. 19, 2016 – Tulsa 55 Central Michigan 10, 15,262
Previous and 2017MVPs have been:
2014 Paxton Lynch Memphis QB
2015 Brandon Doughty Western Kentucky QB
2016 Dane Evans Tulsa QB
2017 J’Mar Smith La. Tech (offense); Amik Robertson La. Tech (defense)
SMU head coach Sonny Dykes made his Mustangs debut tonight – ironically, exactly 31 years ago on Dec. 20, 1986, his late father Spike Dykes made his college head coaching debut at Texas Tech against Ole Miss in the Independence Bowl against Ole Miss of the Southeastern Conference. The Rebels edged Texas Tech in that outing 20-17.
The two coaches in tonight’s game both had famed fathers in the collegiate coaching ranks. Skip Holtz is the son of NFF College Hall of Fame coach Lou Holtz, who was 249-132-7 for 33 seasons with a 12-8-2 bowl record. Skip Holtz is 126-99 (18 years) and 6-3 as a head coach in bowls. Skip Holtz had guided his last four bowl teams to victories prior to the Frisco Bowl at Tech and USF and now has five consecutive bowl victories as a head coach.
Sonny Dykes is the son of the late Spike Dykes who was 82-67-1 (13 full seasons, 1986 bowl game) and 2-5 in bowls – all with Texas Tech. Sonny Dykes is 41-46 (seven full seasons, 2017 bowl game) and 1-2 in bowls. The four father-son coaches are a composite 498-344-8 over 71 full seasons and two bowl head coaching assignments.
Sonny Dykes is one of handful of college coaches to coach at one school (Louisiana Tech from 2010-12) and then face the school (La. Tech) in a later bowl game.
Honorary coin toss participants for the two teams were standout Louisiana Tech QB and broadcaster Terry Bradshaw and SMU star wideout Cole Beasley of the Dallas Cowboys.
SMU quarterback Ben Hicks was intercepted only nine times during the 2017 regular season before Bulldogs defenders picked off him off three times in the first half.
Conference Records in 2017-18 Bowls (7 Bowls Total) – Through Dec. 20
Big Ten 0-0
Big 12 0-0
Sun Belt 2-1
Total 2017-18 Attendance 7 Total Bowls: 163,339, average: 23,334.
Louisiana Tech wideout Javonte Woodard and RB Jarred Craft are from the same hometown – Haughton, La. – as former Mississippi State All-Southeastern Conference QB and Dallas Cowboys stalwart Dak Prescott. Craft was a sophomore when Prescott was a senior at HHS.
Tech also was within 10 of the Conference USA bowl game record of 61 points scored. The Bulldogs had a 42-10 lead at halftime. Tech also lost three games by one point and another contest in overtime prior to its Frisco Bowl trek. The Bulldogs also end the 2017 season with three consecutive victories over UTEP and UTSA before downing the Mustangs.
There never has been an overtime contest in the four-season history of Division I football championships.
SMU entered tonight’s encounter with the highest scoring average (40.2), total offense yards average (493.8), touchdowns on offense (60), yards per play (6.6) and an ESPN Team Offensive Rating of 72.4 – all tops among NCAA FBS squads from the state of Texas.
All statistics and other marks in this game represent Frisco Bowl records. This is the first NCAA FBS game ever played in Frisco, Texas, or Toyota Stadium, though Texas Tech held its 2017 spring intrasquad game some eight miles north of this stadium at the indoor venue The Star at Ford Center in Frisco.