BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Bo Wallace threw three touchdown passes and Mississippi beat Pittsburgh 38-17 in the BBVA Compass Bowl on Saturday to complete an impressive turnaround under first-year coach Hugh Freeze.
Ole Miss (7-6) took a five-win improvement over its 2-10 finish in 2011.
Pitt (6-7) struggled on offense as leading rusher Ray Graham was held out with a hamstring injury he suffered in bowl practice. The Panthers fell behind in the opening minutes after quarterback Tino Sunseri threw his first interception since Sept. 15 and trailed the remainder of the game.
Wallace’s 13-yard touchdown pass to Ja-Mess Logan gave the Rebels the 7-0 lead. Wallace added first-half touchdown passes to Randall Mackey, for 27 yards, and Vince Sanders, for 18 yards.
QUARTERBACK Brock Jensen ran for three touchdowns, Sam Ojuri scored twice and North Dakota State (14-1) beat Sam Houston State 39-13 in a title-game rematch at Frisco, Texas, for its second straight FCS championship.
Jensen scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 1-yard sneak in the third quarter, and Ojuri had a 2-yard TD run on fourth-and-1 after the Bison (14-1) got the ball with a fourth-down stop.
The Bison, who won 17-6 a year ago, improved to 10-1 in the FCS playoffs with their eighth straight postseason win.
FOR MONDAY’S BCS Championship between Notre Dame and Alabama, ESPN is devoting the same resources as it does to its NFL “Monday Night Football.”
That means around 40 cameras inside and outside the stadium, six production trucks, 30 replay angles and 500 staffers to bring it all together.
“It has the potential to be a monster game for ESPN,” Sports Illustrated media columnist Richard Deitsch said.