Despite being an underdog, the SMU Mustangs have come out strong in the first half of the 2012 Compass Bowl. SMU currently leads Pittsburgh 21-3 at halftime, as the Mustangs look for their second bowl win in the last three years.
SMU quarterback J.J. McDermott has played well in the first half, completing nine of 15 passes for 142 yards and a touchdown. Darius Johnson was the recipient of McDermott's lone touchdown pass, as he and his quarterback hooked up for a 50 yard touchdown, giving SMU a 7-0 lead.
McDermott would then add a touchdown on a one yard quarterback sneak, putting the Mustangs up 14-0. Rishad Wimbley also rushed for a touchdown in the waning moments of the first quarter, giving SMU a commanding 21-0 lead.
Unfortunately for SMU, the Mustangs wouldn't score in the second quarter. Pittsburgh put three points on the board early in the second quarter when Kevin Harper kicked a 32 yard field goal, cutting SMU's lead to 21-3.
While the Mustangs are up by 18, there's still plenty to improve on in the second half. SMU's running game has been essentially nonexistent, as Jared Williams and Rishad Wimbley have a combined 10 rushes for 32 yards. The Mustangs are also a mere two-for-five on third down conversions in the first half.
Defensively, SMU has done an excellent job shutting Pittsburgh down, holding the Panthers to three points while forcing two turnovers. SMU has held Pittsburgh to a mere nine rushing yards on 16 carries as well.