Pitt, SMU to meet in BBVA Compass Bowl

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP)—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.

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CAPABLE BACK-UP—Pitt freshman running back Isaac Bennett had seven catches including one for a touchdown in the Panthers 33-20 win over Syracuse. (Courier Photo/William McBride)

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.”

(For tickets and travel package information, call the Panthers Ticket Office at (800) 643-PITT.)

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