SMU stifles No. 22 Tulane to win AAC championship

Kevin Jennings threw a touchdown pass in his first college start, SMU’s defense dominated and the Mustangs defeated No. 22 Tulane 26-14 in the American Athletic Conference championship game Saturday in New Orleans.Jennings, a redshirt freshman who had thrown just 24 passes this season, stepped in for injured Preston Stone and overcame three turnovers by passing for 203 yards and rushing for 63.The Mustangs (11-2, 9-0) won the conference title in their last season before departing for the ACC.Michael Pratt passed for 238 yards, but Makhi Hughes, the AAC’s leading rusher who rushed for at least 100 yards in seven of his last eight games entering Saturday, managed just 44 yards on 11 carries for the Green Wave (11-2, 8-1), who had won 10 straight games.Tulane failed to repeat as AAC champion and likely lost its opportunity to play in a New Year’s Six bowl for a second consecutive season.Tulane was 0 for 7 on third downs before Pratt threw a 42-yard touchdown pass to Yulkeith Brown on third-and-1 to tie the score at 14 midway through the third quarter.SMU answered with a 41-yard drive that was capped by Collin Rogers’ 48-yard field goal to take a 17-14 lead at the end of the third quarter.