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Smith leads Louisiana Tech past Hawaii 31-14 in Hawaii Bowl

J’Mar Smith threw a touchdown pass and ran for another score in a big third quarter to lead Louisiana Tech to a 31-14 win over Hawaii in the Hawaii Bowl on Saturday night.

The Bulldogs (8-5) rallied from a 7-3 halftime deficit to secure their fifth bowl victory in as many seasons, a program first.

Smith threw for 285 yards on 19-of-31 passing with an interception. He tossed a 58-yard touchdown pass to Jaqwis Dancy and scored on a 4-yard run that was part of a 21-point third quarter.

Louisiana Tech took the lead for good on Israel Tucker’s 5-yard TD run with 10:27 left in the third.

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Bulldogs defensive end Jaylon Ferguson became the NCAA’s career sacks leader when he dropped Hawaii quarterback Chevan Cordeiro for a 2-yard loss late in the third. Ferguson’s 45 sacks broke the previous mark set by Arizona State’s Terrell Suggs.

Hawaii played without wide receiver John Ursua, who leads the nation with 16 touchdown catches. Ursua, sidelined with an undisclosed injury, was ruled out just minutes before the start of the game.

The Bulldogs had a Hawaii Bowl-record nine sacks, four by Willie Baker. Amik Robertson had two of their three interceptions.

The Rainbow Warriors (8-6) were just 2 of 14 on third down and got penalized 12 times for 140 yards.

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