Preston Stone throws 3 TD passes, LJ Johnson Jr. rushes for 128 yards and SMU opens with 38-14 win

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Preston Stone threw three touchdown passes and SMU defeated Louisiana Tech 38-14 on Saturday.

Stone, a redshirt sophomore with one previous start and two touchdown passes in his SMU career, was 23 of 37 for 248 yards and wasn't intercepted. LJ Johnson Jr. rushed for 128 yards on 14 carries with one touchdown.

The Mustangs, who will join the Atlantic Coast Conference next year with Stanford and California after the conference voted on Friday to add the schools, was an easy winner in its opener to kick off its final season as an American Athletic Conference member.

SMU rolled to a 31-O halftime lead, capping the half with Stone's third touchdown pass of the day, a 25-yarder to RJ Maryland, coming with two seconds remaining. Stone also had a 67-yard scoring pass to Jordan Hudson for the Mustangs' first points and a 9-yarder to Nolan Matthews-Harris. Kori Robertson had a 16-yard pick-6 after blocking a pass at the line.

The Mustangs had 311 yards offense by halftime while holding the Bulldogs (1-1) to 78. By game's end, SMU outgained the Bulldogs 457-269, held Louisiana Tech to 28 rushing yards and sacked Hank Bachmeier six times, two of them by Alex Kilgore.

Bachmeier, a Boise State transfer, finished 21 of 33 for 241 yards, including a 53-yard score to Koby Duru on the second half's opening possession. The Bulldogs added a 2-yard TD run by Keith Willis Jr. with 26 seconds remaining.

SMU plays at 20th-ranked Oklahoma next Saturday.

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