UCA earns share of Southland title, 52-35


SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Breylin Smith passed for 296 yards, five touchdowns and no interceptions, and Central Arkansas earned a share of the Southland Conference title with a 52-35 win over Incarnate Word on Friday night.

Central Arkansas (9-3, 7-2) shares the title with Nicholls, which beat SE Louisiana on Thursday night. Nicholls earned the automatic bid to the FCS playoffs due to beating Central Arkansas 34-14 on Oct. 5. The Bears, ranked 11th in the FCS Coaches Poll, are in line for an at-large berth.

The Bears never trailed, but the Cardinals (5-7, 4-5) closed a 17-point deficit to 31-28 on Jon Copeland’s 8-yard TD keeper with 3:52 left in the third quarter. Central Arkansas scored two touchdowns to extend the lead to 45-28 and the teams traded touchdowns in the final three minutes.

Tyler Hudson had nine catches for 161 yards and three touchdowns for the Bears.

Copeland threw for 338 yards and two touchdowns for the Cardinals.