McNeil returns, leads Louisiana Tech past Middle Tennessee

RUSTON, La. (AP) — Parker McNeil returned to the lineup and threw three touchdown passes to lead Louisiana Tech to a 40-24 victory over Middle Tennessee on Saturday.

McNeil threw TD passes of 41 yards to Cyrus Allen, and 10 yards and 27 yards to Tre Harris as the Bulldogs built a 27-14 lead with about a minute to go in the second quarter.

Middle Tennessee closed to within 27-21 just before halftime when Jaylin Lane caught a 3-yard TD pass from Chase Cunningham.

In the third quarter, LaTech (3-6, 2-3 Conference USA) added Willie Roberts’s 18-yard interception return and two field goals by Jacob Barnes for a 40-21 lead. Zeke Rankin’s 26-yard field goal near the middle of the fourth quarter was the only second-half score for the Blue Raiders (4-5, 1-4).

McNeil, who was injured early in the game against Rice two weeks ago and missed last week’s loss to Florida International, completed 14 of 33 passes for 285 yards and was intercepted once. Marquis Crosby had 123 yards rushing on 24 carries. Barnes made four field goals in five tries.

Cunningham was 15-of-27 passing for 136 yards and threw three interceptions.

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