Florida Atlantic has played eight seasons of major college football and already has the hang of it in bowl games.

Rusty Smith threw for 307 yards and two second-half touchdowns to help the Owls beat Central Michigan, 24-21, last night in the Motor City Bowl in Detroit.

Florida Atlantic began playing in the Football Bowl Subdivision in 2001, but has won both its postseason games.

The teams were tied at 10-all midway through the third quarter when Smith hit Chris Bonner with a 52-yard scoring pass. Smith found Cortez Gent with an 18-yard strike early in the fourth to give the Owls (7-6) a bit of a cushion.

Charles Pierre had 77 yards on 16 carries. DiIvory Edgecomb scored a rushing touchdown for FAU.

Dan LeFevour was 28-for 40 for 253 yards and two TD passes for the Chippewas (8-5).


* Cal Poly coach Rich Ellerson, whose father and two brothers graduated from the U.S. Military Academy, was hired to coach Army. His brother John led the 1962 team to a 6-4 record.

Ellerson replaces Stan Brock, who was fired Dec. 12 after a pair of 3-9 seasons; this season ended with a 34-0 loss to Navy.

Before his 8 years as Cal Poly's coach, Ellerson worked with former Army coach Jim Young at Arizona, where Ellerson was an assistant. Young, who ran a successful option attack at Army, had retired from the Black Knights after the 1990 season and assumed a volunteer role on the Arizona coaching staff.

Ellerson also assisted Army coach Bob Sutton when he installed his "Desert Swarm" defense at West Point, which helped carry the Black Knights to a 10-2 record and a berth in the Independence Bowl in 1996.

Cal Poly made it to the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs twice under Ellerson and was ranked as high as No. 3 this season. He was 56-34 in his 8 years at Cal Poly.

* Michigan State agreed to a revised contract with coach Mark Dantonio. His contract remains a 5-year rollover deal with a base salary of $618,000. His overall compensation will rise to $1.8 million a year, up from $1.13 million.

Dantonio would get a $2 million bonus if he remains Michigan State's coach through Jan. 15, 2016.

Michigan State is 9-3 in Dantonio's second season. His overall record with the Spartans is 16-9. *