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2001-2002
College Football Season
Championship and Bowl Coverage


Bowl Recaps
Rose Bowl - Hurricane Dorsey Slams Nebraska
Orange Bowl - Gators Race Past Terrapins
Sugar Bowl - LSU Savors Sweet Sugar Bowl Win
Fiesta Bowl - Buffs Take Siesta, Ducks Win Fiesta
Citrus Bowl - Vols Squeeze Wolverines In Citrus
Gator Bowl - FSU Win Ties Bowden With "Bear"
Outback Bowl - The Sequel: Gamecocks Beat Buckeyes...
Cotton Bowl - Sooners Get Defensive In Cotton Win
Peach Bowl - Tar Heel Defense Just Peachy In Win
Liberty Bowl - Cardinals Ground Cougars
Silicon Valley Classic - Michigan St. Mauls Bulldogs
Sun Bowl - Wash. St. Burns Purdue In Sun Bowl
Humanitarian Bowl - Clemson Ices Louisiana Tech
Insight.com Bowl - Orange Puts Squeeze On Wildcats
Alamo Bowl - Iowa Gets A Kick Out Of Bowl Win
Motor City Bowl - Toledo's Stars Send Rockets To Win
Holiday Bowl - Applewhite Shines In Texas Treat
Music City Bowl - B. C. Beats Bulldogs
Galleryfurniture.com Bowl - Aggies Polish Off Horned Frogs
Independence Bowl - Tide Drops Cyclones By An Inch
Seattle Bowl - Ga. Tech Wins Without Coach And...
Las Vegas Bowl - Utah Upends USC In Las Vegas Bowl
Tangerine Bowl - Panthers Tame Wolfpack...
GMAC Bowl - Marshall Stampedes Back From 30-Point...
New Orleans Bowl - Rams Roll Over Out-manned UNT

ROSE BOWL - Hurricane Dorsey Slams Nebraska

They came. They saw. They conquered. With the help of precision passing from Ken Dorsey and three early turnovers from Nebraska, Miami wasted very little time in storming to a 37-14 Rose Bowl win and their fifth national championship.

It was the 22nd consecutive victory for Miami after going undefeated in Larry Coker's first year as head coach. Coker became the first rookie coach to win a national title since Bennie Oosterbaan did it with Michigan in 1948.

For Nebraska, which only made it here after a flurry of late-season upsets knocked numerous others out of the hunt, it was their second straight loss by more than 20 points. (Colorado beat them 62-36 in their final game of the regular season).

Miami jumped to a 34-0 halftime lead as Dorsey threw for 258 yards in the first half while Eric Crouch was committing costly turnovers.

Crouch's fumble midway through the first quarter set up the Hurricanes' first touchdown, a 49-yard pass from Dorsey to Andre Johnson. Johnson finished the night with seven catches for 199 yards and two scores.

Miami had already increased its lead to 14-0 when James Lewis went 47 yards with a Crouch interception. That put the 'Canes ahead 21-0 with 12:52 still left to play in the second quarter.

Just over two minutes later, Jeremy Shockey scored on an 21-yard pass and the rout was on.

Andre Johnson's second touchdown was on an 8-yard pass from Dorsey with 3:35 left in the half.

Nebraska managed to regroup at halftime and slow down Miami's offense, but the Hurricane defense wasn't about to let this one get away. Though the 'Huskers managed two second-half scores, they still only wound up with 259 yards and produced only seven points on offense.

Judd Davies put Nebraska on the board on a 16-yard run with 2:29 to play in the third quarter. The other score came when DeJuan Groce added a 71-yard punt return for a TD early in the fourth period.

Todd Sievers kicked a 37-yard field goal with 10:04 left for Miami's only second-half score.

Dorsey completed 22-of-35 passes for 362 yards and was selected co-player of the game with Johnson.

The Hurricanes finished the 2001 season as the only unbeaten team. While they escaped late-season challenges from Boston College (18-7) and Virginia Tech (26-24), they also demolished Washington (65-7) and Syracuse (59-0). Earlier in the season, they enjoyed victories over Pittsburgh (43-21) and Florida State (49-27). All six of those opponents went to bowl games, and four of them won.

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Orange Bowl - Gators Race Past Terrapins

Rex Grossman threw four touchdown passes and led Florida to the end zone on his first six drives as Florida scored a 56-23 win over Maryland in the Orange Bowl.

Spurrier benched the runner-up in the Heisman Trophy balloting for a curfew violation, but he entered the game after Brock Berlin was picked off for the second time. Berlin produced just 14 points in his six drives and Maryland was close at 14-10 when Grossman took over with 6 minutes left in the half.

The Gators rolled up 659 yards on offense to break a 49-year old Orange Bowl record. Numerous players got in on the act. Jabar Gaffney, as would be expected, caught two scoring passes. Taylor Jacobs, unexpectedly, set Orange Bowl records with 10 receptions and 170 yards.

Maryland was playing in its first bowl game since 1990, and it showed. Still, they had their moments and their players. When Jafar Williams hauled in a 64-yard pass from Shaun Hill at the end of the first quarter, the Terrapins trailed just 14-7.

But the Terps failed to take advantage of some early Florida miscues and had fallen behind 28-10 by halftime.

Hill threw for 257 yards, and Williams caught 4 passes for 96 yards. As a team, Maryland managed to gather 360 yards of offense.

Both teams finish the year with 10-2 records.

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Sugar Bowl - LSU Savors Sweet Sugar Bowl Win

LSU set a Sugar Bowl record with 595 yards of total offense, 444 from the arm of Rohan Davey who set a bowl record with 31 pass completions, in a 47-34 annihilation of Illinois.

While only 13 points separated the two teams in the final score, the Bayou Bengals pretty much had their way with the Illini all night. LSU staked out a 34-7 halftime lead, and even though Illinois outscored the Tigers 27-13 in the second half, they never got closer than the final margin.

In fact, it was a record night on many fronts for the LSU. RB Domanick Davis set a Sugar Bowl record with four rushing touchdowns while Josh Reed, Biletnikoff winner as the nation's top receiver, had 14 receptions for 239 yards to set two more bowl marks.

The SEC champion Tigers improved to 10-3 with the victory. The Big 10 champion Illini fell to 10-2 after losing the first game they ever played in the state of Louisiana.

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Fiesta Bowl - Buffs Take Siesta, Ducks Win Fiesta

Oregon piled up 500 yards of offense, including 350 yards passing and 4 touchdowns from Joey Harrington, and the Ducks rolled past Colorado 38-16 in the Fiesta Bowl.

Colorado started off on the right foot, taking a 7-0 lead on Brandon Drumm's 1-yard run in the first quarter. But Harrington led the Ducks to an answering score only three minutes later on a 28-yard hook-up with Keenan Howry.

That was the first of 38 consecutive points to be scored by Oregon before the Buffaloes added 9 meaningless late fourth quarter points.

In the mix of scores were touchdown passes of 79 yards to Samie Parker, 6 yards to Onterrio Smith, and 4 yards to Justin Peele. Maurice Morris added a 49-yard run on which it looked like he was tackled after a substantial gain, but he landed on top of a defender without touching the ground and was able to right himself and turn the play into a unique touchdown.

Colorado's running attack, which had boosted the Buffaloes to wins over Nebraska and Texas to end the season, was held to just 49 yards by the Ducks. And quarterback Bobby Pesavento, who had led Colorado to five straight wins, was just 11-of-27 for 139 yards and 2 interceptions before being relieved by Craig Ochs in the fourth quarter.

Colorado dropped to 10-3 with the loss while Oregon improved to 11-1. The Ducks only defeat was a 49-42 setback to Stanford in a rare home loss at Autzen Stadium.

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Citrus Bowl - Vols Squeeze Wolverines In Citrus

Casey Clausen passed for a career-high 393 yards and three touchdowns, and added two 1-yard runs, as Tennessee routed Michigan 45-17 in the Citrus Bowl.

The loss was Michigan's worst bowl defeat in 32 postseason appearances is its first-ever meeting with the Vols. Meanwhile, Tennessee improved its Citrus Bowl record to 4-1 and claimed its fourth 11-win season in coach Phil Fulmer's tenure.

Tennessee was relegated to this game after bowing to LSU in the SEC Championship, a 31-20 loss that knocked them out of a possible national title shot in the Rose Bowl.

The Volunteers built an early 17-0 lead behind a 3-yard scoring pass from Clausen to Kelley Washington, a 1-yard Clausen run, and a 32-yard Alex Walls field goal.

After John Navarre finally got Michigan on the board midway through the second quarter with a 14-yard pass to B. J. Askew, Clausen answered with a second 1-yard run. to make it 24-7.

Though the Wolverines pulled to within 24-10 at the break on Hayden Epstein's 28-yard field goal, they were never able to seriously threaten Tennessee's lead.

Clausen tacked on a 64-yard scoring throw to Jason Witten in the third quarter and a 37-yard touchdown pass to Washington early in the fourth for a 38-10 advantage. Travis Stephens put the icing on the cake with a 3-yard run just 24 seconds later after Jabari Greer picked off a Navarre pass.

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Gator Bowl - FSU Win Ties Bowden With "Bear"

Bobby Bowden got a late Christmas present from his Florida State football players, a 30-17 Gator Bowl win over Virginia Tech to ease some of the pain of their four-loss season. It was also the 323rd victory of his coaching career, tying him with the legendary Paul "Bear" Bryant and leaving him just four behind Joe Paterno.

This one was far from easy as the two teams traded scores and leads throughout the first three quarters. In fact, the Hokies led 17-13 entering the final period.

That's when Chris Rix and Javon Walker got busy and combined for 3 huge plays that produced 17 straight points and a deceptive winning margin.

First, Rix found Walker for a 77-yard touchdown on the first play of the final period. Another long pass set up a Xavier Beitia 35-yard field goal just over four minutes later for a 23-17 Seminole lead.

Tech took the ball into FSU territory twice in the fourth quarter but failed to get any points out of their efforts.

Florida State pushed ahead 30-17 with just 2:14 left in when Rix hit Walker for a 23-yard pass just one play after converting a crucial fourth down by inches.

Rix passed for 326 yards with 195 of those going to Walker on just 4 receptions.

Tech's Andre Davis countered with 158 yards on 5 catches. His 55-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter gave the Hokies their last lead of the game.

In an unusual turn for Seminole kickers, Beitia was 3-for-3. He knocked a 50-yarder right down the middle just before halftime, added a 47-yard kick in the third quarter, and banked his last one in off the left upright to put an exclamation point on his magical day.

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Outback Bowl - Outback Bowl-The Sequel: Gamecocks Beat Buckeyes Again

The Outback Bowl must be starting to seem like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day to Ohio State. For the second year in a row the Buckeyes faced South Carolina and lost. This time, it took Daniel Weaver's 42-yard field goal as time expired to offset a tremendous comeback effort from Ohio State.

The Gamecocks held a 28-0 lead near the end of the third period before the Buckeyes finally woke up.

Steve Bellisari directed four touchdown drives in less than 15 minutes to tie the game with 1:54 to play. But when the Buckeyes got the ball back following an interception deep in their own territory, instead of playing for overtime, they tried to march downfield and turned the ball right back over to the Gamecocks on a pass into traffic.

Three plays later, Weaver barely cleared the crossbar on the game-winner.

South Carolina's lead was built on two Andrew Pinnock runs and a pair of touchdown passes from Phil Petty to Brian Scott and Andrea Gause.

The Gamecocks beat Ohio State 24-7 in this game last year.

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Cotton Bowl - Sooners Get Defensive In Cotton Win

Oklahoma held Arkansas to 50 total yards and collected 9 sacks as the Sooners stifled the Razorbacks 10-3 in the Cotton Bowl.

Oklahoma's Rocky Calmus, the Butkus award winner as the nation's top linebacker, registered two of those sacks and added nine tackles and a fumble recovery.

The game's lone touchdown was scored in the opening quarter when Sooner DB Matt McCoy picked off a Zak Clark pass to set up a 37-yard scoring drive. QB Nate Hybl plunged over from the one.

Tim Duncan's 32-yard field goal capped the opening drive of the second half and extended Oklahoma's lead to 10-0.

Arkansas' lone score was a 32-yard Brennan O'Donohoe field goal on the Razorbacks' first possession of the final period.

The game was similar to last year's win by Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl when they beat Florida State 13-2 to claim the national title.

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Peach Bowl - Tar Heel Defense Just Peachy In Win

The North Carolina defense held Auburn to just 176 total yards while collecting six sacks and forcing three turnovers en route to a 16-10 Peach Bowl win.

The Tar Heels snapped a five-year losing streak for ACC teams in this bowl game, going nearly 59 minutes before allowing an Auburn touchdown with 1:18 left to play. But UNC recovered the ensuing onside kick and took home the trophy.

First-year head coach John Bunting guided North Carolina to a final record of 8-5 while Auburn lost its' third straight game, their fourth defeat in the last five games.

In fact, Auburn has gone just 2-4 since it shocked Florida in a game that improved the Tigers record to 5-1 at the time.

Willie Parker's 9-yard run gave the Tar Heels a 7-0 lead in the first quarter and Jeff Reed's chip shot field goal from 22 yards out in the second put UNC ahead 10-0 at the half. Quarterback Ronald Curry scrambled 62 yards in the third quarter for North Carolina's final score.

Auburn was held scoreless until Damon Duval, who kicked the game-winning field goal against Florida as time expired, connected from 34 yards out early in the fourth quarter.

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Liberty Bowl - Cardinals Ground Cougars

The Louisville defense held Brigham Young to its' lowest point total of the season, and Dave Ragone threw three touchdown passes, as the Cardinals earned a 28-10 win at the Liberty Bowl.

It was a school-record 11th victory for Louisville whose previous best season was a 10-1-1 mark in 1990 when the Howard Schnellenberger-led Cards beat Alabama in the Fiesta Bowl.

Despite playing without one of the nation's best rushers, Doak Walker Award winner Luke Staley, BYU managed to stay in the game for the first 40 minutes. But with 4:45 to go in the third, Deion Branch took a pass over the middle from Ragone 34 yards to the house to open a 21-10 advantage.

Just over five minutes later, Ronnie Ghent helped cement the win with a 27-yard touchdown reception. A defense that sacked Cougar QB Brandon Doman five times made certain that BYU would not mount a serious rally.

After beginning the season with 12 straight wins, the Cougars dropped their last two games to finish 12-2.

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Silicon Valley Classic - Michigan St. Mauls Bulldogs

Charles Rogers caught 10 passes and set a Michigan State record with 270 yards receiving in a 44-35 Silicon Valley Bowl win over favored Fresno State.

The hometown Bulldogs struck first when David Carr threw his first of four touchdown passes just 59 seconds into the game. But Stephen Spach's 5-yard reception was countered 7-1/2 minutes later by Rogers' 72-yard score off the pass from Jeff Smoker who threw 3 touchdown passes for the Spartans.

The ensuing Fresno State possession ended in disaster when Monquiz Wedlow recovered a fumble in the end zone to put Michigan State on top 14-7 and the Bulldogs never regained the lead.

Carr, who threw for 531 yards, kept Fresno State within striking distance. When Paris Gaines scored on a 15-yard pass with 6:04 left to play, the Bulldogs had cut a 37-21 deficit to 37-35.

Jeff Smoker answered the call by engineering a 77-yard drive that ate up over four minutes and put the Spartans ahead by the final margin.

Smoker was 22-of-32 for 376 yards as the opposing quarterbacks combined for 907 yards through the air. And while Rogers was cleaning up on Smoker's big day, Fresno State's Rodney Wright hauled in 13 passes for a Bulldog record of 299 yards.

Fresno State finished the season at 11-3. Michigan State improved to 7-5.

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Sun Bowl - Wash. St. Burns Purdue In Sun Bowl

Washington State reached 10 wins for only the third time in history when the Cougars rallied, then held off Purdue, for a 33-27 Sun Bowl victory.

The Boilermakers led 20-17 at halftime after scoring 20 points in a row in the second quarter, including a 50-yard field goal by Travis Dorsch just before the break, to erase an early 14-0 deficit.

Washington State took command in the third quarter with two Drew Dunning field goals and Jason Gesser's 1-yard run. Another Dunning field goal midway through the fourth quarter put the Cougars up 33-20.

Purdue drew to within 6 points with 1:53 remaining on Taylor Stubblefield's 51-yard touchdown pass from Kyle Orton. But after recovering the onside kick and driving to the Washington State 22, Purdue's comeback hopes were ended by three straight incompletions.

Purdue slipped to 6-6 with the loss, losing five of their last six games.

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Humanitarian Bowl - Clemson Ices Louisiana Tech

Neither snow nor Louisiana Tech's defense could stop Woodrow Dantzler from his appointed rounds as the Senior led Clemson to a 49-24 Humanitarian Bowl triumph over Louisiana Tech.

Dantzler threw four TD passes and the Tigers snapped a five-game losing streak in bowls.

A game that was close at 14-10 at the half was broken open by 28 unanswered Clemson points in the third quarter. Bernard Rambert accounted for 14 of those points within a span of 3:06. First, he hauled in a 62-yard pass from Dantzler and then added a 21-yard run.

Before they knew what hit them, the Bulldogs were down 49-10. Two scores in the final eight minutes helped make the final tally more respectable.

Dantzler entered the game as the first player in NCAA history to pass for over 2,000 yards, and run for over 1,000 yards, in the same season.

Louisiana Tech was making its first appearance in a bowl game since a 34-34 tie with Maryland at the Independence Bowl in 1990.

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Insight.com Bowl - Orange Puts Squeeze On Wildcats

Syracuse made as loud a statement as it could for being snubbed by the Gator Bowl, pounding Kansas State 26-3 in the Insight.com Bowl.

The Orangemen took control early, were never really challenged, and never trailed.

James Mungro scored on a 65-yard run with 6:38 to play in the opening period. He added a pair of 1-yard plunges in the 2nd quarter (Kansas State's Josh Buhl blocked the PAT on each) as Syracuse built a 19-3 cushion by halftime, aided by three Wildcat turnovers.

The only score for Kansas State came from the leg of kicker Joe Rheem. His 39-yard field goal in the first quarter made the score 7-3.

Neither offense was pretty - Syracuse managed just seven first downs and Kansas State was held to 33 yards rushing, 224 yards below their per-game average.

Syracuse finished second in the Big East and felt deserving of the conference's Gator Bowl bid, but that invitation went to Virginia Tech.

With the bowl win, the Orangemen completed their first season of 10 wins or more since 1992, and sixth in school history, with a record of 10-3.

Kansas State fell to 6-6 with the loss. The Wildcats had four consecutive 11-win campaigns before this season.

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Alamo Bowl - Iowa Gets A Kick Out Of Bowl Win

Nick Kaeding's fourth field goal of the game was a 47-yard boot with just 44 seconds left for a 19-16 Iowa win over Texas Tech in the Alamo Bowl.

The game was largely a battle of field goals, but give due credit to a Hawkeye defense that shut down one of the most potent passing offenses in the country.

Red Raider quarterback, Kliff Kingsbury, threw for more than 300 yards but was intercepted twice and threw only one touchdown pass. When Texas Tech was trying to mount a frantic last-minute 90-yard drive to tie or win the game, a Hawkeye rush forced a time-consuming 20-yard scramble and a drive-killing throw-away on a later play.

Kingsbury's hail mary pass on the game's final play was almost caught. But the receiver bobbled the ball and it fell into the hands of an Iowa defender to seal the Hawkeye victory.

Texas Tech got a 50-yard field goal from Clinton Greathouse as time expired in the first half to narrow a 10-point Iowa lead to 10-3.

Kingsbury went to work quickly in the second half, hitting Wes Walker on a 20-yard pass to tie the game just 3:24 into the third quarter.

Then, the game was turned back over to the defenses and kickers.

Kaeding hit field goals from 31 and 46 yards to put Iowa on top 16-10. Robert Treece followed for Texas Tech with kicks from 23 and 37 yards to knot the game at 16-16 with just 2:05 left in the game.

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Motor City Bowl - Toledo's Stars Send Rockets To Win

RB Chester Taylor and QB Tavares Boldin put on a show in Motown as Toledo rocked Cincinnati 23-16 in the Motor City Bowl.

Trailing 13-3 at the half, Taylor and Boldin hit all the right notes after the break as the Rockets came back for the win. Andy Boyd's strip of Cincy WR Ray Jackson's would-be game-tying catch in the last minute secured the victory.

Taylor racked up 190 yards rushing and the game-winning touchdown with 3:23 left to give Tom Amstutz a bowl win in his first season as coach. Toledo completed the season at 10-2, while Cincinnati closed at 7-5 in losing this bowl game for the second year in a row.

Boldin finished the game with 235 all-purpose yards. His 28-yard touchdown run in the third quarter tied the game up.

Toledo took its first lead on Todd France's 30-yard field goal in the fourth quarter, his third field goal of the game. But the Bearcats clawed back to tie the game again at 16-apiece on a 26-yard Jonathon Ruffin field goal, his third of the game also.

The Rockets set a Motor City Bowl team rushing record as they piled up 321 yards on the ground. And their defense set a record in limiting Cincinnati to just 13 rushing yards.

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Holiday Bowl - Applewhite Shines In Texas Treat

The third time was charm. Texas rallied from behind three times, finally subduing Washington with 39 seconds left, in a wild 47-43 Holiday Bowl shootout.

Two of the Longhorns rallies came in the final period. They trailed 36-20 when the fourth quarter began, but stormed back to take a 40-36 lead with six minutes still left.

At that point, I somehow knew that Texas had just played into the Huskies hands.

Washington knows how to conduct a 4th quarter comeback - they have done it 19 times in Rick Neuheisel's career as coach of the Huskies, five times this season - and it didn't take long for them to work their magic as they regained the lead with 1:49 to play.

On this night, however, Texas was just as magical. Major Applewhite calmly led the Longhorns down the field and recaptured the flag with 38 ticks left on the clock.

By this point, I had already spent the entire fourth quarter amazed at what I was witnessing. Now, the first thought in my mind was that Texas had once again left Washington with too much time.

But alas, the magic genie was wiped out. And when Huskies' quarterback Cody Pickett experienced brain lock and scrambled out of bounds on 4th down, the Longhorns and Applewhite had completed an amazing evening in victory.

The Major, in his first start of the year, completed 37-of-55 passes for 473 yards and 4 TD's in the fifth-year senior's final game. With the victory, Texas completed its fifth 11-win season in history (11-2) and Washington dropped to 8-4.

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Music City Bowl - B. C. Beats Bulldogs

Boston College couldn't have picked a better time to finally beat a team with a winning record, downing Georgia 20-16 in the Music City Bowl.

William Green scored the go-ahead touchdown with just 4:43 remaining as the Eagles ended a 21-game losing streak to ranked opponents. Green rolled to 123 first-half yards as B. C. lead 13-10 at the break. That the Bulldogs managed to hold him to just 26 in the second half didn't matter. He still cut loose when it was needed the most, including converting a crucial 4th-and-1 on the game-winning drive.

Though it was Green's only score of the game, he set up a first half 10-yard touchdown pass from Brian St. Pierre to Dedrick DeWalt with a long run. Green carried the ball 35 times and caught 2 passes for a total of 37 touches in 72 plays.

Georgia struck first with a 15-yard David Greene pass to Fred Gibson just two plays into the game after a long opening kick-off return. The Eagles reeled off the next 13 points before the Bulldogs re-took the lead in the third quarter, 16-13, when Verron Hayes scored on a 1-yard run.

Georgia had the ball with a 4th-and-12 at the Boston College 48 with just over 2 minutes left to play, but coach Mark Richt elected to punt. Only 14 seconds remained when Georgia finally got the ball back at its own 48. An incomplete pass and a sack ended the game.

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Galleryfurniture.com Bowl - Aggies Polish Off Horned Frogs

Texas A & M saved one of its best games of the year for bowl season as the Aggies dominated TCU 28-9 in the 2nd Galleryfurniture.com Bowl in Houston.

The Aggie defense didn't allow a single point as the Horned Frogs scored their only touchdown on an 89-yard fumble return by Charlie Owens in the second quarter. TCU's only other points came when Texas A & M coach R.C. Slocum elected to take a safety on a punt late in the game by purposefully snapping the ball out of the end zone.

Meanwhile, the Aggie defense recorded six sacks and forced four Casey Printers interceptions that they turned into 14 points. Texas A & M limited TCU to minus 26 yards rushing and 128 total yards.

The win snapped a four-bowl losing streak for A & M and prevented the Aggies from losing their fourth game in a row this year after dropping their last three regular season games to Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Texas.

Aggie QB Mark Farris opened the scoring with a 1-yard run in the first quarter and closed the scoring with an 82-yard pass to Mickey Jones in the fourth. Those scores sandwiched a pair of TD runs by Joe Weber.

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Independence Bowl - Tide Drops Cyclones By An Inch

You can't miss a field goal by much less. Iowa State's 47-yard attempt with 51 seconds left soared over the right upright, but was ruled wide by the official under the goalpost, and Alabama's 14-13 comeback victory over Iowa State in the Independence Bowl was secured.

The Tide fell behind 10-0 in the first 15:34 as the Cyclones cashed in on a 37-yard Tony Yelk field goal and a Joe Woodley 1-yard run.

Alabama didn't get on the board until quarterback Andrew Zow hit paydirt on an 8-yard run with 5:31 remaining in the first half.

Iowa State pushed the lead to 13-7 when Yelk connected on a 41-yard field goal in the third.

The Crimson Tide's big break came in the fourth when Yelk had his punt blocked by Waine Bacon. Zow hit Terry Jones two plays later on a 27-yard scoring pass with 4:44 remaining to give 'Bama what would prove to be the winning points.

Both teams finish the season with 7-5 marks. It was a vast improvement for Alabama after last year's 3-8 debacle as Dennis Franchione coached the team to a postseason victory in his first season as head coach in Tuscaloosa.

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Seattle Bowl - Ga. Tech Wins Without Coach

Georgia Tech had spent the holidays dazed after its head coach resigned and its top running back flunked out of school, but that didn't stop the Yellow Jackets from wrecking Stanford 24-14 in the Seattle Bowl.

Sean Gregory rushed for 91 yards in replacing Joe Burns, including a 54-yard burst that set up a 20-yard field goal just before halftime. Burns was academically ineligible after leading the Ramblin' Wreck with 1,165 yards during the season.

The Jackets also still had QB George Godsey and WR Kelly Campbell. Campbell tallied a 2nd-quarter score on a 34-yard pass from Godsey and added a clinching 3-yard run with 1:29 left in the game.

Stanford had trimmed a 17-3 halftime disadvantage to 17-14 with 11:29 left in the game, but could get no closer. The Cardinal earlier failed to score touchdowns after driving inside the Yellow Jackets' 2-yard line twice - once in the first quarter and again in the third.

Godsey was 23-of-37 for 266 yards, while Campbell had 10 catches for 106 yards.

Assistant Mac McWhorter led Georgia Tech as its interim coach. He assumed the post after head coach George O'Leary resigned to take over the reigns at Notre Dame. But O'Leary was forced to resign from the Irish five days later when fabrications were discovered on his resume.

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Las Vegas Bowl - Utah Upends USC In Las Vegas Bowl

A relentless defense and controlling ground game aided Utah in a 10-6 upset of Southern California in the Las Vegas Bowl on Christmas Day.

The Utes out-rushed USC 222 yards to 1. Adam Tate ran for 103 yards and scored Utah's only touchdown on a 3-yard run in the first quarter. Dameon Hunter added 94 yards on the ground.

The Trojans' only score came on a 2-yard run by Sunny Byrd in the 3rd quarter, but David Davis pushed the PAT wide right. USC had a chance to get on the board just before halftime but Davis, who had connected on 12 straight field goals, missed wide left from 47 yards out.

Utah then drove to a 26-yard Ryan Kaneshiro field goal to take a 10-0 lead at intermission.

A good crowd of approximately 30,000 was on hand as Utah avenged a 28-21 loss to USC in the 1993 Freedom Bowl.

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Tangerine Bowl - Panthers Tame Wolfpack In Return of Tangerine Bowl

The Pittsburgh Panthers never trailed as they downed North Carolina St. 34-19 in the first Tangerine Bowl since 1982.

Actually, the Tangerine Bowl never stopped, it just changed its name to the Citrus Bowl and was played in the stadium bearing that name. The new Tangerine Bowl is actually the old Micron PC Bowl, relocated to Orlando from Pro Player Stadium in Miami after it failed to generate interest in south Florida.

It was Pittsburgh's first bowl win since 1989, aided by WR Antonio Bryant's two touchdown catches and a defense that continued the stingy play that helped the Panthers win their last five regular season games.

After trading field goals in the opening period, Pittsburgh took control with three touchdowns in the second quarter for a 24-10 lead at intermission.

The defense took over in the second half, adding a 16-yard fumble return for a score by Tyre Young with 6:15 left and later picking off N. C. State QB Philip Rivers to halt any chance of a Wolfpack comeback.

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GMAC Bowl - Marshall Stampedes Back From 30-Point Deficit To Win GMAC Bowl

East Carolina had a history of blowing leads in the regular season, and Wednesday night they let a 38-8 halftime advantage dissipate as Marshall rallied for a 64-61 GMAC Bowl win in double-overtime.

Marshall quarterback Byron Leftwich helped East Carolina take a quick 14-0 first quarter lead when he had an intercepted pass returned 12 yards for a score, and a fumble returned 43 yards for another touchdown in the opening 3 minutes, 21 seconds.

But Leftwich redeemed himself by throwing four TD passes and running for a fifth score as he piled up 575 yards on a 41-of-70 performance.

ECU quarterback David Garrard countered Leftwich's turnovers with two costly interceptions that were returned for Herd scores in the third quarter. Those touchdowns helped Marshall reduce the Pirate lead to 41-36 with a quarter still left to play.

The Pirates seemed in control again when they opened a 51-42 lead with 5 minutes left in the game after a 55-yard TD run by Leonard Henry.

But Marshall thundered back once more. They cut the gap to 51-45 on a 27-yard Curtis Head field goal, then forced East Carolina to punt to get the ball on their own 20 with 50 seconds left. Facing only a 3-man rush, Leftwich quickly guided Marshall downfield and hit Darius Watts with a game-tying 11-yard pass with just 7 seconds left.

This, however, was a night when the unexplainable just kept happening, and Head shanked the PAT to send the game to overtime.

The teams traded TD's in the first extra period, but East Carolina only managed a Kevin Miller 37-yard field goal to begin the second OT. Marshall's Leftwich hit Josh Davis on an 8-yard pass for the decisive points.

The 125 points were the most ever scored in any bowl game, blistering the mark of 96 set by Texas Tech and Air Force when the Red Raiders beat the Falcons 55-41 in the 1995 Copper Bowl.

The exhilaration of Marshall's scintillating rally soon turned to despair when the NCAA announced it was putting the Herd on four years of probation, taking away five football scholarships each year.

The sanctions were imposed on the basis that the university exhibited a "lack of institutional control" in the wake of finding that several players were provided test answers and extra work benefits between 1996 and 2000. It further called Marshall "very negligent" in assisting the investigation.

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New Orleans Bowl - Rams Roll Over Out-manned UNT

North Texas' players will be proud to tell their kids years from now that they ended the school's 42-year absence from bowl games. They can be excused if they leave out the minor detail of the final score, a 45-20 loss to Colorado State in the inaugural New Orleans Bowl.

The Rams (7-5) broke out to a quick 17-0 lead midway through the first quarter, but the Mean Green (5-7) managed to cut the gap to 24-14 by halftime.

Colorado State took command in the 3rd quarter by scoring a touchdown off a blocked punt to take a 31-14 lead, and the Rams never looked back.

CSU extended their lead to 45-14 before UNT back-up QB Andy Blount hooked up with Richard Bridges on a 13-yard scoring pass with just 2:11 left to play.

Colorado State quarterback Bradlee Van Pelt threw a first-half 8-yard TD pass to Jose Ochoa and added a 6-yard scoring run.

North Texas was the first team with a losing record to appear in a bowl game since William & Mary in the 1970 Tangerine Bowl. The Tribe lost that game to Toledo 40-12.

The Mean Green last appeared in a bowl game in 1959 when they lost 28-8 to New Mexico St. They earned the automatic bid to this year's New Orleans Bowl by claiming the Sun Belt Conference crown with a league mark of 5-1.

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(All articles written by Mike Mitchell, Senior Editor of CollegeFootballPoll.com.)


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