- Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday1 hr ago
South Carolina managed to salvage a winning campaign out of an otherwise dismal season with a 24-21 win against Miami in the Independence Bowl.
The Gamecocks now have had seven consecutive winning seasons and three consecutive bowl wins.
After falling behind 6-0 early in second quarter, South Carolina responded with 17 points and never looked back. The South Carolina defense, which has struggled most of the season, forced two turnovers, including a key fumble in the fourth quarter that the Gamecocks’ offense turned into the game-sealing touchdown late in the fourth quarter.
That Duke Johnson fumble, which was recovered by Gerald Dixon, gave the Gamecocks the ball on the Miami 29-yard line. South Carolina quarterback Dylan Thompson found Pharoh Cooper who made a spectacular 25-yard catch and Thompson ran the ball in from the 2-yard line on the next play.
The score gave South Carolina a 24-14 lead, and even though Miami responded with a touchdown, it wasn’t enough.
Cooper finished the game with nine catches for 170 yards and a touchdown. It was his second-highest single-game yardage total of the season.
- Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday2 hrs ago
For the third consecutive season, Duke failed to earn the bowl win that has eluded the program for the past 53 years.
A late Kweishi Brown interception on quarterback Anthony Boone ended Duke’s hope of a late win as the Blue Devils fell to Arizona State 36-31 in the Sun Bowl.
Prior to that interception, Boone had led his team back from a 30-17 deficit in the fourth quarter and the Blue Devils briefly had taken a 31-30 lead with 5:03 remaining.
However, on the kickoff, Arizona State’s Kalen Ballage ran the ball back 96 yards to set up Demario Richard, who scored the game-winning touchdown off an option pass by quarterback Taylor Kelly.
It was Richard’s fourth touchdown of the day, which tied a Sun Bowl record.
Early, Arizona State looked like it was going to run away with the game taking a 20-3 lead midway through the second quarter. But a touchdown pass from Boone to Shaquille Powell and a 68-yard punt return for a touchdown by Jamison Crowder cut the Sun Devils’ lead to just three at halftime.
- Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday3 hrs ago
Virginia Tech’s winning streak remains intact.
The Hokies, who came into Saturday’s Military Bowl game against Cincinnati with a 6-6 record, needed a win to preserve its streak of consecutive winning seasons, and did so with a 33-17 victory that secured the program’s 22nd consecutive winning season.
The win was a little surprising considering Cincinnati, which was trying to win 10 games for the third time in four seasons, came out hot on offense with quarterback Gunner Kiel slinging the ball with precision against a spotty Virginia Tech secondary.
But once the Virginia Tech defense settled down and started mixing up its looks, Kiel started to struggle and threw two interceptions. In the third quarter, the defense knocked Kiel out of the game with a vicious shot to the midsection that left him on the ground for several minutes.
Kiel fumbled the ball on the play and Virginia Tech scored to turn a 10-point lead to what was ultimately an insurmountable 17-point lead.
With Kiel out, Cincinnati’s offense came to a screeching halt and Virginia Tech’s defense was able to salt away the game.
- Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday6 hrs ago
The Liberty Bowl doesn’t start until Monday, but Texas A&M already can claim at least one victory against West Virginia — in the singing competition.
Texas A&M posted a video of offensive lineman Caden Smith belting out Matchbox 20’s “3 am,” to help secure what we believe was a tie in the competition before running back Trey Williams killed a rendition of R. Kelly’s “Bump N’ Grind” for the win.
It was so good, it felt like we were all back in 1994 (and we didn't see nuthing wrong).
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- Nick Bromberg at Dr. Saturday21 hrs ago
There will be no 10-win season for Central Florida.
N.C. State scored twice in the third quarter to turn a 17-10 halftime lead into a 31-13 margin at the beginning of the fourth and held on for a 34-27 win in the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl.
Had UCF won, the Knights would have had at least 10 wins in each of the last three seasons. Instead, N.C. State got its eighth win of the season, the most the program has had since 2011.
The Wolfpack piled up 486 yards of offense on UCF's defense, which entered the game third in the country in total defense at 283 yards per game. The Knights couldn't stop N.C. State's passing attack, which picked up huge chunks of yardage. Quarterback Jacoby Brissett finished 15-of-26 passing for 262 yards and a touchdown.
Brissett, however, wasn't the only one who did damage throwing the ball. The Wolfpack's first score of the game came on a pass from running back Shadrach Thornton to receiver Jaylen Samuels for an 18-yard touchdown. And in the second half, Brissett caught a 20-yard pass from receiver Bo Hines.
Thornton finished with 96 yards rushing and Matt Dayes had 78 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
- Nick Bromberg at Dr. Saturday21 hrs ago
As San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh's future remains clouded and Michigan doesn't have a coach for 2015, the Wolverines are reportedly scheduled to speak with him over the weekend.
Fox Sports' Bruce Feldman reported Friday night that Michigan officials would be in the Bay area and NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported that Michigan officials will meet with Harbaugh. Per The Wolverine,Michigan officials are there "with the intention of closing the deal" after San Francisco plays Arizona on Sunday.
#Michigan brass & search firm will be up in the Bay Area this weekend as part of the Jim Harbaugh pursuit, per source.
- Nick Bromberg at Dr. Saturday22 hrs ago
Howard running back Terrence Tusan was killed at a Denton, Texas, apartment complex on Sunday night.
He was shot along with 18-year-old Jakobi Dmon Gipson. According to the Denton Record-Chronicle, the two, along with a third person, are identified as suspects by police in a home invasion robbery at the apartment complex.
Denton police said officers received a 911 call reporting gunshots at 5:38 p.m. Sunday. Officers arrived minutes later to find two victims with with non-life-threatening injuries and two of the suspects — Tusan and Gipson — dead.
Gipson was shot inside the apartment and Tusan was shot outside. Two other people, the residents of the apartment, had non-life-threatening injuries and were treated and released from a local hospital. They have also moved out of the apartment. Per the Record-Chronicle, police haven't identified who shot whom.
On December 23, Howard University released a brief statement.
- Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday23 hrs ago
Duck Commander Independence Bowl Miami (6-6) vs. South Carolina (6-6) Shreveport, La. Dec 27, 2014
This is yet another bowl game between teams that fell short of expectations this season.
Miami has been rebuilding under coach Al Golden and has yet to progress to the level that fans expected when he was hired. In fact, the 6-6 season is his worst since his first campaign in 2011 when they were ineligible for the postseason.
South Carolina was picked to finish first in the SEC East, but was blasted by Texas A&M in the season opener and never fully recovered. The 6-6 campaign was the worst in coach Steve Spurrier’s tenure since 2007 when they didn’t qualify for a bowl game. Two of his teams have finished 7-6, but the last was in 2009. The Gamecocks have won 11 games in each of the last three seasons.
South Carolina will have its hands full with Miami’s top three offensive threats in quarterback Brad Kaaya, running back Duke Johnson and receiver Phillip Dorsett, who led the team with 31 catches for 826 yards and nine touchdowns.
- Nick Bromberg at Dr. Saturday1 day ago
Well, the Quick Lane Bowl went about as was expected for North Carolina's defense. It's just that the Tar Heel offense couldn't keep up with Rutgers' offense as the Scarlet Knights moved to 8-5 with a 40-21 win over UNC.
If you're looking for an encapsulation of North Carolina's day, just watch this GIF of Rutgers' extra point attempt after the Scarlet Knights' fourth touchdown of the game. Even when North Carolina looked like it was about to do something right it still went awry – make sure you watch the football that was most definitely not blocked.
Rutgers' quarterback Gary Nova finished with 184 yards passing and two touchdowns (and no interceptions) and opened the scoring with a touchdown pass to a wide-open Andre Patton from 34 yards out.
But it was the Rutgers ground attack that really gashed UNC. Rutgers finished with 340 yards rushing as Josh Hicks and Robert Martin both had 19 carries. Hicks piled up 202 yards and a touchdown while Martin finished with 100 yards and two scores.
- Sam Cooper at Dr. Saturday1 day ago
Three days after it was reported that Pitt was close to a deal with its next head coach, the school made the hire official.
Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi was introduced as the Panthers’ head coach at a press conference on Friday afternoon. Narduzzi, who has been the defensive coordinator for the Spartans since 2007, takes over for Paul Chryst, who left to be the head coach at Wisconsin last week.
Narduzzi has produced a top 10 defense nationally with Michigan State over the last four seasons, including a Spartans team that was No. 7 in the country this season in total defense. Additionally, Narduzzi was the winner of the 2013 Broyles Award, which is given to the nation’s top assistant coach.
“Our goal was not only to find the best football coach but also a person who would uphold the values and mission of the University of Pittsburgh. In Pat Narduzzi we have found that person,” said Dr. Randy Juhl, Pitt’s acting athletic director.