Central Florida upsets Baylor, 52-42, in Fiesta Bowl

Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles runs the ball during the Knights' 52-42 upset win over Baylor in the Fiesta Bowl on Wednesday night.
(Jennifer Stewart / Getty Images)

Blake Bortles threw for 301 yards and accounted for four touchdowns, Storm Johnson ran for three touchdowns and No. 15 Central Florida defeated No. 6 Baylor, 52-42, in the Fiesta Bowl on Wednesday night at Glendale, Ariz.

“There’s not many outside of us who believe we had a chance, but we did and I think we showed what UCF football is all about,” Bortles said.

A 17-point underdog, the Knights (12-1) beat the Bears (11-2) with an array of big plays. Central Florida took an early 14-point lead and piled up 556 yards in the highest-scoring Fiesta Bowl game.


Rannell Hall had four catches for 113 yards and two touchdowns, and Johnson ran for 124 yards to give the Knights a rousing Bowl Championship Series bowl debut.

Baylor had 17 penalties for 135 yards.

Bryce Petty ran for three touchdowns and threw for 356 yards and two touchdowns for Baylor. Lache Seastrunk ran for 117 yards.

South Carolina outlasts Wisconsin

Connor Shaw was responsible for five touchdowns, including three passing, and No. 8 South Carolina outlasted No. 19 Wisconsin, 34-24, in the Capital One Bowl at Orlando, Fla.

The senior was selected the game most valuable player after picking apart the Badgers’ defense, completing 22 of 25 passes for 312 yards. Shaw also had rushing and receiving scores.

South Carolina (11-2) won its third consecutive bowl game to cap its third 11-victory season in a row.

Bruce Ellington caught six passes for 140 yards and two touchdowns.

The Badgers (9-4) lost their fourth straight bowl game, failing to capitalize on 100-yard rushing games from Melvin Gordon and James White, and struggling after quarterback Joel Stave left in the third quarter because of a shoulder injury. Backup Curt Phillips threw two interceptions.

Louisiana State holds off Iowa


Jeremy Hill ran for 216 yards and two touchdowns, helping No. 14 Louisiana State and inexperienced quarterback Anthony Jennings hold off Iowa, 21-14, in the Outback Bowl at Tampa, Fla.

Craig Loston’s fourth-quarter interception stopped a potential tying drive, giving Hill a chance to put the game out of reach by carrying four times for 87 yards on a 92-yard march that gave Louisiana State (10-3) a 21-7 lead.

Iowa (8-5) pulled to within a touchdown after Jordan Cotton returned the ensuing kickoff to the Tigers’ four.

Jennings rushed for one touchdown, but the freshman threw for only 82 yards and was intercepted once and sacked four times while standing in for the injured Zach Mettenberger in his first college start.

C.J. Beathard replaced Jake Rudock at quarterback for Iowa on the first play of the fourth quarter. His fourth-down interception stopped one promising drive, but he also tossed a four-yard touchdown pass to Kevonte Martin-Manley that cut it to 21-14 with 1:42 remaining.

Safety John Lowdermilk set up Iowa’s other touchdown — Mark Weisman’s two-yard run in the third quarter — with an interception and 71-yard return to the one. Officials initially ruled Lowdermilk, who was untouched on the return, scored. But the call was reversed when a replay review determined the Iowa defender dropped the ball before crossing the goal line.

Nebraska holds on against Georgia

Tommy Armstrong Jr. connected with Quincy Enunwa for two touchdowns, including a 99-yarder in the third quarter, and Nebraska held on to beat No. 23 Georgia, 24-19, in the rain-soaked Gator Bowl at Jacksonville, Fla.

Playing in their 50th bowl game, the Cornhuskers (9-4) ended a four-game losing streak against teams from the Southeastern Conference. The streak included a 45-31 loss to Georgia (8-5) in the Capital One Bowl last season.

The rematch was much different.

Nebraska did a solid job against running back Todd Gurley, who ran for 125 yards and a touchdown last year. Gurley finished with 86 yards on the ground and caught seven passes for 97 yards and a touchdown.


North Texas defeats Nevada Las Vegas

Derek Thompson threw for 256 yards and two touchdowns, Brelan Chancellor scored twice and North Texas dominated the second half to beat Nevada Las Vegas, 36-14, in the Heart of Dallas Bowl.

Chancellor finished with 121 yards combined rushing and receiving.

The Mean Green (9-4) was making its first postseason appearance since a 2004 New Orleans Bowl loss to Southern Mississippi and won a bowl for the first time since New Orleans in 2002.

The Rebels (7-6) drove 95 yards for a touchdown on their first possession but didn’t score again until the Mean Green was up, 28-7, in the fourth quarter.