College football: Stanford, Oregon win bowl games by a single point, Utah falls to Northwestern
Cameron Scarlett scored on a one-yard run and recovered a fumble in the end zone for a second score to lead Stanford to a 14-13 victory against Pittsburgh in the Sun Bowl on Monday in El Paso, Texas.
The Cardinal (9-4) finished on a four-game winning streak, much the same way they did two years ago when Stanford won the Sun Bowl for a season-ending six-game streak.
The Panthers (7-7) lost their fourth straight bowl game and sixth in the past seven after falling to playoff championship finalist Clemson in the ACC title game. The past three losses have been in four years in under coach Pat Narduzzi.
Pitt, which had a 10-7 halftime lead and was up 13-7 early in the fourth quarter, was led by tailback Darrin Hall, who had 16 carries for 123 yards and a score.
Scarlett had 91 yards on 21 carries in place of tailback Bryce Love, who decided to skip the bowl game to rehab an ankle injury ahead of the NFL draft. Love was the second Stanford back to do that in the past three Sun Bowls.
In 2016, Christian McCaffrey skip the game, was drafted eighth overall by Carolina and just finished sixth in the NFL in rushing in his second season.
Redbox Bowl — Oregon 7, Michigan State 6: Justin Herbert shook off a sluggish day and threw a touchdown pass to Dillon Mitchell in the fourth quarter, and Oregon held on after Michigan State botched a field goal attempt at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.
Herbert passed for 166 yards and extended his streak of consecutive games with a touchdown pass to 28 on a day when the Ducks’ offense mostly sputtered.
The Spartans were lined up for a 50-yard field goal attempt when quarterback Brian Lewerke, who doubles as the holder, bobbled the snap, then attempted to run before hurriedly throwing an incompletion near the sideline.
After Michigan State’s defense forced a three-and-out on the following possession, the Spartans took over at their own 42, but Lewerke’s long pass on fourth-and-12 was knocked down by Oregon cornerback Thomas Graham.
Lewerke completed 22 of 40 passes for 172 yards with one interception. It’s the third time in four games that Michigan State (7-6) has failed to score a touchdown.
Running back LJ Scott ran for 84 yards on 24 carries, ending his injury-riddled season with the Spartans on a high note after being limited to five games. The senior running back declined to redshirt this year and declared for the NFL draft in early December.
Holiday Bowl — Northwestern 31, Utah 20: The Wildcats converted three Utah turnovers into 21 points in a dizzying nine-minute stretch in the pouring rain during the third quarter, including Jared McGee’s 82-yard fumble return for a touchdown to stun the Utes, who led 20-3 in the first half.
The Wildcats (9-5) scored 28 points in the third quarter to win their third straight bowl game under coach Pat Fitzgerald. The Green Bay Packers reportedly want to interview Fitzpatrick for their head coaching job.
Senior Clayton Thorson became the all-time leading passer for Northwestern, going 21 of 30 for 241 yards for 10,731 career yards. He broke Brett Basanez’s school record of 10,580.
Thorson threw for two touchdowns and was intercepted once in making his 53rd straight start for the Wildcats, the most by a quarterback in Big Ten history. He is the program’s all-time winningest quarterback at 36-17. He was replaced after taking a hard shot midway through the fourth quarter.
Utah (9-5) cruised to a 20-3 halftime lead behind redshirt freshman quarterback Jason Shelley before it all fell apart in the third quarter. Shelley had two interceptions and a fumble.
Liberty Bowl — Oklahoma State 38, Missiouri 33: Taylor Cornelius tied a Liberty Bowl record with four touchdown passes and Kolby Peel made a critical fourth-down stop with 1:01 left for the Cowboys in Memphis, Tenn.
Missouri (8-5) faced fourth-and-one when quarterback Drew Lock attempted a keeper around the right end. Peel made an ankle tackle that stopped Lock short of the first-down marker.
Cornelius, a fifth-year senior and former walk-on, went 26 of 44 with four touchdown passes and two interceptions by Cam Hilton that sparked Missouri’s comeback try. Both interceptions led to Missouri touchdowns.
Missouri’s Larry Rountree III ran for 204 yards, including a 55-yard touchdown. Missouri’s Johnathon Johnson had nine catches for 185 yards, including an 86-yard score. Lock was 23 of 38 for 373 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions.
Chuba Hubbard rushed for 145 yards and a touchdown for Oklahoma State. Tyron Johnson had seven catches for 141 yards and two touchdowns.
Military Bowl — Cincinnati 35, Virginia Tech 31: Michael Warren ran for a career-high 166 yards and scored the go-ahead touchdown with 1:29 left to carry to help the Bearcats end the Hokies’ run of 25 consecutive winning seasons during a soggy day in Annapolis, Md.
A tight game that featured more than 900 yards in offense and seven lead changes wasn’t decided until Warren busted up the middle for his second touchdown to cap a 64-yard drive directed by backup quarterback Hayden Moore.
Moore, a senior who made 12 starts last year, took over for injured starter Desmond Ridder in the first quarter and completed 11 of 25 passes for 120 yards. He had previously thrown only 26 passes in 2018.
The victory gave Cincinnati (11-2) its third 11-win season in the 131-year history of the program.
Playing in a bowl game for the 26th successive year — the longest current run in the nation — Virginia Tech needed a victory to avoid its first losing season since 1992. Ryan Willis threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score, but it wasn’t enough to put an upbeat finish on an unsatisfying season for the Hokies (6-7).
Gator Bowl — Texas A&M 53, N.C. State 13: Trayveon Williams ran for 236 yards and three touchdowns, smashing a 30-year-old school record and carrying the Aggies past the Wolf pack in Jacksonville, Fla.
Texas A&M ended 2018 with a four-game winning streak and broke a three-game postseason skid. It capped an impressive inaugural season for coach Jimbo Fisher.
Williams had 61 yards rushing in the first half and then got rolling in the third quarter. He carried five times for 82 yards on one drive, including a 17-yard touchdown run. He topped that with a 93-yard scoring run on Texas A&M’s ensuing drive.
Kellen Mond completed 14 of 26 passes for 140 yards, with a touchdown and an interception. Mond also ran five times for 85 yards and a score. Kendrick Rogers made a leaping, 6-yard catch in the back of the end zone to help Mond.
Ryan Finley, a senior playing his final game, completed 19 of 32 passes for 139 yards. He threw a touchdown passes and two interceptions.
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