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College football roundup: Liberty beats No. 12 Coastal Carolina in OT in Cure Bowl

Liberty quarterback Malik Willis runs upfield past Coastal Carolina linebacker Teddy Gallagher on Dec. 26, 2020.
Liberty quarterback Malik Willis, who rushed for 137 yards and four touchdowns, runs past Coastal Carolina linebacker Teddy Gallagher. The Flames beat the No. 12 Chanticleers 37-34 in overtime.
(Matt Stamey / Associated Press)

ORLANDO, Fla. — Elijah James blocked Massimo Biscardi’s 42-yard field-goal attempt in overtime to give Liberty a 37-34 victory over Coastal Carolina on Saturday night in a wild finish in the FBC Mortgage Cure Bowl.

Liberty (10-1) took the lead on Alex Barbir’s 44-yard field goal on the first extra possession.

Coastal Carolina (11-1), No. 12 in the College Football Playoff rankings, got a huge break in regulation when Liberty’s Joshua Mack fumbled inside the one-yard line with 41 seconds left in the fourth quarter. Safety Alex Spillum recovered the fumble to end the long drive.

“I thought it was a touchdown, but they called it a fumble,” said Liberty quarterback Malik Willis, who set several records in the game. “But the next opportunity we got, we took advantage of it.”

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Willis ran for 137 yards and four touchdowns for Liberty. The Flames’ only loss came to North Carolina State on a blocked field goal.

Standout Utah running back Ty Jordan has died, the university announced Saturday. The cause of his death has not been announced by authorities.

“No question this is the best season Liberty University has ever had,” safety Javon Scruggs said.

Coastal Carolina overcame an early 14-0 deficit and drove 72 yards to tie it in the fourth quarter. Grayson McCall ran in a two-point conversion to make it 34-34 after throwing a five-yard touchdown pass to Greg Latushko with 3:01 remaining

The Chanticleers had won 12 straight games.

“We couldn’t do anything with their quarterback,” Coastal Carolina coach Jamey Chadwell said. “You see why he was a five-star player.”

It was the first time any ranked team had played in the six-year-old bowl, which was moved to prime time after being scheduled in the early afternoon. The teams were scheduled to meet Dec. 5, but that game was canceled because of COVID-19.

No. 19 Louisiana Lafayette 31, Texas San Antonio 24

DALLAS — Trey Ragas scored on a one-yard plunge with 7:16 left, and Louisiana Lafayette beat Texas San Antonio in the First Responder Bowl at Southern Methodist’s Ford Stadium.

The Ragin’ Cajuns (10-1) drove 72 yards in 12 plays for the winning score after UTSA (7-5) overcame a 24-7 second-half deficit to tie it.

UTSA associate head coach/offensive coordinator Barry Lunney Jr. directed the Roadrunners after first-year coach Jeff Traylor twice tested positive for COVID-19 this week and didn’t accompany the team.

The “We Are United” movement showed unpaid college athletes without a union could speak up for themselves and be heard while asked to play during a pandemic.

Levi Lewis had first-half touchdown passes of 15 and 10 yards for Louisiana Lafayette. Elijah Mitchell added a three-yard touchdown run, and Kenneth Almendares kicked a 31-yard field goal. The Ragin’ Cajuns won their seventh straight game following a loss to Coastal Carolina in mid-October.

Frank Harris had touchdown passes of 29 yards and 10 yards and an 11-yard scoring run for the Roadrunners. Hunter Duplessis kicked a 20-yard field goal that tied it with 13:32 left.

Georgia State 39, Western Kentucky 21

MOBILE, Ala. — Redshirt freshman Cornelius “Quad” Brown threw for 226 yards and three touchdowns to lead Georgia State past Western Kentucky in the LendingTree Bowl.

The Panthers (6-4) scored touchdowns on four consecutive first-half possessions, and Brown’s touchdown passes came in the second quarter to three receivers.

Brown completed 15 of 29 passes with an interception and ran for 40 yards in 10 attempts. Destin Coates ran for 117 yards and a touchdown, part of a 227-yard day on the ground for Georgia State.

Western Kentucky finished 5-7.


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