Bowl roundup: Bulldogs top HuskiesPhillip Livas returned a kickoff 97 yards, Daniel Porter rushed for 78 yards and a touchdown and Louisiana Tech won the Independence Bowl by beating Northern Illinois 17-10 on Sunday.
SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — Phillip Livas returned a kickoff 97 yards, Daniel Porter rushed for 78 yards and a touchdown and Louisiana Tech won the Independence Bowl by beating Northern Illinois 17-10 on Sunday.
It was Louisiana Tech’s first postseason win since the 1977 Independence Bowl and the Bulldogs’ seventh come-from-behind win of the season in what was essentially a home game. The Bulldogs (8-5), from nearby Ruston, haven’t won eight games since 1999.
The victory over Northern Illinois (6-7) marks a quick turnaround under coach Derek Dooley, former protege of Nick Saban and son of iconic Georgia coach and athletic director Vince Dooley. As his father did, Dooley won his first bowl.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Pat White threw for 332 yards, including a 20-yard touchdown pass to Alric Arnett midway through the fourth quarter that sent West Virginia to a 31-30 win.
The senior quarterback was voted MVP of a bowl for the third straight year and finished 4-0 in postseason games, helping West Virginia (9-4) overcome Hakeem Nicks’ big day for North Carolina to end a disappointing season on a positive note.
Nicks caught eight passes for 217 yards and three touchdowns for the Tar Heels (8-5), but T.J. Yates was intercepted by Pat Lazear with under 2 minutes left to end Butch Davis’ hopes of a bowl win in his second year at North Carolina.
Instead, it was a sweet ending to a tumultuous season for first-year West Virginia coach Bill Stewart.
Entering the season as prohibitive favorite to win the Big East, the Mountaineers started 1-2. They recovered to win five straight, only to go 2-2 over their final four games to end their BCS bowl hopes.
But White made sure they went out a winner, again. He completed 26 of 32 passes and threw one interception. The NCAA’s all-time leading rushing quarterback added 55 more yards on the ground to finish with 4,480.
SAN FRANCISCO — Zack Follett forced a fumble by Jacory Harris deep in Miami territory with 3:28 left, and Anthony Miller scored the go-ahead touchdown on his first career catch moments later in California’s victory.
Jahvid Best rushed for a bowl-record 186 yards and two touchdowns for the Golden Bears (9-4), who still needed a big defensive play and an unlikely hero to hold off the Hurricanes (7-6) in front of a Bay Area crowd teeming with screaming Cal fans.
Champs Sports Bowl
ORLANDO, Fla. — Derek Nicholson and Dekoda Watson returned fumbles for touchdowns, Christian Ponder threw two TD passes and Florida State (9-4) finished with more than eight wins for the first time since 2004.
Nicholson had two fumble recoveries, including one he returned 75 yards for a first-quarter touchdown. Punter Graham Gano averaged 48.2 yards on five and had three downed inside the Badgers 5 to earn game MVP.
P.J. Hill ran for 140 yards on 15 carries for the Badgers (7-6), but quarterback Dustin Sherer completed only four of nine for 55 yards through the first three quarters. His fumble early in the fourth quarter was returned 51 yards for a score by Watson to put FSU up 35-6.
Ponder completed 18 of 31 passes for 199 yards.
Florida State, playing in its NCAA-leading 27th-straight bowl game, improved coach Bobby Bowden’s career record to 21-10-1.